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Off Broadway

Anything Can Happen in the Theater: The Musical World of Maury Yeston is Musical Nirvana

Anything Can Happen in the Theater: The Musical World of Maury Yeston is Musical Nirvana

Justin Keyes, Greg Jarrett (rear), Mamie Parris, Benjamin Eakeley, Alex Getlin, Jovan E’Sean Photo by Carol Rosegg

I saw the original production of Anything Can Happen in the Theater: The Musical World of Maury Yeston at The Triad years ago. Returning to The York Theatre Company, as part of its 50th anniversary season, under the direction and conception of Gerard Alessandrini, Maury Yeston music comes alive like never before. Alessandrini leaves us wanting more, not less of this Tony Award-winning composer and lyricist despite the 23 compositions. NineGrand Hotel, and Titanic, as well as other shows such as his Phantom, (which was the first), leave us wanting to hear “This Place is Mine”, “Barrett’s Song (The screws are turning)” and “Let’s Raise a Glass”, all of which are on YouTube.

Jovan E’Sean, Alex Getlin, Benjamin Eakeley, Mamie Paris, and Justin Keyes. Photo by Carol Rosegg

Jovan E’Sean, Alex Getlin, Benjamin Eakeley, Mamie Paris, and Justin Keyes bring Yeston’s “Anything Can Happen in the Theater” to life, as the stress of auditions is overcome by doing what you love. Each of the five ensemble members have a chance to shine.

Mamie Paris Photo by Carol Rosegg

For Mamie Paris it is “Shimmy Like They Do in Paree/ I Want to Go to Hollywood” and “Call from the Vatican”.

Benjamin Eakeley Photo by Carol Rosegg

Benjamin Eakeley’s glorious and touching vocals on “New Words” and “Only with You”, will remind you of Claybourne Elder. This is the leading man Broadway has been looking for.

Alex Getlin Photo by Carol Rosegg

Sounding like Melissa Manchester, Alex Getlin’s renditions of “Danglin’” and Strange” are subtly profound.

Jovan E’Sean Photo by Carol Rosegg

Jovan E’Sean’s voice was hauntingly wistful on “I Had a Dream About You (December Song)” and “Mississippi Moon”. I would like to see more of this performer.

Justin Keys Photo by Carol Rosegg

But it was the hilarious “Salt n’ Pepper,” with Justin Keyes abusing a wooden spoon, you will remember the most.

Jovan E’Sean, Alex Getlin, and Justin Keyes. Photo by Carol Rosegg.

Gerry McIntyre’s choreography is brought out with “Feet”, “The Mardi Gras Ball”, “I Don’t Want to Rock ‘n’ Roll” and “Cinema Italiano”. Yeston’s energetic side is thrillingly revealed in these songs.

Jovan E’Sean, Mamie Parris and Justin Keyes Photo by Carol Rosegg

Music Director Greg Jarrett whose stylings on the piano show off his work with the duets filled with luscious harmonies on “No Women in the Bible” and “You’re There Too.” Here, Yeston’s lyrics take center stage.

Jovan E’Sean, Justin Keyes by Carol Rosegg

James Morgan’s simplistic, yet effective set surrounds the stage with Yeston’s musical scores and manuscripts. Jacob Zedek lighting gives us mood as Melinda Hare set the story in costumes.

 Mamie Parris, Alex Getlin, Photo by Carol Rosegg

Anything Can Happen in the Theater: The Musical World of Maury Yeston is a singers delight and will make you crave a Youtube session to hear more of the brilliant Yeston’s craft. As for theatre goers this is a must see and one entertaining night, that will leave you sighing and fully satisfied.

Anything Can Happen in the Theater: The Musical World of Maury Yeston: The York Theatre Company, 619 Lexington Ave. until Dec. 29th.

Off Broadway

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

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