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Just before Broadway comes Breckenridge

KIMBERLY NICOLETTI

BRECKENRIDGE – “Oh, what a beautiful (mountain), oh, what a beautiful (Sun)day.” It’s not Broadway, but it’s close enough.Sunday, four up-and-coming Broadway hopefuls perform favorite and contemporary show tunes at the Riverwalk Center. When a slice of Broadway comes to us without the crowds and hefty ticket price, how can we not break into a happy tune?Two past graduates of the American Singer Seminar – a musical theater intensive in Breckenridge that Broadway veteran Douglas Webster leads – perform everything from “South Pacific” and “Oklahoma” to recent Broadway tunes from “A New Brain” and “Songs For a New World.”Webster taught Josh Young and Devon Goffman about vocal range, and now they’re stretching out to produce their own show. Young has toured nationally in “Les Miserables,” and Goffman performed in the national touring “Titanic,” but neither have produced their own cabaret – yet.

“These are young professional singers,” Webster said. “They were really talented students going into the profession, and two years later, they’re in shows. The difference between this show and (past American Singer Showcases) is vocally, they’ve done their training. There’s more polish in their voices. I won’t be as hands-on in the production. I’ll still work with them, but it’s their show.”The two students credit Webster for bringing them to the next level in their careers.”He taught me a lot about acting while I sing, and he taught me to take chances as a singer – to not be afraid to believe in what I sing and to stretch my range and believe in my voice,” Goffman said. “Having him as a teacher has helped me find my voice, so to speak, and find my adult voice. He’s been a huge part of my confidence factor – to have someone of his stature believe in you. He’s a very selfless teacher.”Most critics consider Webster to be the leading interpreter of Leonard Bernstein’s “MASS.” He has led in roles ranging from Don Giovanni in the opera of the same name to Broadway’s Jean Valjean in “Les Miserables.” In 1999, he began performing with two other Broadway veterans as the Broadway Baritones to raise money for the American Singer Seminars.

Webster will join Goffman and Young in performing a tune from “The Full Monty” (no word if they’ll do the full Monty).Two female performers also will join the young performers. Goffman’s fiancée, Carey Anderson, adds to the chemistry on stage.”We picked a few love songs,” Goffman said. “It makes acting really easy. We’re not really acting because we believe all the words we’re singing.”Marissa McGowan – who, just for the record, is Young’s friend not romantic interest – started performing off Broadway within a year of graduating college.

“She’s one of the most talented people I know,” Young said. “She’s on the road to being a Broadway star.”The talents are top notch, and the songs we’re doing are some of the most beautifully written songs of all time, and all that makes for a great show.”Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 245, or at knicoletti@summitdaily.com.


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