The lullaby of Broadway
BRECKENRIDGE – Some people avoid Broadway-based shows, thinking they’re full of high-brow performers. But in the case of the Broadway Baritones, those people couldn’t be further off base.
Broadway veterans Sal Viviano, Douglas Webster and Geoffrey Blaisdell make Broadway music accessible – and fun – with their lighthearted, comedy-oriented antics.
“It’s three guys having a hell of a good time at what they do,” Webster said. “We’re three professional guys trying to behave professionally.”
Professional guys, yeah. Trying to behave professionally – sort of.
Though each performer predominantly plays hero roles in Broadway productions, the Broadway Baritones act is more like watching friends hang out in a living room and sing a few tunes. The baritones turn the night into an intimate show filled with chuckles and incredible singing.
“We tend to go off a little bit,” Viviano said in an interview last summer about the baritones’ shows. “Because we’ve worked together a fair amount, there’s a good deal about our history and certainly about the history of the music we are presenting.”
This year, the trio sings the music of Rodgers and Hart, Cole Porter, Frank Loesser and Leonard Bernstein and features tunes from musicals including “The Full Monty,” “Man of La Mancha” and “Guys and Dolls.” Plus, the three will perform a few of last year’s favorites, including “New York, New York,” “Into the Fire” and a song or two from “Cabaret.”
Viviano has been in several Broadway shows, including “The Full Monty,” “Blood Brothers” and “The Life.” He just finished a run of “Chicago,” and he’s an inductee of the Friars’ Club in New York.
Blaisdell has lived in Bali for the past few years, commuting back and forth to perform on Broadway and at other venues. (His rent is $300 a month in Bali, so the money he makes during shows stretches a long way.) He is a strong character actor who has performed in the original casts of Broadway’s “Jekyll and Hyde,” “Cyrano,” “Phantom of the Opera” and “Les Miserables.”
Webster’s classical training has secured him roles in Broadway shows such as “Les Miserables,” and he is considered the leading interpreter of Leonard Bernstein’s “Mass,” which the baritones have performed at Carnegie Hall.
The trio spent the weekend rehearsing – or, to be more accurate, laughing. During their Friday golf outing in Breckenridge, Webster said that “fore” wasn’t the only thing they were belting out on the course.
New York pianist “Tex” Arnold will accompany the three baritones, playing favorite tunes and exploring variations of the classics.
“Having an opportunity to help people escape – be moved to a different place that they didn’t expect – is always a great thing,” Viviano said.
Tickets for today’s 7:30 p.m. show at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge are $22 and may be purchased by calling (970) 547-3100.
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