February 5, 2009 in Features

SuperPops guests built their reputations on Broadway

By The Spokesman-Review
 
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If you go

“Three Broadway Divas,” Spokane Symphony SuperPops

When: Saturday, 8 p.m.

Where: INB Performing Arts Center, 334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.

Cost: $21 to $46

Call: The symphony ticket office (509-624-1200) or TicketsWest outlets (325-SEAT, 800-325-SEAT, www.tickets west.com)

You know what they say about New York: If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere – including Spokane’s INB Performing Arts Center.

The Three Broadway Divas, who guest-star in Saturday’s Spokane Symphony SuperPops concert, certainly have made it in New York. All of them have deep and impressive Broadway credentials:

Jan Horvath – She was one of the lucky few in the original 1988 cast of “The Phantom of the Opera,” as the Innkeeper’s Wife. She went on to appear in many more Broadway shows ranging from “The Threepenny Opera” to “Sweet Charity” to “Oliver!”

Lisa VromanShe played Christine in the Broadway run of “Phantom of the Opera” for several years. She was also in the original Broadway cast of another Andrew Lloyd Webber show, “Aspects of Love.”

Debbie Gravitte – She reached Broadway’s pinnacle in 1989 when she won a Tony Award as Best Featured Actress in a Musical for “Jerome Robbins’ Broadway.” She also played Fantine in the Broadway production of “Les Miserables” and has also appeared on Broadway in “Zorba,” “Perfectly Frank” and, most recently, “Chicago,” as the Matron.

All of this makes them ideal for joining the symphony in a program of Broadway tunes, from Rodgers & Hart to Andersson & Ulvaeus (the “Mamma Mia” guys).

Sometimes, they’ll perform as a trio, as in “Let Us Entertain You” from “Gypsy,” “At the Ballet” from “A Chorus Line,” and “Big Spender” from “Sweet Charity.”

Other times, two of them will form a duo, as in “For Good” from “Wicked” and “Bosom Buddies” from “Mame.”

And they’ll each get the spotlight to themselves, in solo star turns.

Horvath will sing Stephen Sondheim’s “Broadway Baby” from “Follies,” and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” from “Evita.”

Vroman will tackle Leonard Bernstein’s tour de force, “Glitter and Be Gay” from “Candide,” and Meredith Willson’s “I Could Have Danced All Night” from “Music Man.”

Gravitte will take on Jule Styne’s “Don’t Rain on My Parade” from “Funny Girl,” and “Defying Gravity” from “Wicked.”

SuperPops subscribers with sharp memories will recognize two of these performers. Horvath wowed the audience as part of the Bravo Broadway! trio in 1999, and Gravitte did the same with another incarnation of Bravo Broadway! in 2003.

Resident Conductor Morihiko Nakahara will lead the symphony, which will get its own star turns in the overtures to “Gypsy” and “West Side Story.”

Jim Kershner can be reached at (509) 459-5493 or by e-mail at jimk@spokesman.com.

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