On Monday, June 25, the Broadway at Birdland concert series was presented songwriter Jack Lechner and a very talented cast of singers to the historic stage. Singing Lechner's songs and praises were Nancy Anderson, Chris Critelli, Desmond Dutcher, Jeannine Frumess, Andy Monroe, Jeremy Schonfeld, Lucas Steele, and Karen Ziemba, with musical direction by Boko Suzuki. Lechner is best known for his 2010 off-Broadway musical The Kid, co-written with composer Andy Monroe and librettist Michael Zam.
The concert was followed by a rollicking Cast Party, hosted by Jim Caruso. "Celebrity Apprentice" finalist/comedienne Lisa Lampanelli slayed the crowd with her funny and filthy comments, and Tony Ponella, the first-runner-up in the Michael Feinstein Great American Songbook singer competition, scored major showbiz points with two standards. Christine Pedi, star of Newsical, the Musical, sang a hilarious song about missing Oprah Winfrey, twin brothers Will and Anthony Nunziata gave a taste of their upcoming concert at Feinstein's, and jazzer La Tanya Hall dazzled with a swinging tune. Ten year-old Oliver Richman endured a one-on-one Lampanelli rant, then appropriately sang his heart out with a blues number.
The Broadway at Birdland concert series takes place every Monday night at 7pm in the iconic music room, followed by Jim Caruso's Cast Party. Birdland is located at 315 West 44 Street in Manhattan.
Photo Credit: Seth Walters