- Submitted Photo
- Conductor Jack Everly
ISO players opened this audience-pleasing concert with Jack Everly’s arrangement, Broadway Leading Men Overture, traversing a century of composers from gusty swagger to intimate soliloquy. Ben Crawford stepped right in with a forthright "I Am I, Don Quixote" from Man of La Mancha, followed by Ted Keegan’s luscious "Maria" from West Side Story, carrying that last utterance of “Maria” into a whisper like a breeze circling the Hilbert bottom to top and back again. ISO players featured a lively Oliver! Overture, conjuring up memories of each scene. The audience totally came alive with Ron Remke’s "This is the Moment" from Jekyll and Hyde. Having introduced his three leading men, Everly programmed Kathy Voytko entrance with a saucy "Le Jazz Hot" from Victor/Victoria, complete with show biz business with the men. Everly’s Leading Men Medley arrangement gave each of the singers a star turn along with duets and trios. One could feel surrounding audience members ticking off the pieces—some audibly—Guys and Dolls, Some Enchanted Evening, If Ever I Would leave You, On the Street; Who Will Buy? I Believe in You, Come Back to Me, to close Act One with a passionate The Impossible Dream. Act Two spotlighted ISO players with "Seventy-Six Trombones" from The Music Man and Crawford’s impeccable "Ya Got Trouble" from The Music Man. The smile-inducing medley of ten Love Duets made way for the Indianapolis Men’s Chorus rollicking staging of "Sit Down, You're Rocking the Boat" from Guys and Dolls with soloist Jared McElroy.
What makes for a great overture, one that elicits attention and evokes emotions? Don’t try for words; just listen to Bernstein’s Overture to West Side Story. Well, if the audience was pumped to the explosive point up til now, they really went over the top for the closing numbers—Remke’s "I Am What I Am" from La Cage aux Folles, Keegan’s "Music of the Night" from The Phantom of the Opera and the closing Les Miserables Medley. Being so close to Veteran’s Day, Bring Him Home touched hearts, brought tears. “This was just one of the best programs,” a patron told me. “Touching and inspiring.” And there’s always something physically new happening at Hilbert Circle Theatre—the gift shop is in the lobby and the adjacent area now is The Encore Lounge, where you can relax with a drink and conversation in comfortable seating “to extend your concert experience,” according to the flyer.