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Review: Neil Berg's 100 Years of Broadway

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Neil Berg
  • Neil Berg

Neil Berg's vivacious hosting at the piano coupled with featured vocal artists Carter Calvert, Roosevelt Credit, Rob Evan, Rita Harvey (an Indy native) and Danny Zolli, percussionist Roger Cohen and bassist Abe Saenz made the evening exceptional.

"Broadway Musicals reflect popular music of the day," explained Berg. "They recreate our history." Opening with "Give My Regards to Broadway" echoing throughout the cavernous space, the program transported us throughout the 20th century.

"What makes a song great, enduring?" Berg asked rhetorically, showing why "Ole Man River" from Show Boat [1927] has crossed decades now allowing the originally omitted second verse. Roosevelt Credit earned a standing ovation with Oscar Hammerstein II's compelling insights and Jerome Kern's forceful music.

In tribute to Michael Feinstein, Berg inserted a song "We won't do elsewhere." Credit and Harvey presented a tender "Bess You Is My Woman Now." From among the sweep of exceptional moments we'll also especially recall Calvert recreating her iconic "Memories," Zolli's impassioned "Gethsemane," Evan's prayerful "Bring Them Home."

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