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Paulanne Simmons

For Broadway, 1975 Was a Very Good Year

The Broadway Musicals of 1975
Created, Written and Hosted by Scott Siegel
Directed by Scott Coulter
Town Hall, 125 West 43rd Street
Reviewed by Paulanne Simmons May 14, 2012

Whatever the year, it’s a sure thing that Scott Siegel, creator, writer and host of Broadway By the Year, will find outstanding musical numbers, even in shows that may not have been huge hits. However, when the year in question is 1975, Siegel’s task is considerably easier.

1975 was the year that saw the opening of the long-running "A Chorus Line," classics such as "Chicago," "The Wiz" and "Shenandoah," and the cult favorite, "The Rocky Horror Show." To round out the picture, it was also the season that paid tribute to two giants in American entertainment: Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart with "Rodgers & Hart - a Celebration" and Bessie Smith with "Me and Bessie."

Directed by Scott Coulter, The Broadway Musicals of 1975 features Ashley Brown, Carole J. Bufford, Maya Days, Nadine Isenegger, Patrick Page, Bob Stillman, Lari White, Kristen Beth Williams and Coulter singing such favorites as “Blue Moon” from "Rodgers & Hart - a Celebration," “All that Jazz” from "Chicago" and “What I Did for Love” from "A Chorus Line." A welcome new addition is The Broadway By the Year Chorus, made up of promising young performers.

The dance numbers have been choreographed by Vibecke Dahle, except for “The Music and The Mirror” from "A Chorus Line," performed by Nadine Isenegger, which uses, by special permission of the estate, Michael Bennett’s original work.

Patrick Page, who can be seen as Norman Osborn/Green Goblin in "Spider-Man, Turn off the Dark," proves himself to be a formidable transvestite weirdo in “Time Warp” from "The Rocky Horror Show." And Carole Bufford belts the blues in Bessie Smith’s “You’ve Been a Good Old Wagon” and “”After You’ve Gone.”

1975 was not a particularly pleasant time for many Americans. The country had not yet recovered from Vietnam and New York City narrowly escaped bankruptcy. But the Great White Way was filled with vim, vigor and vitality.

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