While it may be every actor’s dream to light up Broadway, this weekend’s show at Landmark on Main Street in Port Washington is a reminder that great musical performances don’t need the flash and spectacle of the famed New York City Theater District to impress. In “Broadway on Main Street,” five song-and-dance performers step out of their past and present roles on the Great White Way to offer up their favorite numbers.
“It’s a cross between a concert and ‘Inside the Actors Studio.’ It’s a way to celebrate emerging artists as they grow,” says Stephen DeAngelis of Port Washington, who is the producer and host of the intimate theater experience, which is making its second annual appearance at the Landmark.
Sharing signature songs and insights into their artistic development, the stars appear as if in early rehearsal, dressed in street clothes on an essentially bare set, accompanied only by a pianist. The actors watch each other from a couch and armchairs positioned at the corner of the stage, playing up the cozy, in-your-living-room feel of the stripped-down performances. By the second act, the entertainers break the fourth wall, so to speak, and engage in a lively, informal Q&A session with the audience, responding to inquiries about costume changes, favorite scenes and sharing personal backstage tales.
While the show’s format remains unchanged from last year, the cast — with some 25 different Broadway shows between them — is all new. This year’s lineup includes “something for everyone,” DeAngelis adds, with popular selections sung by Mykal Kilgore (“Motown: The Musical,” “Hair”), Rona Figueroa (“Miss Saigon,” “Les Miserables”), Jenn Gambatese (“School of Rock,” “Tarzan”), Rick Faugno (“The Will Rogers Follies,” “On the Twentieth Century”) and Lisa Howard (“Priscilla Queen of the Desert” and the upcoming “Escape to Margaritaville”). Returning is musical director and accompanist Wendy Bobbitt Cavett, whose credits include conducting the orchestras of the Broadway smash hits “Hamilton” and “Come From Away.” “It’s a one-off,” says DeAngelis of his custom-made musical revue. “It’s opening and closing night at the same time.”
Without scenery to distract or a storyline to work to deliver, the focus is all on the performers’ talent — their voices and dancing. “When you have people who originated the roles, there is a certain level of depth,” DeAngelis says. “They are not just singing a song, but recreating performances.”
WHEN | WHERE 8 p.m. Saturday, Jeanne Rimsky Theater, Landmark on Main Street, 232 Main St., Port Washington
INFO $40-$50; 516-767-6444, landmarkonmainstreet.org
WHAT The beat goes on. After a quarter-century knocking and pounding on everything including the kitchen sink, “Stomp,” the dialogue-free percussion sensation created by Brits Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas, is drumming up interest in Patchogue. In its first Long Island appearance, the eight-person troupe will do its usual bang-up job on trash cans, matchboxes, hubcaps and more in the popular street-performance-style stage show. Why not get into the rhythm for 90 minutes and find out what all the noise is all about at this co-production of the Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts and Gateway Playhouse?
WHEN | WHERE 8 p.m. Friday and 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts, 71 E. Main St.