Showstoppers delivers Broadway classics 

Showstoppers Delivers Broadway Classics Few new hits, but lots of old favorites

Broadway Showstoppers
July 11-13
$19.50-$31.50
Charleston Music Hall
37 John St.
(843) 853-2252
www.charlestonmusichall.com

If you’re a fan of Broadway (which we’ll generously define as anyone with a cast recording, or even a movie-version of a musical) we really don’t have to sell this show too hard.

Broadway Showstoppers, the latest musical revue by Brad and Jennifer Moranz, jams decades of Broadway classics into two hours. Even some of the best shows have a few stinkers, so picking the best-of-the-best provides more entertainment per penny than is truly deserved. Even if a song isn’t to your taste — wait two minutes and you’ll get something more your style. We promise.

The Moranz’s played their roles as hosts with the cozy familiarity of neighborhood party favorites, and the crowd welcomed them again and again like old friends. A rich cast of singers and performers enveloped themselves in each song in an almost dizzying slide from number to number that’s a true sign of endurance and talent.

Standout performances included “Someone to Watch Over Me” from Oh, Kay!, “Anything You Can Do” from Annie Get Your Gun, and an instrumental medley of the songs from The Sound of Music that was, itself, a surprising showstopper. Classics from Oklahoma!, The Phantom of the Opera, and Les Misérables had the crowd swooning and this audience member gripping his program excitedly as if it were a Playbill.

Only a few numbers puttered — and to putter amongst this collection is to say they were, at worst, average. “Tonight” from West Side Story didn’t have the showstopper feel and a number from Bye Bye Birdie came with a Paul Lynde impersonation (complete with a flip wrist) that we could have frankly done without. And, of course, ask any Broadway fan for their top showstoppers, and you’d get a different opinion. We’re sure we weren’t the only ones leaving the theater with a list of “can’t miss” songs that were missed. For us, the true offenses were the omission of Rent and Chicago (though there was a strong Caberet number).

And picking the second-best showstopper from Dreamgirls should never be an option. There was also little to offer from the latest crop of Broadway hits like Hairspray, The Full Monty, or Wicked. Note: Throwback tracks from Mamma Mia!, Jersey Boys, and Movin’ Out don’t count. But hey, a song missed on the stage is easily pulled from the iPod on the way home; and Broadway Showstoppers gives what it promises and then some. It’s hard to complain when you’re having so much fun.

You just want to stay for more.

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