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Broadway's quintessential musical leading man hits the bullseye once more!
on December 7, 2012
Brian Stokes Mitchell, whom I have seen in Kiss Me, Kate, Man of La Mancha, and the Encores! production of Kismet, as well as in concert with Martin Short and the Pittsburgh Pops conducted by the late Marvin Hamlisch, proves once and for all that he is the heir to the Broadway musical leading-man tradition established by such legends as Alfred Drake, John Raitt (Bonnie's father), Howard Keel, and Gordon MacRae. Accompanied only by the sympathetic pianist Tedd Firth, Mitchell guides his audience through a collection of show tunes ranging from the Gershwins' "It Ain't Necessarily So" (from Porgy and Bess) to Boublil, Kretzmer, and Schonberg's "Stars" (from Les Miserables), with a particularly climactic version of the "Soliloquy" from Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel. On Lerner and Loewe's "How to Handle a Woman" (from Camelot), Mitchell pays tribute to Richard Burton and Richard Harris, both of whom portrayed King Arthur to great distinction, and suggests that he could easily fill their shoes in a future production. Mitchell reprises two selections from productions in which he has starred: Man of La Mancha's "The Impossible Dream", and "Some Enchanted Evening" from South Pacific, in which he appeared in a Carnegie Hall concert version in 2005. This introspective Broadway tour ends on a subdued note with Leonard Bernstein's "Some Other Time" from On the Town, in which Mitchell adapts Betty Comden and Adolph Green's lyrics to "Haven't sung half the songs I want to," and hopefully this hints at more to come from this Broadway titan.