Opera House gives regards to 'Best of Broadway'

Sheila Coyle

Sheila Coyle

Four vocalists will "give their regards" to Broadway with their own twist in a performance Sunday, Nov. 11, at the Elks Opera House.

Tucson-based Lonely Street Productions' "The Best of Broadway" begins at 7 p.m. Tickets range from $22 to $30 and are available by calling the opera house box office at 777-1370 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday or by logging onto www.elksoperahouse.com.

Tucsonan Khris Dodge, a pianist and percussionist, arranged the entire two-hour show. "We took a survey of great Broadway tunes from the early '20s to the '30s and the recent past," he said. What he put together for the performance is "a conglomerate of different songs featuring famous composers over the years, and we also focused on musicals that came out in different decades," he said. "I guarantee there's not a song in the show that people won't absolutely know or love already. Through the arranging process, we have arranged new and exciting ways of putting them in a refreshing light."

Dodge and fellow performers in the show, Walter Belcher, Sheila Coyle, Erin Helm and Kit Runge, will blend their own styles with the original Broadway hits, creating duets from original solos, offering a variety of "little different treatments than what may have been expected from the originals," Dodge said.

"The beautiful melodies remain constant and the performers are top-notch. The audience will be enthralled with what they hear."

Dodge will pay piano for the 36 melodies he arranged. "I like to do it from the piano bench and let the performers shine in their own way," he said.

Belcher, who recently starred in "A Salute to Otis Redding" at the Elks, said the audience will hear the works of such great composers as Sondheim and Rodgers and Hammerstein, along with the performers "own favorite Broadway tunes. He will be singing "Summertine," a hit with him that became more famous when Ella Fitzgerald sang it in her inimitable style.

"There is so much Broadway music," Belcher said. "We will do a couple of medleys - a melodious mixture of eight songs," during the Best of Broadway that will range from "Westside Story" and "Into the Woods" to "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat" and Gershwin songs.

"Khris had his pleasure and pain in deciding what to do," Belcher said of the array of songs Dodge arranged for "Best of Broadway."