Broadway Songbook: Musicals of the 1950s – Simply Entertaining

Broadway Songbook

Kersten Rodau and Jennifer Baldwin Peden

Growing up, I loved musicals: Oklahoma, The Sound of Music, Showboat, The King and I, Guys and Dolls … I could go on. What other entertainment medium encompasses two of my favorite activities, story and music? I remember as a teen going into my room, shutting the door, putting on The Sound of Music album (yes, record album!), and then singing as if no one could hear beyond the door. Even today, a well-performed musical will get my toes tapping and my vocal cords itching to sing out, and leave me smiling once the show has ended.

That’s exactly what happened last night at the Ordway production, Broadway Songbook: Musicals of the 1950s. The evening was one of pure entertainment and enjoyment. I smiled the entire evening while restraining from singing–thankfully they did have one audience sing-a-long (I’m blanking on the song at the moment!) that scratched my itch. But I did have to elbow my husband a couple of times for singing in whispered tones. My guess is, we weren’t the only ones. Perhaps the Ordway should have a Broadway Musical Sing-a-long evening–Hmm, they do have a Sound of Music sing-a-long on March 22, 2014…

James A. Rocco - Performer, Ordway VP of Theatrical Programming

James A. Rocco – Performer, Ordway VP of Theatrical Programming

But anyway, the audience was seated on the stage, so we were up-close-and-personal with the performers. It was a wonderfully intimate setting. The show had seven gifted, professional singers plus the piano accompanist. It began with a medley of songs from several different musicals, followed by full song performances of several pieces. A short–and very interesting–history lesson was given prior to the songs or songs grouped by musical or composers. There were songs from popular musicals such as South Pacific, The King and I, Guys and Dolls, and My Fair Lady, but the evening also covered songs from less known musicals like Juno, Fiorello, and Candide. All were fabulously performed.

Honestly, I didn’t want the evening to end!

Tickets are still available for a couple performances. If you’d like an evening that’s simply entertaining, I highly recommend this. For tickets, click <here>. The Ordway will be offering two additional Broadway Songbook events: George Gershwin on January 3 – 5, and Comden and Green on June 13 – 15.


I would like to thank the Ordway Theater for providing this opportunity to review Broadway Songbook: Musicals of the 1950s. I have given my honest opinion about this opening night performance.

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