The 20th anniversary season of The Town Hall’s Broadway by the Year series began last night (February 24) by celebrating the landmark and Broadway musicals of 2000-2004, the first in the season’s new programming that will bring us up to date with ensuing shows. Congratulations for such a successful run are in order. Now, how could the series created, written, directed and hosted by Scott Siegel get off to a dynamic fresh start?

No problem. A smash opening number, “42nd Street” from the revived show of that name--the program included originals from the period as well as from revived previous shows--featured a contingent of 25 excellent tap-dancers, plus choreographer Danny Gardner, scintillatingly interpreting the selection. At one point the dancers covered their bodies so that all we saw were the tapping feet, simulating the way the curtain rose partially in the Broadway staging. (There’s no curtain used at The Town Hall.)

There was another special aspect of the production, which marked the 20th anniversary of musical director Ross Patterson’s participation, having been with the series since the beginning. Once again he was also at the piano, on occasion soloing brilliantly and also leading the night’s musicians, Don Falzone on bass and Eric Halvorson on drums.

The second number was an impressive rendition by Max von Essen of the lilting “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’” from a revived “Oklahoma!” that made me long for the original conception instead of the scaled-down impostor that invaded Broadway last season.

As usual, Broadway by the Year featured a host of high-level performers. One of my favorites is jazz singer Nicole Henry, who creatively delivered “After You’ve Gone” from “One Mo’ Time” and “Falling in Love with Love” from “The Boys From Syracuse.”

Brian Charles Rooney was another standout, dynamically singing the anthem “I Am What I Am” from “La Cage Aux Folles” and deliberately doing it in a very gay style. Rooney also excelled entertainingly with “Sweet Transvestite” from “The Rocky Horror Show” and the dramatic “Once Before I Go” from “The Boy from Oz.”

Ben Jones also impressed with strikingly original takes on “You Walk with Me” from “The Full Monty,” “The God-Why Don’t You Love Me Blues” from “Follies” and the moving “Gethsemane” from “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

Tovah Feldshuh, who was a special guest star, tore into the famous “Some People” from “Gypsy” with Merman-like blasting heralding self-assertion. The hit number “I’m Going Back” from “Bells Are Ringing” was forcefully interpreted by Jenny Lee Stern, who also sang “Somewhere That’s Green” from “Little Shop of Horrors.” Lianne Marie Dobbs sang “The Next Best Thing to Love” from “A Class Act” and “The Winner Takes It All” from “Mamma Mia!” The aforementioned Max von Essen further showed his talent singing “For Sarah” from “Dance of the Vampires” and “What Do I Need with Love?” from “Thoroughly Modern Millie.”

I always enjoy when considerable dance and choral singing are integrated into Siegel’s shows. Further examples last night included “I’ve Loved These Days” from “Movin’ Out,” with Danny Gardner and dancers Yuriko Miyake and Michael Santomassino, “Run, Freedom, Run!” from “Urinetown,” with the Broadway by the Year Chorus and Bailey Callahan, Bryan Hunt, Oren Korenblum and Kelly Sheehan, plus the show’s hefty finale, “I want to Be a Producer” from “The Producers,” sung by Gardner backed by the Broadway by the Year Dance Troupe.

Siegel is aided by important assistance to mount these shows, with last night’s credits going to Holly Cruz, long-time staging consultant; Carl Acampora, stage manager; Rick Hinkson, assistant director and assistant stage manager, and Joe Burke, production assistant. Although not officially credited, Scott Siegel’s wife, Barbara Siegel, is praised by her husband as a major creative force in staging the productions.

I think it only right to name the many the chorus singers ad dancers. Here goes: The Broadway by the Year Chorus includes Christopher Brian, Pedro Coppeti, Mara Friedman, Brian Gabriel, Esmeralda Garza, Emily Janes, Dongwoo Kang, Emma Maxwell, Emily Royer and Ashley Ryan.

The Broadway by the Year Dance Troupe: Emily Applebaum, Anna Backer, Ashley Bice, Bailey Callahan, Hannah Fairman, Kirsty Fuller, Illana Gabriella, Erin Joy Grgas, Bryan Hunt, Megan Kelly, Ryan Koerber, Oren Korenblum, Sarah Fagan Kunce, Lily Lewis, Chris McNiff, Yuriko Miyake, Melinda Moeller, Vince Orabona, Sean Quinn, Emilie Renier, Joseph Sammour, Michael Santomassimo, Kelly Sheehan, Christine Sienicki, Edward Tolve and Michael J. Verre.

At The Town Hall, 123 West 43rd Street. Reviewed February 25, 2020.

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