Nine years ago, TheaterMania contributor and producer/writer Scott Siegel, who created Town Hall's critically acclaimed Broadway by the Year series, had an idea so old, it was new. "I thought it would be eye-opening--and ear-opening-- if audiences could once again experience Broadway music the way it was originally heard, without microphones...unplugged, if you will."
During the Golden Age of Broadway, productions were performed without any sort of amplification. From the clear-as-a-bell sopranos to the full-voiced belters and the rich, deep basses, audiences experienced the privilege of hearing pure, unadulterated voices. In order to preserve tradition--and introduce younger theater audiences to this lost art--Siegel created Broadway Unplugged, a concert series that delivers both Broadway names and the big (unmiked) voices behind them.
"From the very start," Siegel explained, "Broadway stars actively wanted to perform in this concert because they wanted to show that they had the chops to do this, just like the old-timers did. One star told me, ‘We were trained to sing without microphones, but when we got to Broadway, they wouldn't let us.' Eight years later, Broadway Unplugged is still going strong. "People craved to hear the pure human voice singing to the rafters," says Siegel.
This year, Broadway Unplugged unveils its ninth edition on Monday, December 3 at 8 PM at The Town Hall. Among the stars expected to perform unmiked are Cheyenne Jackson (Finian's Rainbow), Laura Osnes (Cinderella), Andy Karl (The Mystery of Edwin Drood), Orfeh (Legally Blonde), Julia Murney (Wicked), William Michals (South Pacific), Jeffry Denman (The Producers), Barbara Walsh (Big), Natalie Toro (A Tale of Two Cities), and more.
Tickets for the Ninth Annual Broadway Unplugged are available through TicketMaster or at the Town Hall box office (123 West 43rd Street)