WEST ORANGE, NJ — The stars were out in more ways than one on Saturday, July 13, for “Broadway Under the Stars” at the Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center. The event, which was organized by Pleasant Valley Productions, featured the Encore Orchestra of New Jersey doing a revue of Broadway classics, then and now. Lending their vocal talents to the evening were professional musical veterans Lauren Palmeri, William Michals, Shari Gill, Jacqueline Quirk, Chris Frazier and Danielle Meola Valencia.
There were songs from some classic Broadway shows, like “Funny Girl,” “South Pacific,” “My Fair Lady,” “Les Miserables,” “Man of La Mancha,” “Porgy and Bess,” “Ragtime” and “Hello Dolly!”; from some more modern shows, like “The Wiz,” “Wicked,” “Shrek” and “Hamilton”; and from Disney classics that made a dent on Broadway, like “The Little Mermaid,” “Frozen,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Lion King.”
While each song was beautifully performed, there were certain standouts, like Palmeri’s “Don’t Rain on My Parade” and Frazier’s “You’ll Be Back” from “Hamilton.” Michals truly became the Beast, reprising his role from the Disney Broadway show, and amazed the crowd with his rendition of “If I Can’t Love Her.” And Gill’s “Circle of Life” from the “The Lion King” was a definite crowd pleaser, as she was joined by young singers from Kids 2 Camp Vocal Ensemble.
Photos by Yael Katzwer