By George Basler
In its more than 40-year history, the Madrigal Choir of Binghamton has performed everything from spirituals to Medieval chants, from traditional Christmas melodies to 16th century antiphonal music.
Now the choir is taking on Broadway with “The American Songbook: Broadway Tunes from Gershwin to Hamilton” to be performed Sunday (April 23) at St. Thomas Aquinas Church on Binghamton’s West Side.
The program is something of a change of pace for the choir, Board President Theresa Lee-Whiting said. “We really wanted to do a feel-good concert that will appeal to people who might otherwise not want to go to a madrigal concert,” she added.
Music Director Bruce Borton took suggestions from choir members and others in the community in picking the show tunes to be performed. The program covers a wide range, beginning with “Comedy Tonight” from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, which will set the tone for the concert.
The program will then feature songs from different Broadway eras: the 1920s and 1930s, the “golden age” of the 1940s and 1950s, the “changing times” of the 1960s to the 1990s and the new century of the 2000s.
Shows represented include South Pacific, My Fair Lady, West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, Sweet Charity, Phantom of the Opera, Rent and Hamilton.
Rehearsals have been fun for choir members, Lee-Whiting said. Everyone has been smiling, clapping their hands and moving their feet to the music, she said.
The concert will feature a guest performer, Bex Odorisio, who is just completing a stint with the national touring company of Hadestown, Lee-Whiting said. Odorisio will sing songs from Hadestown and from the musical farce Lucky Stiff, which was staged in London but has yet to see a Broadway production.
Pianist Jean Herman Henssler will provide the accompaniment. A grant from the Broome County Arts Council is helping to support the concert.
IF YOU GO: The Madrigal Choir of Binghamton will present “The American Songbook: Broadway Tunes from Gershwin to Hamilton” at 4 p.m. Sunday (April 23) at St. Thomas Aquinas Church, 1 Aquinas St., Binghamton (near West Middle School). Tickets at $20 for the general public and $5 for students with a student ID will be available at the door or on the choir’s website, www.madrigalchoir.com.