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June 19, 2018:

Broadway Sings Disney reviewed by Rob Stevens

Broadway Sings Disney has been a monthly staple at Rockwell Table & Stage for several months. I finally caught up with in on Monday, June 18. I have to hope I just happened to catch an off night, or at least a night when Broadway caliber talent was definitely in short supply in Hollywood. It’s like I wandered into open mic night for Disney aficionados. There may have been quantity but quality was definitely lacking. Only about a third of the 15 performers really knew how to deliver a song. Most of the performers have probably worked at Disney parks or on cruise ships as well as their high schools or colleges. Broadway may be their dream; it’s not their reality. The capacity audience was composed of current and past Disney employees as well as just died-in-the-wool Disney fanatics. Nearly every song turned into a sing-a-long. Dayna Alice Austin’s rendition of “I Know the Truth” from the Elton John/Tim Rice Broadway musical Aida was the highlight of the evening. Toni Skidmore’s “Colors of the Wind,” Katie Meehan Laferriere’s “I’ll Make a Man Out of You,” and Everjohn Feliciano’s “Kiss The Girl” were other more professionally delivered turns. Brad Hooks accompanied himself at the piano and did a lovely job with “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?”. There were also performances of songs from High School Musical, Aladdin, Frozen and The Little Mermaid. The evening’s host got the show off to a bumpy start with “I Wanna Be Like You” from The Jungle Book, stopping several times to belittle his audience about their ability to sing-a-long with him. His introductions of the other talent was minimal at best and his treatment of one young man in the audience bordered on sexual harassment. Several of the performers, after their time on stage, talked loudly with their friends while other performers were singing their songs. All in all, it was an unpleasant evening.

Rockwell Table & Stage, 1714 N. Vermont Ave. in Los Angeles. July 2 & 23, Aug. 20. http://tickets.rockwell-la.com/

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