‘West of Broadway’ Circles the Globe

Guests at a recent soiree benefiting Council Oak Men’s Choral were promised an experience “West of Broadway,” featuring a preview of the off-Broadway smash musical hit, “Listen to My Heart: The Songs of David Friedman.”

Indeed, Broadway did come out west, to the rolling hills near the Oaks Country Club. Patrons of the evening, though, found that when they entered the sweeping rotunda of the hilltop home of John Piercey, they had instantly been transported even further west, circling the globe to the Mediterranean!

The Tuscan-style estate was the perfect venue for Broadway to mix with the sultry elegance of the Riviera. Guests toured the home with its spectacular art collection and soaring vistas, mingled poolside and feasted on delectable treats provided by Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar.

The main event, a preview of the off-Broadway smash, “Listen to My Heart: The Songs of David Friedman,” was staged in the rotunda overlooking the sparkling pool and surrounding lush gardens. In the musical, well-known composer and Broadway conductor, Friedman, whose given voice to performers such as Diana Ross, Petula Clark, Barry Manilow, Kathy Lee Gifford and others, reveals his personal voice. The show includes many of his recognizable standards combined with other personal favorites based on his own life experiences from challenging to joyful to hilarious. Friedman offers a look inside his mind and heart by introducing the “voices in his head” conveyed by five singers that sing to him, through him and from him. At the West of Broadway preview, Friedman was joined by Tulsa cast members Machele Dill, Booker (Bradd) Gillespie, John Sawyer, Jennifer Hover White and vocal director Elizabeth Curtis, standing in for Cindy Baker, who was performing in Kansas City the night of the fundraiser.

“There’s not a plot to this show,”explained Friedman. “but the songs follow an emotional arc.”

Audience members quickly found themselves easily relating to the sentiments of songs such as the hope-filled opener, “Trust the Wind” and the comic “I’m Not My Mother.” The musical that comes to Tulsa Performing Arts Center August 19th—27th show proceeds will also benefit Council Oak Men’s Chorale.

Many guests, acquainted with Fleming’s reputation as a premier steak house, commented on the magnificent menu created by Fleming’s Executive Chef Partner Thom Gerey. To compliment the white and sparkling wines served, Gerey worked on site in Piercey’s kitchen preparing hors d’oeuvres showcasing a variety of fresh seafood and seasonal ingredients. On the menu were Spicy Tuna wrapped in Cucumber, Shrimp Spring Rolls with Mint and Cilantro, Crostini with Prosciutto and Fig Jam, Go Frette Potato with Crab Meat and Lemon Aioli, Shrimp and Humus on English Cucumber, Parmesan Crisp with fresh avocado and tomato.

Tickets for “Listen to My Heart: The Songs of David Friedman” benefiting Council Oak Men’s Chorale, as well as Council Oak Men’s Chorale’s August 27th concert, “Sing for the Cure” benefiting the Tulsa Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation are available by calling the Tulsa Performing Arts Center at 918-596-7111 or on line at www.tulsapac.com.

Updated 07-25-2005

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