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'Best of Broadway' performance at WCT will benefit Saratoga Chamber Orchestra
It’s a long way to the Great White Way, but somehow Whidbey Island has the uncanny magnetism to pull even Broadway talent to its stages.
“The Best of Broadway” features former Broadway performers Kate Matteson and Patrick Holland with a variety of popular musical numbers by the best of Broadway’s composers including Sondheim, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Lowe and Bernstein. The evening begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17 at the Whidbey Children’s Theater in Langley.
The performers will be joined by special guests, baritone singer Robert W. Prosch and Roxallanne Medley on violin.
For Matteson, a Clinton resident, seeing a production of “Funny Girl” as a child had her hooked on the dream of becoming a musical theater actress. At 19, she headed for New York and began to land roles in regional theaters.
Before long, the young singer found herself touring nationally as Hope in Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes,” followed by a tour with the Tony award-winning Broadway revival of Kern and Hammerstein’s “Show Boat.”
“Playing a leading role in a major Broadway production was a dream come true,” Matteson said. “I was privileged to work under the direction of some of the theater greats — legendary director Hal Prince and renowned choreographer Susan Stroman.”
Matteson performed a variety of major roles in her career including parts in “Phantom of the Opera,” “Annie,” “A Little Night Music,” “Brigadoon,” “Gigi” and “Gypsy.”
And, although she trained at some of the most prestigious schools for music such as the Eastman School of Music, the Boston Conservatory and the American Conservatory, and realized a young girl’s dream of “making it” in the theater, Matteson returned to school and received a master’s degree and a doctorate in human development and education for social justice.
She now occupies most of her time between a spiritual healing practice and the homeschooling of her four children alongside her husband, Kirk. A sometime composer and musician, he is also helping her put together an album of spiritually oriented songs in her spare time.
The “Best of Broadway” concert is hosted by Saratoga Chamber Orchestra, with whom Matteson recently performed during its Sing-Along Messiah.
The orchestra team really knows how to find talent. It’s the second time that world-class pianist Holland, a Chicago area resident, will be on the island to perform the show.
Holland was the featured artist for the SCO’s 2010 Intermezzo Gala, dazzling guests with his mastery of the piano and “behind-the-scenes” theater stories. He spent many years working in the orchestra pits of Broadway on the original shows of “A Chorus Line,” “La Cage aux Folles,” “Annie,” “Sugar Babies” with Ann Miller and Mickey Rooney, the anniversary production of “Hello, Dolly!” with Carol Channing, and the revival of “The King and I” with Yul Brynner.
In other words, these performers are good enough for Broadway, the standard by which all musical theater is measured.
Tickets for the “Best of Broadway” are $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and youths, and are available at the Book Bay in Freeland, Moonraker Books in Langley, Anchor Books & Coffee in Clinton, and at the door.
Concert proceeds will help support the Saratoga Chamber Orchestra.