There's Broadway, Off-Broadway, and then there's Off-Off-Broadway.
With about 2,000 miles separating Durango and the Great White Way, it's safe to say we're in the Off-Off" category.
But fear not - for those who might've missed the best musical offerings of the last century or so here in the Wild
West, Neil Berg's 100 Years of Broadway" offers all a chance to catch up in just about two hours.
Berg is a fixture on Broadway, lending his writing and composing skills to a slew of productions, including Heidi,"
The Man Who Would be King" and Grumpy Old Men." His latest musical is The 12, a rock opera-style show based on the
disciples of Jesus that picks up where Jesus Christ Superstar" ended.
100 Years" is like CliffsNotes for the stage show-deprived. Or maybe Broadway for Dummies." Regardless, Berg's show
covers the best of the best, performed by five bona fide Broadway stars with a full band.
Among the 30 songs on the bill are Some Enchanted Evening" from South Pacific," Impossible Dream" from Man of La
Mancha" and Sherry" from Jersey Boys." Other shows sampled include Cats," Phantom of the Opera," Wicked," Rent"
and many more.
Berg employs a rotating cast of performers for 100 Years," which is in the midst of a national tour. For the Durango
show, the cast, with notable credits, is Carter Calvert (It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues," Always ... Patsy Cline),Robert DuSold (The Producers," Les Miserables"), Rob Evan (Jekyll & Hyde," Little Shop of Horrors"), Tamra
Hayden (Les Miserables," Fiddler on the Roof") and Danny Zolli (Jesus Christ Superstar").
Thursday's show also will have a splash of local color.
The producers invite local performers in each city in which the show plays to audition for a spot onstage alongside the
professional cast. Auditions were held electronically, submitted via YouTube, and four local hopefuls were
Runners-up Emma Buchanan, Shanon White and Taylor Khlady will perform in the chorus during a yet-to-be-announced
number, and winner Rachel Saul Pollack will perform a solo during the show's finale.
Pollack, a Fort Lewis College music major who moved to Durango from Tulsa, Okla. last summer, will sing Seasons of
Love" from Rent.
As a newcomer, Pollack hopes to use Thursday's performance as an ad hoc audition to hook up with a local jazz or blues
band. She's memorized the song, but will have only a little more than an hour to rehearse with the band Thursday
Fortunately, I'm used to improv situations, but you never know how it'll turn out with only a few run-throughs," she
said. I know the words, but it's always nice to rehearse with the musicians.
More than anything, I'm just happy they picked me, and I'm really excited."