Broadway songs bolster ‘I’ve Got a Crush on You’ at QHP


[media-credit name=”Larry Levenson & Quality Hill Playhouse” align=”aligncenter” width=”300″][/media-credit]

By Bob Evans

Originating on Broadway, the music in the current show at Quality Hill Playhouse traces some of the classic American standards from their sometimes forgotten shows to continued recordings and inclusion into the Great American Songbook.

With the help of his vocal cast, Victoria Botero, Christina Burton, and Tim Noland, J. Kent Barnhart celebrates the songs that, in many cases, outlasted the shows where they originated. With Barnhart at the keyboard and his talented drummer and bassist, Ken Remmert and Brian Wilson, the six musical performers create a rich production of familiar Broadway music, guarantee to entertain the Quality Hill Playhouse audiences.

The first show of their season, “I’ve Got a Crush on You” opened Sept. 29 and continues through Oct. 29 in their venue, just off 10th and Broadway, Kansas City, Missouri. Newly obvious to patrons, though, is ongoing construction to expand the lobby area to the east and to the corner of 10th and Wyandotte, which will soon include the bigger, more comfortable lobby area, a horseshoe bar, seating, and a small private room where anticipated pre and post-show food and beverages will be available to attendees.

During the performance, Barnhart explains the opportunity for Quality Hill’s expansion and his anticipation that the enhancements finish in time for their Christmas show opening. He said that at this point, the progress continues on schedule. During the renovation, the lobby area is smaller and does not facilitate the causal meet/greet with performers after shows. However, the new addition will foster opportunity for more interactions after shows…as well as areas for a leisurely dessert after performances.

“I’ve Got a Crush on You” starts with a George M. Cohan standard, “Give My Regards to Broadway” from an early Cohan show, mostly forgotten, unless you watch the oft repeated rebroadcast of Yankee Doodle Dandy each July 4 holiday. From the granddaddy of Broadway songs forward, each ditty originated a show mostly forgotten or seldom produce, but the music lingers on.

Act I features such standards as “It’s Only a Paper Moon,” “The Man I Love,” “Lady Be Good,” “Someone To Watch Over Me,” “I’ve Got a Crush on You,” “The Impossible Dream,” “If He Walked into My Life,” and more. Act II features more of the modern musicals from Broadway whose stand-alone hit made the Top 40 charts and continue to entertain audiences. Some of the songs include: “My Man,” “People,” “Pure Imagination,” “Mack the Knife,” “I Don’t Know How to Love Him,” and more.

For “I’ve Got a Crush on You,” Barnhart selected vocal performers who identified with the music. Usually, big-voiced Tim Noland croons mellow solos, but for this show, he let go with the up tempo “Lady Be Good,” sang the Jerry Orbach song from “The Fantastics,” “Try to Remember,” and then really let go with the swinging Frank Sinatra version of “Three Penny Opera’s” “Mack the Knife,” to the audiences pleasure. The jazzy rendition drew raves from the crowd.

Christina Burton, a regular performer at Quality Hill never fails to deliver a variety of music to the audience. She sang a quiet version of “Sing Low” but also let loose with her powerful voice for “Mame’s” tear-jerking “If He Walked into My Life” and then “My Man,” from Fanny Brice’s Zigfield Follies from the 1930s.

Returning to Quality Hill for this show, Victoria Botero performed several solos to amaze the audience with her beautiful, melodic soprano voice. She sang, “Send in the Clowns,” and the solo hit from “Jesus Christ, Superstar,” “I Don’t Know How to Love Him.”

Along with duets, trios, and quartet numbers, Barnhart manned both keyboard and mic for Elton John’s “Circle of Life,” and “Pure Imagination” from “Willy Wonka” fame. Backed throughout the show, Ken Remmert and Brian Wilson on percussion and bass, never fail to bring a depth and richness to the shows at Quality Hill. Both brought their skills to the forefront with some solo spots in several numbers, and they are always appreciated by the audience.

“I’ve Got a Crush on You” continues through Oct. 29 at Quality Hill Playhouse. Tickets can be purchased in person, by telephone at 816.421.1700 or via the QHP website.


Tags:  Quality Hill Playhouse, “I’ve Got a Crush on You”, Kansas City Theater, Kansas City Performing Arts, Kansas City Arts & Entertainment

[media-credit name=”Quality Hill Playhouse” align=”aligncenter” width=”300″][/media-credit]

1.1700 or via the QHP website.


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