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This Week on Broadway for August 1, 2021: Billy Stritch

Peter Filichia, James Marino, and Michael Portantiere talk with Billy Stritch.


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Panel:

Peter Filichia | peter@broadwayradio.com | Facebook
PETER FILICHIA is a playwright, journalist, and historian with a number of books. His columns appear at Masterworks BroadwayBroadway Select, and many other places.

James Marino | james@broadwayradio.com | Twitter | Facebook
BroadwayStars

Michael Portantiere | michael@broadwayradio.com | Facebook
MICHAEL PORTANTIERE is a theater reviewer and essayist. He is the founder and editor of CastAlbumReviews.com. He is also a theatrical photographer whose photos have appeared in The New York Times and other major publications. You can see his photography work at FollowSpotPhoto.com.

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Guest: Billy Stritch

Billy Stritch – photo by Bill Westmoreland

Billy Stritch: Website | Wikipedia | IBDB | Twitter | Spotify | YouTube | Billy’s Place on Facebook

New Album: Billy’s Place

BILLY STRITCH is one of the premier singer-pianists on the New York and national jazz and cabaret scenes. He began his career in Houston, Texas, where he formed the vocal trio Montgomery, Plant and Stritch. The trio performed all over the world from 1983 until they disbanded in 1990. A chance meeting with Liza Minnelli in 1991 resulted in her asking him to create vocal arrangements for Liza’s record-breaking extravaganza Stepping Out at Radio City. In addition to his 25-year collaboration with as accompanist and opening act for Liza, Billy recently toured with the legendary Tony Bennett as Tony’s pianist and musical director.

A solo entertainer in his own right, he has performed his own shows (including tributes to Mel Tormé and Cy Coleman) in concert halls and nightclubs across the country. Billy also serves as music director for such leading vocalists as Marilyn Maye, Linda Lavin, Linda Eder, Christine Ebersole and Paulo Szot. He is the co-writer of the Grammy Award-winning song “Does He Love You,” recorded by Reba McEntire and Linda Davis. The single reached the number one spot on the Billboard Country music chart, winning a Grammy Award and selling in excess of five million copies along the way.

Billy has arranged music for many top performers and created the arrangements for Minnelli on Minnelli and Liza’s at the Palace, both at Broadway’s famed Palace Theatre. He was also seen on stage playing the role of “Oscar” in the Tony Award-winning Broadway revival of 42nd Street in 2001. During Covid-19, he created his own weekly Facebook live-stream show “Billy’s Place,” celebrating the Great American Songbook with songs and stories from his varied career.


A FIVE-SHOW ENGAGEMENT CELEBRATING HIS NEW ALBUM “BILLY’S PLACE”
AND THE NEW SYMPHONIC SINGLE “ORDINARY MIRACLES” WITH A 46-PIECE ORCHESTRA
NYC CONCERT DATES THURSDAY, AUGUST 5 THROUGH SATURDAY, AUGUST 7
WITH ADDITIONAL NATIONAL TOUR STOPS

Birdland Jazz Club is excited to announce that Grammy Award-nominated pianist, vocalist and songwriter Billy Stritch will return to the stage for an exclusive three-night engagement celebrating his new album Billy’s Place from Club44 Records with five shows from Thursday, August 5 through Saturday, August 7. The run of concerts also commemorates the release of Stritch’s new single, set to be released on Friday, July 16: a lush symphonic version of the album’s song “Ordinary Miracles” – the Marvin Hamlisch and Alan & Marilyn Bergman standard also performed by Barbra Streisand and Nancy LaMott – boasting a 46-piece orchestra. In addition to Stritch on piano and vocals, the Birdland shows will feature Tom Hubbard on bass and Mark McLean on drums. For tickets, please visit BirdlandJazz.com. To stream or download the album, click HERE.

Stritch will also perform selections from the album with tour dates at Crooners Supper Club (Minneapolis, MI) on August 14-15 and Feinstein’s at the Carmichael (Carmel, IN) on August 26. Additional tour dates will be announced at BillyStritch.com.

Hailed as “causal, cool and charming” by Jazz Weekly, the new collection of music Billy’s Place is the first piano-and-vocals album of his career, delivering a deeper level of intimacy and connection than his previous releases. “The song selection was born out of my weekly livestream show ‘Billy’s Place’ that I started during the pandemic,” comments Billy. “I’ve been able to learn and present music by a diverse group of composers, and the songs on the album are many of my favorites from these shows. I was able to include many special songwriters, including Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart (‘Falling in Love with Love’) and Hoagy Carmichael (‘Skylark’), as well as more contemporary writers like Peter Allen (‘Planes’) and my friend Barry Manilow (‘Meet Me, Midnight’).”

Other album highlights include “Billy’s Place,” the original theme song to the online program that inspired the album; “Blue Again,” a new song written by Club44 co-founders Wayne Haun and Joel Lindsey; and the original composition “Since You Left New York,” which Billy penned with his “Does He Love You” co-writer Sandy Knox. “The song is a Valentine to my adopted hometown of New York,” says Billy, “and the lyrics resonate especially well over the last year.”

Stritch will continue his acclaimed virtual program “Billy’s Place” on Thursday nights at 8:00 PM on his Facebook page HERE.

“He not only does it all but he makes it look easy,” raved Stephen Holden in The New York Times. “To be given a full hour of non-stop Billy Stritch song stylings seems like an embarrassment of riches, with his smooth, mellifluous vocal cords wrapped around interpretive storytelling,” wrote Stephen Mosher from BroadwayWorld.com. According to Judi Mann of KDHX-FM in St. Louis, “This seasoned veteran plays and sings masterfully with versatility and absolute certainty. He owns the room, and he knows it!”

Billy Stritch will celebrate the new album Billy’s Place at Birdland Jazz Club on Thursday, August 5 at 7:00 PM; Friday, August 6 at 7:00 PM and 9:30 PM; and Saturday, August 7 at 7:00 PM and 9:30 PM. The cover charge is $30. Birdland Jazz Club is located at 315 West 44th Street (between 8th and 9th Avenues) in Manhattan. For reservations, please call (212) 581-3080 or visit www.BirdlandJazz.com


Does He Love You — subtitled The Bitch Song
Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton re-recorded it recently


Michael: You Are Here, New Commission by Andrea Miller to Animate Lincoln Center Campus as Part of Restart Stages (Through July 30, 2021)

Peter, Book Review: The Big Parade, Meredith Willson’s Musicals from The Music Man to 1491 by Dominic McHugh

Michael, Book Review: Mike Nichols: A Life by Mark Harris

Mike Nichols: IBDB | IMDB

BroadwayRadio Special: Jan Simpson’s 2021 Summer Reading List and Interview with Author, Eddie Shapiro

Might Have Beens: John Patrick Shandley Prodigal Son, film of Master Class with Meryl Streep, film remake of A Little Night Music


Peter’s Trivia Section


Michael’s Musical Moment:

“Lazy Afternoon,” which starts today’s show

“In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening” with Klea Blackhurst, which ends today’s show


Support BroadwayRadio on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/broadwayradio
Patreon listeners get This Week on Broadway first, on Sunday afternoon before it is released to the general public on Sunday evening.

Reviews: 

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Post Script:

Coming Soon:

Explicit: No

Music:

Opening: “Lazy Afternoon”

Middle: “Ordinary Miracles”

Closing: “In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening” with Klea Blackhurst

Other Music: The Lounge from www.bensound.com

Contact Info:

Email addresses: see above in bios

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This Week on Broadway Audio Edit for 8/1/21

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