Donnie Kehr’s Rockers On Broadway (their 21st annual event) delivered another knockout show Monday night, at Le Poisson Rouge in the Village, this year celebrating Teen Idols. “Everyone had one” says Kehr, as they hosted a terrific ensemble of acts, and honored Micky Dolenz and Frankie Valli with Lifetime Achievement Awards. Radio-personality Bruce Morrow (Cousin Brucie) was also honored with the Ambassador of Rock award.
Courtney Reed (Jasmine in Aladdin; Carla from In The Heights)began the proceedings with a blazing version of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” that clearly set the right tone for the evening.
Jarrod Spector – the second actor to play Valli in Broadway’s Jersey Boys – wowed the packed house with a medley of “Grease,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” and”Beggin’.”
Spector, who’s currently in Beautiful, (the Carole King play), as songwriter Barry Mann, was off-the-charts and had the SRO crowd (including Stevie Van Zandt and wife Maureen) cheering for more.
Megan Hilty & Brian Gallagher, who were with their 8-week old daughter Viola Philomena Gallagher, delivered an emotional highlight with the Sonny & Cher chestnut “I Got You Babe.” Kehrhimself delivered an impassioned reading of “The Wander,”claiming that for him, Dion was his teen idol.
Kehr, who’s been with The Jersey Boys cast since its inception (and essayed the Norm Waxman role in Clint Eastwood’s movie of the play) was terrific; once again proving his stellar journeyman talents.
Host Ben Cameron, who camped his way through in a most brilliant way, at one point divided the audience into a DebbieGibson-camp and the other into a Tiffany-camp. Interestingly, theTiffany-camp won. PR-man David Salidor, who handles Dolenz, but handled Gibson in her stellar-teen idol days sat with a bemused look on his face, in the audience.
Nick Cordero (Bullets Over Broadway) delivered another show highlight with Prince’s “Purple Rain.”
Dolenz told us that The Monkees plan to lay low in 2015 and plan a major 50th anniversary tour with surviving band-mates Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork the year after.
Dolenz , with special-guest Peter Tork teamed up for a trio ofMonkees hits — “Last Train to Clarksville,” “I’m a Believer” and”Daydream Believer” — to cap off Monday night’s 21st annual Rockers on Broadway charity concert in New York.
Valli was unable to attend; but, he did send his greeting on a video shown to the crowd.
Seen in the SRO-crowd were PR-powerhouse Randy Alexander; singer Marcus Goldhaber; theatrical manager Michelle Grant, director Jacqueline Hubbard, Jay Fagen, Megan Rice; photographers Bobby Bank and Paul Undersinger; Premiere Radio’s Mike McCann; May Pang; journalist Jan Tuckwood; Jackie Martling;and, show co-producer Cori Gardner. Chris Gilman’s Yerba Buena Perry catered the backstage craft service table … awesome!
Thanks also to Zoe Gorringe and Ellen Joy Voell.
A stellar night.
Photos: Paul Undersinger