Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Noah Racey, A Contemporary Song and Dance Man

Today's guest Blogger is Joe Mader.  Joe has written on theater and film for a variety of publications, including Salon.com, the San Francisco Weekly, the San Francisco Examiner, and the Hollywood Reporter. He served as managing director and producer for a Worcester, Massachusetts theater company for two years.  For 42nd Street Moon, he previously stage managed Peddling Rainbows, Girl Crazy, and Very Warm For May, the company's last three annual fundraising galas, and our first entries in Moon’s Salon Series:  Nice Work If You Can Get It: An Ira Gershwin Salon and I Feel a Song Coming On: A Dorothy Fields Salon.

Noah Racey as Charley Wykeham

I first saw Noah Racey perform in 2004 when he played the title role in the Goodspeed Opera House’s production of the terrific musical farce (with songs by Frank Loesser) Where’s Charley?

The astonishing thing about Racey was that, as the plot and the show got crazier and crazier, as Charley had to slip in out of that damn dress with increasing haste, as the lies being upheld became more and more preposterous and hilarious, Racey’s Charley became more and more delighted with it all.

And the truly great thing was that Racey did too.

Racey is a consummate performer who delights in giving an audience pleasure. He is also one of the best dancers on Broadway.

In Curtains, opposite his And All That Jazz co-star, Karen Ziemba, Racey was the third or fourth lead, but when he danced, you couldn’t take your eyes off him.

He moves with an unbelievable ease and fluidity. Like having just seen a Gene Kelly movie (yes, I said it), you can’t help but try out a few steps in the foyer or the sidewalk or the parking lot after seeing Racey perform. (That’s when, of course, you realize just how much hard work goes into that seeming ease.)

Check out some of Noah's moves with the New York Tap Ensemble (of which he is the Founding Artistic Director)

I am crushed to have missed both him and Ziemba in Never Gonna Dance, which by most accounts was two hours or so of bliss, and I was unable to get to New York to see him in the recent off-Broadway production of Earnest in Love, also reported to be incredibly charming.

Noah and Karen Ziemba in Never Gonna Dance

I did see him steal the show in the latest incarnation of the Broadway by the Year franchise that played at Broadway by the Bay. The joy and skill he brings to performing is infectious. An increasing number of people are learning that Noah Racey is reason enough to see a show, any show.

Karen and Noah in rehearsal for On Broadway!
Once again paired with Ziemba -- also one of the best dancers on Broadway -- performing the songs of Kander for this 42nd Street Moon show, I am thrilled to be working with them as stage manager. Moon audiences are in for a treat.

And All That Jazz: A John Kander Salon
Starring Karen Ziemba and Noah Racey

At the Alcazar Theatre, 650 Geary Street
One Night Only!
January 27th, 7 PM

More information, click here.

For tickets call (415) 255-8207, or click here.

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