Jamie DeRoy and his friends at the Birdland Jazz Club
Last night an audience of friends gathered at Birdland to spend an evening with everyone’s favorite friend … Jamie deRoy. Jamie introduced a group of his famous Broadway friends to chat and perform at what always turns out to be an exciting evening of world-class entertainment. These variety shows organized, hosted (and also performed) by Ms. deRoy are produced 3 or 4 times a year. The highly anticipated events have been on show for the past 30 years (ahead of 7-year-old Ed Sullivan’s Variety Show) and Jamie thankfully shows no signs of slowing down. This was her first live show since the pandemic and it was quite a Broadway party.
As Sullvan would say, “It was really a great show” as Jamie presented it: Tony Award-winning songwriter Stephen Flaherty, Jelani Alladin (Frozen, Hercules), Christy Altomare (Anastasia, Mamma Mia!), Ali Ewoldt (Phantom, Les Misérables), Cassondra James (Once On This Island), Cory Kahaney (Colbert, Letterman, Conan), Mauricio Martinez (On Your Feet) and Tony Award Winner (A Chorus Line) Donna McKechnie .
All of the performances were special, and Donna McKechnie singing Pleasant Little Kingdom and Stephen Sondheim’s Too Many Mornings was to be one of the most touching segments of the Jamie deRoy & Friends show.
There might be a reason Jamie deRoy’s shows lasted longer than Sullivan’s. Unlike Ed, she’s a pro at presenting and interviewing artists, and I don’t think Ed could’ve sung “Jews Don’t Camp”.
The evening was a profit for The Actors Fund, but all of Jamie’s friends also benefited from being in this audience.
Barry Kleinbort directed and Ron Abel was musical director with Ritt Henn on bass and Ray Marchica on drums.
Photo credit: Stephen Sorokoff