Special Episode #2: I’m so thrilled to be joined today by the uber-talented and outrageously foxy Michael McElroy. You probably remember his stand-out, Tony-nominated performance as Jim in the Deaf West/Roundabout revival of Big River a few seasons ago. Or perhaps you have been enjoying his fantastic performances on the original cast recordings of Michael John LaChiusa’s The Wild Party or Violet or Blue or Tommy. Or maybe you watched him in the Chenoweth/Lupone Candide telecast (with Yours Truly). Or maybe you’re a fan of The Broadway Inspirational Voices, the gospel choir that he founded and directs. Or maybe you heard his killer gospel arrangement of Sondheim’s “Sunday” for Billy Porter’s CD, At the Corner of Broadway and Soul. Or maybe you just like checking out pictures of his cute self. No matter how you slice it, he comes up delicious and nutricious.
For this second special episode, I’m breaking tradition. Instead of a performance recorded live at my piano, I’m using a recording from a concert of my music presented at Birdland on November 20th, 2006. The song, “Vonce,” like “Man in the Moon,” is a spec song I wrote this past summer to audition to be the composer/lyricist of a new musical. (I’m currently working on that show, although I’m still not at liberty to discuss it freely.) It’s unlikely that this song will end up in the show, but I wanted to share it with you all, because Michael sings it so beautifully. As it is a jazz tune, I felt that this concert recording with band was a much better way to present the song. Michael and I got amazing support that night from Todd Groves on sax, Peter Donovan on bass, and Sean McDaniel on drums. (The interview with Michael was recorded 1/13/07.)