After getting to interview Jane Lynch for the Dallas Observer, Dallas Summer Musicals offered me two tickets to DSM Best of Broadway Gala, which she was hosting.
Knowing the show would also feature Matthew Morrison (Mr. Scheuster on Glee) and Shoshana Bean (the first woman who dared to fill Idina Menzel’s shoes as Elphaba in Wicked, was in the original cast of Hairspray as Shelley, and has played my personal favorite, Fanny Brice in Funny Girl), I invited the person I’ve geeked out with for years over both Wicked and Glee, my sister.
We dressed up and were very excited.
The article with the interview of Jane explains the event and its purpose better, but basically it’s a benefit show. But before the show, donors/sponsors (what word do I even use) got to go to a fancy dinner DSM hosted. To be a sponsor, you could donate anywhere from $1,000 to $50,000. These people were loaded.
The show started out with that big “WOOOAAAAAH” *BOOM* from The Greatest Showman, done by some local high school theater kids. Then, none other than Jane Lynch herself walked out in the red coat and top had and mimicked Hugh Jackman’s opening number, “The Greatest Show.”
Yeah. I saw Jane Lynch perform the opening to The Greatest Showman.
Lynch was charming, but added a couple very Sue Sylvester-y quips by yelling at the kids to get off stage, but she was mostly nice.
She introduced Shoshana Bean, who came out in the most dazzling sparkly dress ever. If I were a Broadway diva performing a set, that dress is exactly what I would wear.
She was extraordinary. Her voice had strength and texture and her range was impeccable. She sang a few jazz numbers with the band and was super fun to watch. She maybe sang two pitchy notes but she was close to flawless. I am now a big Shoshana fan. I even gushed to her on Instagram.
Then, the queen left the stage.
Here is where the technical difficulties came in.
There were some problems with the mics and a stage hand had to actually come out and unplug mics and chords right in front of Jane Lynch. Lynch, however, being a professional, pointed at him and said, “Showbusiness, everyone.”
Jane introduced Matthew Morrison, her sworn enemy for years on the show, and the two hugged onstage. It was a little weird.
Matt did his thing. He was pretty good, he sang and danced. He was Mr. Scheuster through and through.
My sister rolled her eyes. She’s always hated his character on TV because he’s so freaking dramatic. I thought his performance was okay. He was off tempo every once in a while but no one can doubt he was born to be a performer. But it really just felt like an episode of Glee. Watch literally any scene where Will Scheuster had a fedora and that’s pretty much what we saw.
But my eyes weren’t on Matthew Morrison. They were on the guy at the piano.
I kept poking my sister. “I think that’s Brad.” I whispered.
In Glee, every time someone sings in the choir room, there’s a random guy who always plays the piano. And he never spoke. Just, every episode, he was there. Playing the piano to back up whatever dramatic number one of the characters were performing. I think he spoke once the whole show, and they called him Brad.
And I was right. After insisting and insisting to my sister that it was him, Matthew verified “Some of you might know Brad…” HA.
Matt was in Hairspray, and when he said “I played Link,” I said, “Of course you did.” He did a pretty impressive mashup of all the best songs from the musical, talking us through and summarizing the smash hit within a matter of minutes. It was really good. Then he walked offstage and told us to have a good night. That means he’s done, right?
Then there was a super awkward pause. Did something go wrong? Luckily, Brad kept the band playing, but it seemed like no one knew what was going on.
Then Matthew Morrison awkwardly came back onstage, and performed “Singin’ in the Rain” complete with an umbrella. I don’t know what happened. Maybe he was waiting for us to yell for an encore? Did he forget he still had another song? Super awkward. His last number was good, though.
On all the ads for the event, only Jane, Matthew, and Shoshandra were shown. But they said to expect a surprise guest. Who will it be?
It was Joshua Henry, the guy who played Aaron Burr in Hamilton’s first US tour. I hadn’t heard of him, but to hear one of the first to play a huge role in one of the biggest musicals of all time was a real treat.
Also, for those who follow me on Instagram, (@isagram.98, *shameless plug*) ya’ll would know that I saw Ed Sheeran the week before. Ed did a cover of Michael Bublé’s “Feeling Good,” and it was pretty good. But Henry blew it out of the water.
Joshua Henry’s voice was one of the strongest I’ve heard in my life. His cover of “Feeling Good” was 10x better than what Ed Sheeran did the week before, I’m telling you. And that’s saying a lot, because I love Ed.
We thought that was it, right? Two Broadway stars and a surprise Broadway star. But no.
After a short break, Jane Lynch’s voice called out, “This is the voice of God.”
She then announced that none other than Loren Allred, the voice behind the song “Never Enough” from the greatest Showman…
…yes, that song, was here to perform. And yes, the actress of Jenny Lind didn’t actually sing the song in the movie. I don’t know why they didn’t just get Loren to play her, but will we ever understand the movie industry?
The stunning Loren Allred, the voice behind The Greatest Showman’s “Never Enough,” came out to belt the song and it was incredible. Flawless. Better than it was in the movie. I was dying.
*que shaky, kinda illegal video someone took that I found on Insta:
Okay, it was also kind of awkward because right as Allred came out, Jane Lynch’s mic wasn’t muted so we heard her cracking jokes offstage as the singer was about to begin. But we’ll try to forget that happened.
Then, the last song.
Four high schoolers from one of the programs we were benefiting came out and sang the first couple lines to “This is Me” from the Greatest Showman. They were actually pretty impressive. A few other high school students came out to sing and dance and they were less impressive, but I can understand being off tempo and scared when you’re not a seasoned Broadway star.
I didn’t know I needed to hear the voice of Jenny Lind, Aaron Burr from Hamilton, Elphaba from Wicked, Mr. Scheuster, and Sue Sylvester sing “This is Me” until I heard it. There were still a couple technical difficulties, but it was kinda epic.
Straight out of an episode of Glee.
(Shaky *illegal lol* video someone took that I found on Instgram)