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by Michael Portantiere

    They Both Reached for the Gunn!

    Just when you were absolutely certain that every obscure old musical had already been revived in NYC in one form or another -- surprise! On Thursday evening, March 12, the invaluable Collegiate Chorale brought us an extremely rare concert performance of The Firebrand of Florence, the Kurt Weill-Ira Gershwin operetta that only managed 43 Broadway performances in 1945. Featuring the New York City Opera orchestra and presented in the stunningly renovated Alice Tully Hall, the concert starred Nathan Gunn -- the gorgeous baritone who has recently been crossing over from opera to musical theater -- in the central role of artist/babe magnet Benvenuto Cellini, along with the beloved Victoria Clark, David Pittu, Terrence Mann, and a host of other major talents. Here are some pix from the after-party in the upstairs lounge at Tully.


    Nathan Gunn. Benvenuto, Cellini!


    Victoria Clark with the concert's musical director/conductor, Ted Sperling.


    David Pittu with ex-Jersey Boy Daniel Reichard.


    Firebrand director Roger Rees (center) with Reichard and Jersey Boys co-creator Rick Elice.


    The concert's stars (left to right:) Pittu, Terrence Mann, Anna Christy, Clark, and Gunn.

    Friday, March 13, 2009 at 12:22 AM | Item Link

    Michael Portantiere comes to BroadwayStars with more than 30 years' experience as an editor and writer for such media outlets as TheaterMania.com, InTHEATER magazine, and BACK STAGE. He has also contributed articles and reviews to AfterElton.com, Playbill, and Stagebill, and has written notes for several major cast albums. Additionally, Michael is a professional photographer whose pictures have been published by THE NEW YORK TIMES, the DAILY NEWS, and several notable websites. (Visit www.followspotphoto.com for more information.)
    He can be reached at [email protected]

    The last five columns written by Michael Portantiere:

    07/13/2010: Presidential Material

    07/04/2010: Hardy Boy

    06/29/2010: High School Stars

    06/21/2010: Falling in Love Again

    06/17/2010: A Meeting of the 'mos (and Their Friends)

    For a listing of all features written by Michael, click here.