If anyone doubted the return of Broadway, all they had to do was stop by the Broadway Bar in Nordstrom last night (Hello, it’s 57e & BROADWAY) to see a cavalcade of Broadway stars crack their theatrical hearts during a shindig hosted by PAPER and Nordstrom. PAPER is an OG NYC magazine and although Nordstrom has only been residing in New York for a few years, they are true New Yorkers and love to support their neighbors in the Theater District.
It was the second installment of the Broadway celebration. The first being pre-pandemic 2019. The evening aimed to recreate the fun and energy of a night at Marie’s Crisis, the show’s legendary singing spot in the West Village. Marie’s resident pianist Franca Vercelloni was at the piano, playing Great White Way standards and singing along with glamorous party hostess Peppermint, a former PAPER Beautiful Person and the first trans woman to star on Broadway. Peppermint sang songs from To rent and West Side Story between movies from its oversized fan.
Peppermint kicked off, literally, breaking his heel, sending the folks at Nordstrom scrambling to grab replacement heels from their shoe department. The night’s star singers included Tony Winners Cady Huffman, Lauren Patten and Donna McKechnie as well as Tony Orfeh and Andy Karl nominees as well as “Glee” co-star Telly Leung. Gossip guru Michael Musto programmed the talent and performed, including doing a duet of “If Mama Was Married” by Gypsy with Donna McKechnie, a true theater icon who starred in the original production of A choir line. It was a whole time since Musto wrote a fan letter to McKechnie in 1975 and now … he was singing with her. Musto says, “As a longtime admirer of Donna, I discovered that the best way to sing along with her was to pretend it was someone else. If I had stopped realizing that it was Donna McKechnie I was duoing with, I would have started throwing up and I couldn’t have continued!
Musto also wrapped up the night with Telly Leung, recreating the famous duo Judy Garland-Barbra Streisand from “Happy Days Are Here Again / Get Happy” and that’s certainly true judging by the wacky crowd singing along with all of their favorites from Broadway.
Photography: Liam Canning
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