Broadway on the Beach held audiences rapt attention with its cabaret-like, Las Vegas circa the Rat-Pack-years ambiance, abundant humor, personal stories, and expertly sung and played musical selections.
A specially erected, waterfront tent at the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort served as an elegant stand-in for the supper clubs of yesteryear. The four-night run marked not just the Broadway on the Beach’s Marco debut, but its world premiere, as well.
The beach setting, much less holding the inaugural performance on the island, was a natural given the many visits four of the performers; Patrick Mulvey and his cousin Conner Meinhart, Meinhart’s wife, Rachel and Mulvey’s wife, Marika Engelhardt, the show’s producer, have made to Marco over the years.
Mulvey and Conner Meinhart’s grandparents have had a home on the island since the performers were children. They, along with Rachel Meinhart, all possess impressive backgrounds as musical theater professionals. The foursome all collaborated on creating “Broadway on the Beach,” which features Broadway and Jazz standards, stories and a unique glimpse into show business, family style.
Selections were mined from Broadway musical favorites old and new, such as “Showboat,” “Guys and Dolls,” “Les Miserables,” “Anastasia” and “Dear Evan Hansen.” Mixed in was some Sinatra: “One For My Baby (One More for the Road),” the Carole King standard “You’ve Got A Friend,” the Drifters “Save the Last Dance for Me,” and other pop hits.
Musical accompanists Colte Julian, on piano, and drummer-guitarist Jeremy Gentry also had the opportunity to show off their vocal chops for the audience, which included members of Mulvey and Meinhart’s family at one performance.
When the last note had faded to memory, the performers left the stage to mingle with the audience.
Mulvey was ecstatic at the close of the second show.
“We’ve had the best time over the last few days and we’re so excited for the next couple days,” he said. “We feel like the show has really gone off without a hitch and the people who’ve come have been an absolute pleasure. We can’t wait until we come back and put on another show.”
John Todd of Marco came away thoroughly impressed.
“I thought the show was absolutely wonderful. It was an electrifying performance,” he said. “They’re very talented people who obviously like what they do and it was a wonderful evening.”