Joey Sack ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff
Baritones Unbound: Celebrating the Uncommon Voice of the Common Man takes a look at the history of the baritone voice, from its “birth” in 1816 until today (or until very recently, because, as they put it, the baritone is quickly becoming “an endangered species”). The cast stars co-creator Marc Kudisch, Merwin Foard, and Jeff Mattsey as the three singers, with Timothy Splain as their pianist. All three baritones in this show have been involved in different Broadway shows and operas over their careers, and it shows in their performances, all of which are phenomenal.
Starting with songs from operas such as Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Gioachino Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, which had the first official appearance of the baritone voice, the four-person cast of the show sings, plays and informs through the early years of the baritone voice. Throughout the show, the songs that they sang were connected chronologically, as they explored the rise and fall in popularity of the baritone voice. They were listing so many facts that the audience could have taken notes, and as they sang and recounted history, they would also take little jabs at each other, adding a good amount of comedy. The show felt like a comedy show, a history lesson, and a concert all rolled into one.
But the real highlight was when they started singing songs from Broadway shows and from popular baritones of the 1900s. It was a treat to hear songs from shows like Showboat, Man of La Mancha, and Into the Woods, along with popular songs by such baritones as Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and Elvis Presley, to name a few. Without spoiling the final few songs, suffice it to say, they alone are worth the price of admission.
Baritones Unbound is the brainchild of Marc Kudisch, and its run from October 8th until the 20th. If you love Broadway, if you love the male voice, if you love learning about the history of an art, if you love comedy, and if you love all of these things rolled into one, then Baritones Unbound: Celebrating the Uncommon Voice of the Common Man is a must-see event.