Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Guest reviewer (Hollywood and theatre expert) Bill Doty says $178 ticket to see Josh Groban & Sarah McLachlan at Starlight was over the full moon worth it.

Sarah McLachlan, the Arms of the Angel singer  (sorry it's a fuzzy image!)

My celebrated and worldly friend, Bill Doty, is the only man I know who saw "Les Mis" on Broadway (not Theatre League) 21 times, and paid for each ticket.  He has returned to PV from his careers in Hollywood (publicist for Merv Griffin Show for years) and his second act, National Archives, and is now a playwright, "Children of the April Rain", about the airlift of the Vietnam orphan babies...which is having its 8th reading in the NYC area in September.   Last night, Doty went to Starlight Theatre to see and hear Josh Groban's concert with Sarah McLachlan.  Here is his review.


Incomparable.  Irishman, Foy Vance got cheering approval from the all but sold out audience (all upscale parking was sold out – we had to enter from the west and park on the grass); 

Sarah McLachlan is gorgeous beyond belief, composes brilliantly, plays (I counted) four instruments at least and sings like an angel.  

That description was used again for Josh Groban by the bully who punched him out in school!
Josh Groban, final tour before he opens on Broadway this November

  Vance opened, McLachlan began the show – and then Mr. Groban did an entire show after the Intermission.  I knew he would be the best, but even that was doubled or tripled.  The stage was set in black with his six chandeliers – (“Oh, here comes Josh with his six chandeliers!”) but then the shock of the entire stage, lights on, profusely – alive with a full upstage screen and otherworldly projections – clouds wafting by a full moon, a multi-era scrapbook of paintings, objective and abstract – perfectly timed.  

Wham – Josh, dressed in black jeans as though he’d just happened by (and participated in everything on stage, including a drum solo) and the reveal – The Kansas City Festival Orchestra and charts that would make history – (supported by Webster University Chamber Singers),  thundering accompaniments, the orchestra challenging Groban, in songs from musicals, tunes in French and Portuguese, duets with his openers (a “Bridge Over Troubled Water” with Irish rocker Foy Vance that would make us forget SM&JG); a ballad with McLachlan – a once  in anytime pairing of legendary voices. 

Throughout,  Groban would approach the inevitable scary high note – shave it just a little (appearing to have substituted a modulation/change to cover a lurking inability to make the impossible reach) and then he would soar higher! 

I’ve seen “Les Mis...” 21 times and Groban’s “Bring Him Home” was better than any – ever.  Nobody dares to sing “Over the Rainbow” in the wake of Garland – yet--he announced that he had “a cold beer and burnt ends waiting on the bus” and then stopped the show with it.  

Critics must be reserved and even the Star went crazy (for them)!  This was a theatre show, an international show, and a debut of a ballad from his upcoming Broadway debut. 

As classy as classy could be.
I’ll skip seeing a few local shows until I’ve recovered financially from investing $178!  It was worth it.
--Bill Doty


  1. Wow, Bill. Wish I'd known...and had the spare $178 to invest in a ticket. But you shared it so well, I feel like I WAS there. Isn't it nice when one spends money not knowing, and it turns out to be so worth it! Thanks. You're a skilled writer. No wonder you're now a playwright.

  2. I agree it was incomparable! I've searched high and low through the depths of the inter web for the name of the song Vance sang as he opened. Any guesses?

  3. I've searched the depths of the inter web for the name of the song Vance sang as he opened. Do you know what it was?

  4. I asked Bill Doty about your question and here is his reply:
    (that's the kind of expertise and in depth research one gets from someone who worked ten years for the National Archives!)
    I do not know the name of the first song Vance sang as he opened – and, as an Irish rocker, we may not particularly know it. However here is his website: it has his manager.

    Also, here is a site of his songs and a lot of YouTube – perhaps he will recognize the one heard.


  5. Subsequently, after spending many hours on the internet at last We have uncovered an individual that definitely does know what they are discussing many thanks a great deal wonderful post.


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