OUT ON BROADWAY: THE THIRD COMING Is A Celebration Of Love And Life For All

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New Line Theatre's OUT ON BROADWAY: THE THIRD COMING runs through Aug 19, 2017. From left: Sean Michael, Ken Haller, Keith Thompson, Dominic Dowdy-Windsor and Mike Dowdy-Windsor with Nate Jackson on piano. Photo Credit: Jill Ritter Lindberg

I’ve been covering New Line Theatre for several years running, and the one thing I can always count on is to expect the unexpected. When I heard that director Scott Miller closing his 26th season with Out On Broadway: The Third Coming, I thought to myself, “Hmmm…never heard of the first two comings but I assume it’s about gay actors on Broadway?” and yep, that’s pretty much it. Five musical veterans: Dominic Dowdy-Winsor, his real-life husband Mike Dowdy-Windsor, Ken Haller, Sean Michael, and Keith Thompson, along with Nate Jackson on the piano, cover a range of songs from a wide variety of musicals. It’s not a musical in and of itself as it doesn’t have a plot; it’s more of a revue, a five-part cabaret without the introspection between numbers. It’s as stripped down to the bone as a New Line production will likely ever get, and that’s perfectly fine, because the music is pretty great.

“The Third Coming” is a tongue-in-cheek double entendre, and as cheesy as this revue gets. While there isn’t a lot of acting in terms of large movements and spoken dialogue, this quintet paints a picture of gay life and love through a thoughtfully arranged sampling of show tunes ranging from “You’re Gonna Love Tomorrow” from Follies to “You’ll Be Back” from Hamilton. Some of the songs are humorous, some are sweet and tender, and many, I assume, weren’t originally presented as necessarily being a “gay song” in their original shows. I say “I assume” because, surprisingly enough, the only song in the entire performance I’ve ever heard before was performed by New Line’s own Sarah Porter when she sang “Nothing Like You’ve Ever Known” from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tell Me On a Sunday. It stands to reason, of course, that songs about a childhood friend, a boy friend, or a husband are perfectly appropriate for any gender to perform.

And sing they do, most impressively. Sean Michael’s higher range and Keith Thompson’s lower octaves served as bookends for Ken Haller and the Dowdy-Windsors when everyone sang together. Sean’s earnest voice filled the room on the aforementioned Hamilton number and “Children Will Listen” from Into the Woods.  Ken Haller was in fine form on “Just Like Our Parents” from The Ballad of Little Mikey and “In My Own Lifetime” from The Rothchilds, and played marvelously with Keith Thomson on “Bosom Buddies” from Mame. Keith showed a lot of range throughout the night, showing a sweetly comedic style on “A Trip to the Library” from She Loves Me, and turning up his internal bass for “You Can Always Count On Me” from City of Angels and  “One of the Good Guys” from Closer Than Ever. Mike was his usual playful self on “Kindergarten Boyfriend” from Heathers and brought down the house along with the rest of the fine fellows with “You Are the Light,” from Metropolis. Husband Nick seems to double in talent every time I see him perform, and he had the audience laughing with “Mrs. Remington” from The Story of Us and emotionally connected on “Not My Father’s Son” from Kinky Boots and “Stars and the Moon” from Songs for a New World. I’ve enjoyed chatting with Mike Dowdy-Windsor over the years after New Line Shows, and was thrilled for both he and Dominic when they tied the knot. I had pretty high hopes of seeing them paired up on stage but my lofty expectations were completely blown away by the dashing duo’s gripping, even eye-watering rendition of “Unusual Way” from Nine and their side-splittingly funny and extremely wordy (for Mike anyway) “Fine” from Ordinary Days.

Mike Dowdy-Windsor and Dominic Dowdy-Windsor Photo Credit: Jill Ritter Lindberg

While I may not have known many of the songs performed in this production, I enjoyed the imagery and scenes they evoked in the careful order they are presented in, creating a whole new context for many favorites other musical fans may already enjoyed. I certainly felt the joy of the performers, especially the Dowdy-Windsor family when they performed together.  As a straight man, there were no moments lost on me because I don’t “get” gay culture. That’s the biggest takeaway from Out on Broadway: The Third Coming—there really isn’t that much difference between hetero or gay couple in love. Love is just love, That’s why you can pick songs from all over the musical map and still feel the relevance and the emotion even if they’re sang by or to a different gender than originally performed. If anything, I’d say this production would appeal mostly to well-versed fans of musical theatre as much as appealing to your romantic preferences.

Find out for yourself by visiting www.NewLineTheatre.com and then head down to The Marcelle Theatre three blocks behind Powell Hall at 3310 Samuel Shepard Drive for an evening of great music for everyone! Out on Broadway: The Third Coming runs from now through August 19, 2017. While you’re there, order season tickets for the upcoming 27th season, which includes Lizzie, Anything Goes and Yeast Nation. 

4.5 / 5.0