Photo by Peter Hurley.

Norm Lewis kicks off BTG’s season of Broadway Concerts

Norm Lewis; photo by Peter Hurley.

Berkshire Theatre Group (BTG) welcomes audiences under their outdoor tent for Norm Lewis: In Concert.  

The tent is located adjacent to The Colonial Theatre at 111 South St. Pittsfield, MA.

Norm Lewis is among the Broadway favorites performing concerts to add to BTG’s summer theatre season. He has had a long career in musical theatre on both the stage and the screen.

Lewis was most recently seen starring in the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Critics Choice and NAACP Image Award-nominated Netflix film Da 5 Bloods by Spike Lee, and also in the Hulu miniseries, Mrs. America.

Lewis was seen in the NBC television special, Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert! alongside John Legend, Sara Bareilles, and Alice Cooper.

He has also recently been seen in the Broadway revival of Once on This Island and has played famous roles such as Sweeney in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Javert in Les Misérables and the iconic role of Porgy in The Gershwins’: Porgy and Bess.

Lewis was the first African American to play The Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway.

Lewis is the first African American man to play the Phantom on Broadway, here he is singing the Music of the Night with Sierra Boggess as Christine

BTG has a strong lineup of famed Broadway performers playing concerts this summer season.

These include Carolee Carmello performing on July 9th followed by Krysta Rodriguez appearing on July 10th.  BTG rounds out the season with performances by Stephanie J. Block on Aug. 21st and Kate Baldwin and Graham Rowat on Aug.28th and ends the season with Rachel Bay Jones performing on Sep.4th.

Refreshments were available before the concert for purchase in the BTG lobby. The concert was sold out as the tent seated around 150 patrons.

Lewis entered the stage full of excitement and proceeded to take the audience through a timeline of his varied stage and screen career.

He had friendly banter with the audience and shared that his love of music started with watching crooners on variety shows.

Lewis incorporated several genres to his set list by performing a mix of of jazz standards and musical theatre classics.

His dynamic performance of Music of the Night from Phantom of the Opera was a favorite for the audience as well as his curated selections from Les Misérables, both getting standing ovations.

Lewis’s strong baritone voice was a hit with the audience and showed his beautiful falsetto vocal range in both the Music of the Night and Bring him Home. 

While taking audiences down memory lane, Lewis also talked about co-stars and friends who have shaped his career to-date.

Gregg Edelman, a fellow Broadway performer and friend, was called on to the stage and they performed a heartwarming rendition of the duet You’re Nothing Without Me from City of Angels.

Perhaps one of the best moments of the show was when Lewis and Edelman bantered back and forth about the life of a performer, the thrill of getting nominated for a Tony, and the reality of not getting it.

Concluding the show, Lewis stood in front of the microphone and said, “I have two words for you all: Stephen Sondheim.”

Sondheim is one of musical theatre’s most highly regarded composers to-date. Lewis concluded with Sondheim’s No One is Alone from Into the Woods, a fitting finale for an audience that was able, once again, to share the enjoyment of a live musical performance.

* A portion of the ticket sales to this event are donated to The Actors Fund and Black Theatre United.

Isabel Costa, Intern

Isabel is thrilled to be joining The Greylock Glass for its summer season. Isabel got her start in journalism by enrolling in Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts(MCLA) English Communication Department.  Isabel has worked extensively on The Beacon, the student run newspaper at MCLA doing Arts and Entertainment. Isabel has a rich art history as she attended the University of the Arts located in Philadelphia and majored in musical theatre.  Isabel spreads her growing love for art by teaching students as well as directing plays and musicals. Isabel hopes to bring a new and exciting aspect to the art field in her time at The Greylock Glass.

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