Jacob Warren may have one of the best promotional tales ever. He went to see a show and liked it so much he not only became the show’s biggest cheerleader, he left his job in the medical field to become a co-owner of the production.
By phone, he tells this story while driving from the airport to a Broadway Boys show. Early next week, Warren and the Broadway Boys will be making their way to Valdosta where they perform as the opening show in the Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts Presenter Series 2013-14 season.
The Broadway Boys present Broadway tunes in six-part harmony in a production where the male singers share their personal stories while presenting both old-time Broadway show tunes, modern show tunes and everything in between, in a contemporary style.
Warren describes the show as presenting something for the audience members who are long-time Broadway aficionados as well as the audiences who know little about Broadway. The show’s repertoire includes anything that has ever been part of a Broadway show.
“It could be a song as old and as well known as ‘Edelweiss’ or as new as ‘Kinky Boots,’” Warren says. Or it could be a song from “Wicked,” or a Billy Joel or John Lennon song because their music has been part of Broadway shows.
The Broadway Boys have also been part of Broadway shows. The production has a rotating stable of 24 performers. The show uses six performers at a time. Often, when these performers are not touring with the Broadway Boys, they are performing in a show on Broadway. When their Broadway run ends, many a performer returns to the Broadway Boys. This method keeps the performers employed while allowing them to explore other career opportunities; it also adds prestige to the Broadway Boys because producers can tout the Broadway credentials of their performers.
This combination attracted Warren to the Broadway Boys show about five years ago.
Working as a licensed medical health counselor, Warren says he grew up in a household that appreciated music but he never had a real interest in it. In Orlando, Fla., his friends reluctantly dragged him to a concert.
He thought his friends were taking him to a Backstreet Boys concert. He had no interest in attending but his friends talked him into going. At the venue, Warren noticed about 200 seats. He commented to his friends, referring to the number of seats, that the Backstreet Boys had really fallen on hard times. His friends corrected him: not the Backstreet Boys but the Broadway Boys.
Hearing this, Warren says he mistakenly believed the show would be children singing show tunes. He sat down expecting a long, miserable evening.
Of course, he discovered the Broadway Boys are professional adult performers. Warren was enchanted by the show. He loved it. He met the artistic director after the show. Warren stayed in touch. Twelve months later, five years ago, Warren became a co-owner in the Broadway Boys.
Now, the man who had never attended a show attends every show that plays Broadway. He travels with the Broadway Boys, and brings them to towns like Valdosta, with the hope new audiences will be enchanted, entertained and transformed by the magic of the Broadway Boys.
Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts Presenter Series presents the Broadway Boys.
When: 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 7.
Where: Mathis City Auditorium, 2300 N. Ashley St.
Reservations, more information: Call (229) 247-2787; visit turnercenter.org or the arts center, 527 N. Patterson St.