- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 29, 2002

The showstopping tunes of Broadway resonated throughout Union Station yesterday afternoon.
"New York Loves America: The Broadway Tour" performed a free 45-minute musical revue to demonstrate Broadway's appreciation for the support received after the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
"We decided a bunch of us should go on the road, sing and dance and make people feel better," said award-winning actress Sandy Duncan.
Jed Bernstein, president of the League of American Theatres and Producers in New York City, opened the D.C. show by presenting a fire helmet to William Fitzgerald, one of the District's deputy fire chiefs. The helmet came from Engine 54, a New York City firehouse that lost 15 men.
Although New York City and Washington differ in many ways, Mr. Bernstein said the cities would forever be linked because of the tragedy of September 11, in which a hijacked plane was also flown into the Pentagon.
"We couldn't pick up the Statute of Liberty and drag it around," he said from a stage erected near America Restaurant. "Instead, we decided to bring New York's most famous export, Broadway."
Broadway veterans Ruthie Henshall, Michael Mulheren, Paige Price and Keith Byron Kirk sang tunes from musicals such as "Rent," "Chicago," "Mama Mia," "The Full Monty," "One Mo' Time" and "Oklahoma." The group is traveling to 14 cities across the country in 16 days. The five took the stage Sunday in an elementary school in tiny Broadway, N.C., and will appear tomorrow at Harborplace in Baltimore.
Mr. Kirk's rendition of "Music of the Night" from "The Phantom of the Opera" received a great reception, along with Mr. Mulheren's version of "Mr. Cellophane" from "Chicago." Miss Price led "I Dreamed a Dream" from "Les Miserables," whose lyrics describe the loss of innocence.
Children rushed to the front of the stage for Miss Duncan's signature piece, "Never Never Land," from "Peter Pan."
Guy Kolb, 52, from Woodbridge, who helped crowd the hall, said he liked Miss Henshall's performance of "Cabaret" the most. He had come to Union Station solely for the concert. "Ruthie Henshall singing 'Cabaret' was perfect," he said. "It's the perfect voice for the perfect song. She has the perfect accent, too."
After the show, Miss Henshall said that traveling in the tour had been different from any other of her performances. A camaraderie had developed among the ensemble.
"These are fantastic people," Miss Henshall said. "No one has an ego."
While talking with fans, Mr. Mulheren said performing in Washington felt "a little odd" because the D.C. area shared in the suffering of September 11.
Mr. Mulheren enjoys trying to convince people to visit Broadway. "We're still kicking," he said. "Come on back and see us. Get in a plane. Do whatever you want to do. We can't let anyone dictate our lives."
In between signing autographs, Miss Price said the advance ticket sales for Broadway shows were down 15 percent.
"We had a decent holiday season, but everyone is more nervous about the future," she said. "We want tourists to come back."
For more information, visit www.ilovenytheater.com.

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