Hey Big Spender! The Cy Coleman Songbook

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This weekend The Musical Theater Project and Cleveland Jazz Orchestra team for “Hey, Big Spender! The Cy Coleman Songbook.” The multimedia presentation will showcase Coleman’s popular hits, including “Witchcraft” and “The Best is Yet to Come,” along with songs from his Broadway musicals, including “Sweet Charity.” The shows at the Hanna Theater are set for Saturday at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

The collaboration, which is third between the two organizations, allows each group to reach out to the fans of the other, according to Musical Theater Project’s artistic director Bill Rudman.

“I have a musical theater audience, and Paul has a jazz audience. We have found really cool ways to put programming together that attracts both of those audiences and create what we call synergy,” Rudman said.

The project is a perfect musical match for both, because Coleman was both a brilliant composer and an accomplished jazz pianist. CJO artistic director Paul Ferguson says Coleman’s jazz chops make their presence felt in his music, giving his songs a swinging, finger-popping quality. “

Cy played with jazz trios and quartets, so I think you write differently, probably especially rhythmically, if you are used to playing in a jazz combo,” Ferguson said.

Hear Dan Polletta's interview with Rudman and Ferguson Wednesday at 12:33 p.m. and 1:50 p.m. on 90.3 WCPN during Here and Now featuring the Sound of Applause or listen to the podcast above.

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