Bima to Broadway is an entertaining and informative musical journey covering my connection to and love for both Jewish and Broadway music. It would be more accurate to describe Mark’s career as Broadway to Bima since he started on the Broadway stage at the age of 8 and moved into the cantorial world later in life…sort of a “reverse jazz singer” but both worlds are linked and many artists have traversed both.
While performing the music from these diverse musical, cultural, and spiritual worlds, Mark discusses the tunes; who wrote them, what shows they are from, as well as looking at the eclectic nature of both Jewish and Broadway music. Typically he accompanies keyboard, although he performs many songs acapella and also invite the audience to participate on many occasions. Mark loves to talk about how Jewish and liturgical musical have a theatrical flavor and that theatrical music, at its highest level, is spiritual. Many people are also not aware of the fact that some of the most popular and “classic” broadway and standard popular tunes were written by Jewish composers. That’s a whole discussion in and of itself.
Typically Mark will perform a one hour show comprised of music that fits the needs of an audience. He has performed “Bima to Broadway” for the JCC Seniors group, for Hadassah, as well as performed the program for younger groups as well. If the group is not Jewish then he will most likely sing more Standard and Broadway tunes and not put as much emphasis on the Jewish songs. Having performed in many musicals over the years on Broadway, off Broadway, as well as in stock/tour productions, he feel very close to the musical genre” and very comfortable focusing my performance in that direction.
Coming up on his 40th year in show biz (but remember he started when he was 8), he has been blessed to have learned and to have enjoyed performing a pretty extensive repertoire of music. Recently, he performed Jewish and Broadway tunes for the first half of a musical program and spent the 2nd half singing more contemporary tunes from the likes of Billy Joel, Carole King, James Taylor, Elton John and other contemporary artists at the synagogue where I serve as cantor. Mark has “tapped into something” that resonates for folks of all ages and from a variety of backgrounds.