Broadway Inspirational Voices (BIV) PRESENTS the fourth installment in “Broadway Our Way,” with Michael McElroy’s arrangement of “Everybody Says Don’t” from Anyone Can Whistle by Stephen Sondheim.
In the fourth video in this continuing series, BIV director and founder, Michael McElroy, brings BIV’s extraordinary sound to “Everybody Says Don’t”, from the musical Anyone Can Whistle. This video offers an energetic, uplifting arrangement by Mr. McElroy and is introduced by one of BIV’s founding members, Billy Porter (Tony™ and Grammy™ Award winner for Kinky Boots), along with Broadway veteran musician, James Samplinger (Honeymoon in Vegas, Legally Blonde, The Wedding Singer). Mr. McElroy and Mr. Porter have known each other since college. “Billy and I were a year apart in school. It was a driven program. There were a small group of students of color and we banded together artistically. We formed our own singing group. We joined the school Gospel choir. [We] created our own artistic outlets that were separate from the rigor of our training program,” states McElroy.
As this series, underlines, Mr. McElroy is still creating his own artistic outlets, separate from the rigors of maintaining his career. And we, the audience, are grateful. Mr. McElroy noted, “This BIV TV series, “Broadway Our Way”, is doing exactly as I envisioned when I thought of the idea: Reconnecting us to a Broadway audience and solidifying two musical worlds we go between.” What better composer to choose than Stephen Sondheim. “I love Sondheim. Company was my first show album. Sunday in the Park remains one of the top best shows ever created. Because Sondheim’s music is so musically complex it actually seemed like a natural fit for the rhythmic and melodic complexities of contemporary gospel music,” offers McElroy.
Additionally, the subject matter of this song is such a wonderful call to action for anyone wanting to do something outside the norm. In discussing this with Mr. McElroy, he expresses, “Too often we as human beings put our worth in others. I was told a lot of things in my college years that caused me a great deal of pain. I carried those scars for a long time. But even in the midst of the challenges that I went through, instead of being defeated by them, I used them to work harder. I empowered myself, and even while in doubt and a lot of fear I did it anyway and pushed myself to go deeper. And it paid off once I got to New York. One aspect is that I worked all the time, but the other is that the work never defined me. My worth was never tied up in whether or not someone gave me a job. My worth was connected to my passion, dedication and skill of my art. No one person’s “don’t” should be allowed to take that away from anyone.” Well said. Thank you, Mr. McElroy.