Broadway Inspirational Voices (BIV) PRESENTS the fifth installment in “Broadway Our Way,” with Michael McElroy’s arrangement of “You Can’t Stop the Beat” from Hairspray – soon to be live on NBC.
by Kate Chapman
In the fifth video in this continuing series, BIV director and founder, Michael McElroy, brings BIV’s exceptional sound to “You Can’t Stop the Beat”, from the musical Hairspray. This video offers a groovy, funky, laid back arrangement by Mr. McElroy and is introduced by original Broadway cast members Shayna Steele (Rent; Jesus Christ Superstar), Clarke Thorell (The Front Page; Annie; Mamma Mia!; The Who’s Tommy), Shoshana Bean (Wicked); (all three current or former members of BIV), and Rashad Naylor (Motown the Musical; Jersey Boys). In anticipation of Hairspray live on NBC airing on December 7th, Mr. McElroy offers his take on this infectious tune.
BIV has had a long history with Hairspray. The original Broadway cast included the BIV members mentioned above, as well as Danielle Lee Greaves. Subsequent replacements Chester Gregory and Terita Redd are also choir members. I can remember hearing stories from the original cast members when they attended BIV rehearsals or events. They knew they were in the process of creating something special, and it was exciting to witness their enthusiasm. Now I look forward to seeing BIV’s own Shayna Steele sing “Welcome to the 60s” on the live version on NBC, December 7th.
Marc Shaiman, the composer and co-lyricist of the show, and Scott Wittman, co-lyricist, have had a supportive relationship with the choir for years. Mr. McElroy shares, “I first met Scott and Marc when I was a swing for the “Mermen” on Patti LuPone on Broadway back in the late 90’s. I’ve worked with them on Smash, and I sang with Jesse Nager and Chester Gregory on the Hairspray film CD, as well the choir performed with the movie cast on the Today Show.” Mr. Shaiman and Mr. Wittman personally requested for BIV to sing at the New York Pops 31st Birthday Gala honoring Mr. Shaiman at Carnegie Hall in 2014. “Marc and Scott reached out to us. They wanted a choir that could do all the styles that were required that evening. We were it.” Additionally, Mr. Shaiman and Mr. Wittman have donated their talents to The Ronald McDonald House by composing for “Songs In the Key of Me”, one of BIV’s outreach programs.
Heading into the sometimes-bleak winter days, feel free to use this video as a much needed ray of brightness. Hey! Why not give the gift of sunshine to friends and family this holiday season in the form of this video?! It’s free, it’s awesome, and it just might lift someone’s spirits when they need a little pick-me-up. Happy Holidays, and here’s to a light-filled 2017!