Perrysburg grad brings in ‘The Broadway Boys’Written by Sarah Ottney | Editor in Chief | firstname.lastname@example.org
A native son is bringing the voices of Broadway to Perrysburg.
Michael Kadin Craig, who was recently part of the cast of “Altar Boyz” in New York City, performs with a singing group called The Broadway Boys, a collection of the hottest male voices working on the New York stage.
The group, which will perform at Perrysburg High School on Dec. 4, fuses classic show tunes with pop, funk, jazz, gospel and folk to create new arrangements.
Members have performed in shows like “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Grease,” “Hairspray,” “Mamma Mia,” “Mary Poppins,” “Rent” and “Wicked.”
Craig, a 2003 Perrysburg High School graduate, said The Broadway Boys capture a wide audience, getting positive receptions from senior centers and New York City pubs alike.
“Someone who likes Broadway will like it because it’s still that song, and someone who likes pop will like it because there are riffs and runs in a song like you’d hear on the radio,” Craig said.
Jesse Nager, the group’s founder and artistic director, rewrites the original arrangements as five-part harmonies for males, Craig said.
“I like to call it vocal acrobatics,” Craig said. “It’s really unique in what they have to offer. There’s really no other group like them.”
Craig said his favorite songs to perform are “Imagine” from “Lennon” and “Defying Gravity” from “Wicked.”
“I love ‘Imagine,’” Craig said. “(Nager) kept it simple and it’s basically myself and Jesse dueting on the whole song and the other guys provide backup. I think it wins the crowd over more than any song of the entire night. People just kind of ‘Aww’ after a little second of silence when it’s over. It’s a really powerful song and I think my favorite of the night. Either that or ‘Defying Gravity,’ which has five parts singing where normally there’s just one at the end, and it sounds really, really cool.”
The group performs mainly in New York City, but will embark on a national tour next year.
“They will be playing all the big, major theaters starting next year, so it’s nice to get them coming here this year,” Craig said.
Craig, who was first introduced to theater by his sixth-grade music teacher in Perrysburg, said performing in “Altar Boyz” on Broadway was tiring but gratifying because it’s a dream come true.
“I was very fortunate to do that for two years straight,” Craig said. “Every day I literally walked into Time Square to go to work. It felt so neat. I never thought that day would really come. But it got to be pretty grueling doing the show eight times a week. My character never left the stage and was talking this whole time, plus some serious dancing and cardio the entire time. My shirt was drenched with sweat the entire number. But it was a lot of fun.”
Craig recently moved back to Perrysburg, where he will open Next Stage Studios, a community school for the performing arts, with fellow Broadway performer Clark Ausloos in January.
The school will offer eight-week musical theater, acting and dance classes as well as private lessons and summer camps, said Craig, who hopes it will be an outlet for anyone in the community who wants to learn more about the performing arts.
Using their connections in New York City, the pair also plan to regularly bring in performances and instructors of the caliber people would normally have to travel to see, Craig said.
“I think it will be fun and eye-opening for people in Toledo,” Craig said. “I’ve always wanted to somehow give back to the community.”
The Broadway Boys also regularly perform for charity, including Toys for Tots and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The group released its debut recording, “Lullaby of Broadway,” in June.
The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $16 for adults and $12 for students and seniors ($18 and $14 at the door).
For more information, visit www.bwayboys.com.