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Soloist brings Broadway to Hagerstown

September 24, 2006|by KATE COLEMAN

Elizabeth Schulze directed members of the Maryland Symphony Orchestra and The Maryland Theatre audience to their feet Saturday night and led them all in a rousing performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner."

She then took everyone on a journey to the Broadway stage.

The orchestra performed a medley from "Man of La Mancha" and "Heroes, Monsters and Madmen" during the MSO's pops concert, which kicked off the orchestra's 25th and Schulze's eighth season.

Schulze introduced tenor soloist Craig Schulman, who has performed on Broadway, operatic and concert stages.

Schulman has portrayed "The Phantom of the Opera," Jean Valjean in "Les Misrables" and the title role in "Jekyll & Hyde."

He set the stage for each of his characters with a brief introduction, then sang several roles. There was Don Quixote from "Man of La Mancha." He sang a definitely not humble Sir Lancelot from "Camelot," and later became "Guys and Dolls" gambler Sky Masterson.

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"He's fantastic," Hagerstown resident Fran Startzman said at intermission.

"I love the symphony," retired Hagerstown veterinarian Dr. Robert Cody said.

"The soloist is doing it for me," he added.

His daughter, Sarah Cody, a former member of Williamsport High School's Sophisti'Cats' show choir, enjoyed the first half of the program. She said she loves to sing and could feel the music inside her.

"I love Broadway," said Rachel Doub, 17, of Williamsport. "It's so exciting."

Startzman and her husband have season tickets to the symphony after a couple of busy years away.

"It's a treat to ourselves," she said.

Startzman was happy to be back.

She called Schulze "unbelievable."

"We're so fortunate to have her right here in Hagerstown," Startzman said.

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