Daughter of Gordon McRae, the star of Broadway and Hollywood musicals, Heather…
By J. Davis
Flushing Town Hall’s cabaret series, tied into the Smithsonian “Red, Hot and Blue” exhibit, continued last week with feature performer Heather McRae in “Songs For My Father.”
Daughter of Gordon McRae, the star of Broadway and Hollywood musicals, Heather McRae opened with one of her father’s greatest songs from “Oklahoma,” “Out Of My Dream.” This was followed by stories. One of the amusing anecdotes about her father, a very macho man with straight hair, was about having to have his hair set in pin curlers every day while playing the role of Curley in the film adaptation of “Oklahoma.”.
Both McRae and her accompanist, Mark Nadler, have a long list of theatrical performances and awards for the appearances on Broadway, in Hollywood and on television. A medley of moon songs, including “By The Light of the Silvery Moon,” thrilled many in the audience. In a quick change of mood to highlight Nadler’s keyboard virtuosity, the duo did a rousing “Crazy Rhythm.”
McRae, with her brothers and sister, started traveling with her parents as they gave performances around the country. It wasn’t until years later that she decided to wanted to be in show business. She said that as a child she wanted to be “normal,” but with her well-trained voice and its range, she could hardly ignore her heritage and talent.
Gordon McRae had the lead in “Desert Song” as the desert chief Red Shadow. This movie produced notable songs such as “One Alone” and “Desert Song.” Another award-winning role played by Gordon McRae was as Billy in “Carousel.” His solo “My Boy Bill” was presented most effectively by his daughter.
She also sang more from “Oklahoma,” including “Oh What a Beautiful Morning” and “Surrey With a Fringe on Top.” But, the rousing “Oklahoma,” with the audience joining the refrain, was the highlight of the evening.
The next cabaret event is scheduled for Friday, June 25, and will feature KT Sullivan and Mark Nadler saluting the songs of George and Ira Gershwin. Call 718-463-7700, Ext. 222 for reservations.