There's no business like show business, like no business the Brandt family knows.
The Women's Club of Altoona will be hosting Divo Broadway, a musical performance of Broadway tunes performed by Gregg Brandt, his son, Eddie, and Brett Keith at 7 p.m. July 6 at the Altoona Alliance Church. Susan Brandt, Gregg's wife, will be the pianist for the show.
"The three men will perform Broadway favorites. It's going to be a delightful evening of familiar Broadway songs," said Betsy Happeny, a member of the Women's Club. "The night is really a bargain for the price, too."
Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski
Eddie Brandt (left), Brett Keith (center) and Gregg Brandt will perform in “Divo Broadway.”
The Brandt family and Keith are well known in the area and beyond for their musical talents. Keith is the music instructor at Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School. He has directed and conducted musicals for the Cresson Lake Playhouse, Altoona Community Theatre and Tyrone Community Players. While in New York City, Keith was the musical director for a professional staged reading of "Ghosts."
Keith also enjoyed performing in shows such as "Alice in Wonderland," "Meet Me in St. Louis" and "Blood Brothers."
The Brandt family has a long tradition of involvement in professional theater. Susan serves as the director of music ministries at the First United Methodist Church of Hollidaysburg. She has worked behind the scenes in director roles, as well as conducted and performed in Broadway-style musicals.
If you go
What: "Divo Broadway," hosted by the Women's Club of Altoona
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Altoona Alliance Church
Details: $10, available at Thompson Pharmacies on Chestnut Avenue and Hollidaysburg, Chris' Hallmark in Pleasant Valley Shopping Center and from Women's Club members. Proceeds will benefit the various philanthropic events that the Women's Club hosts
"Music opens the heart and mind to a deeper connection, and for me, I got the bug early," Susan said.
Susan has performed in numerous productions such as portraying the Wicked Stepmother in "Cinderella," Elsa von Schrader in "The Sound of Music" and Miss Hannigan in "Annie."
Her husband, Gregg, has been a professional actor and director for more than 20 years. Gregg was cast in the Broadway musical "A Tale of Two Cities" and was in the Broadway and National Touring productions of "Les Miserables"
"During Divo Broadway, I'll be performing 'Bring Him Home' from 'Les Miserables,'" Gregg said. "It is one of my favorites to sing because of my deep connection with the role and play itself."
Gregg is a musical theater and vocal instructor at Rider University in Lawrenceville, N.J. and owns the song-and-dance performing group, Broadway Bound Kids, in Altoona.
"I love to sing and perform and, just as much, giving back to the community in a musical way and teach others how to improve their skills," Gregg said.
Gregg and Eddie were in a traveling company of "Les Miserables" for a year together away from their family. Although it was an unusual arrangement, it also forged an unusual bond between the father and son.
"It's been a thrill to see Eddie grow as a performer and a person," Gregg said. "He has such talent. He really is going places."
At 19, Eddie is a veteran performer. At a young age, he starred in "Annie, Get Your Gun" as a young Jake. Eddie also appeared in the Pittsburgh Musical Theater's all-student production of "The Phantom of the Opera" as the Phantom. For his role as Don Lockwood in "Singin' in the Rain" at Altoona Area High School, Eddie won an Isaac Award and a $500 scholarship.
Together the three men have polished their individual songs as well as duets and trios for their performance in Divo Broadway.
"When we were approached to do this, we thought an all-male group would be interesting, and with their superb talent, it'll be a show not to miss," Susan said.