Broadway singer Ryan Silverman teams up with three other singers in a Toronto Symphony Orchestra tribute to the 100th birthday of singer Frank Sinatra, taking place Oct. 13 and 14 at Roy Thomson Hall.
“The music of Frank Sinatra is essentially the voice of the most beloved songs of America in the 20th century. Frank Sinatra not only made songwriters famous for his vocal interpretation of songs, but also for re-arranging the songs to introduce them again as he became mature,” said Silverman in a phone interview from his home in New York.
Silverman teams with singers Storm Large of Pink Martini, Tony Desare, and pianist Frankie Moreno in offering unique vocal interpretations of Sinatra hit songs, including Luck Be A Lady, My Funny Valentine, My Way and New York, New York. Silverman’s contribution to the concert will include up tempo arrangements on the songs Just In Time and Moonlight Becomes You and he will sing a less popular Sinatra song titled Love Till I Die.
“Although not all of Frank Sinatra’s songs became radio friendly hits, his interpretations were unique, and I wanted to perform Love Till I Die so the audience can hear how special this song was.”
Silverman’s rich, sultry voice has been heard in a number of Sinatra tribute concerts, which took place in such venues as Carnegie Hall in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington, Atlanta, Indianapolis and Westchester, N.Y.
“What makes the Sinatra concerts so much fun is that the vocalists have an opportunity of changing the arrangements of the songs as Sinatra often did to make the song sound new.”
Born in Grande Prairie, Alta., Silverman considers himself lucky to have become one of the few Canadians to have made a name for himself on the Broadway stage.
When not on the road with Sinatra tribute concerts, Silverman is currently cast as Billy in the musical Chicago. He has also been on Broadway playing Raoul in Phantom Of The Opera and Tony in West Side Story.
Other theatrical credits include national tours of Grease, Mama Mia and Wicked among other musicals.
“Everything happened by accident. I did not plan to be on Broadway, In fact, I wanted to be a radio disc jockey and so my plans changed as offers came to me,” said Silverman.
He was adopted as a 10-month-old child to parents of French and Irish heritage. Although his adoptive parents let Ryan keep his birth name of Silverman, he was not raised Jewish by his adoptive parents.
“My birth mother gave me up when she had me at age 14. From tracing my roots, I discovered that my paternal grandfather was from Romania and is Jewish. He did not raise my father as Jewish and I do not know what the circumstances were for him not to be raised in Judaism.”
Although many in show business mistake Silverman for being Jewish, he is proud of knowing about his Jewish roots and was happy to be cast as Mendel in the William Finn musical Falsettos.
Silverman sang the song Four Jews In A Room Bitching in the musical.
Following his graduation from McEwan University in Edmonton, Silverman considers his big break in musical theatre was to be cast in the musical Blood Brothers.
“I was fortunate. The casting director in Blood Brothers thought I was better than any of the other actors who auditioned. Once I had a visa for working in the United States, I went to live in New York.”
The 37-year-old musical theatre star followed up his role in Blood Brothers, a musical with dark, dramatic overtones with a comic twist, as one of the three fathers in the musical Mama Mia.
Silverman stars in Let’s Be Frank, a tribute to Frank Sinatra on his 100th birthday with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Oct. 13, 8 p.m. and Oct. 14, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. For tickets, call 416-598-3375 or visit the Toronto Symphony Orchestra website.