Dr. Mitch Lippman’s fondest childhood memories in 1948 were of being taken to Broadway to see Ethel Merman in “Annie Get Your Gun.” Thus began a love of Broadway theater that included not only musicals, but also dramas such as “Inherit the Wind” with Paul Muni and Ed Begley.
He delighted in the sounds of Marvin Hamlisch, Rogers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Lowe, and Cole Porter.
Lippman expressed his love of music years ago by singing in The Temple’s choir (baritone and tenor), then, at the suggestion of friends Lenny Simon and Maury Kalnitz, leapt at the chance to join Dr. Bob Schultz’s local Broadway Chorus.
Schultz, a pediatric endocrinologist, grew up on Long Island, N.Y., playing the accordion, saxophone, violin and piano. Music was his mantra.
Twelve years ago, he started the Broadway Chorus group with 12 amateur singers who rehearse once a week at the Berman Commons senior facility in Dunwoody.
“We primarily perform for seniors, and it is so very gratifying,” Schultz said.
Seniors who are nonverbal can still mouth the words to “Shine on Harvest Moon” or “Bicycle Built for Two.”
Schultz said the group plans to do eight performances in the upcoming months at predominantly Jewish venues.
“But the demand is really bigger,” Schultz lamented.
“When we perform at Huntcliff Summit, they have to set up more chairs in the dining room to accommodate the crowd,” he said. “It is truly a mitzvah to see their eyes shining and toes tapping. Oh, the value of recollecting such good memories for them.”
Lippman is off to New York soon to see the revival of “Carousel” as part of an annual family reunion that always includes a Broadway show. He will then return to the Broadway Chorus to be even more enthusiastic.
From “June Is Busting Out All Over” to “If I Loved You,” the audience back home at Berman Commons eagerly awaits.