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Arbender Robinson: On Broadway

Broadway at The Pierre

Arbender Robinson made his Broadway debut in the Tony Award winning production of "Hairspray", where he covered the role of Seaweed. In the original cast of Disney's "The Little Mermaid", he covered the role of Prince Eric. He also served as the Dance Captain and Swing for the Broadway revival of "Hair" and was seen in the Broadway revival of "Ragtime". His Broadway credits continue with Disney's "The Lion King". Since then, he was in the original cast of "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical".

On February 26, 2018, as part of the "Broadway at The Pierre" cabaret series in association with Broadway Sings for Pride, a concert was held at Two E Bar/Lounge — the sophisticated saloon located inside the New York City luxury hotel, The Pierre. The concert featured a performance by Robinson, backed by pianist and musical director Chris Curcio.

Robinson performed the song "On Broadway" during the concert, where Shefik served as Videographer. "On Broadway" is a song written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, in collaboration with the team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.

Mann and Weil were based at Aldon Music, located at 1650 Broadway in New York City, and the song as written by Mann and Weil was originally recorded by The Cookies (although The Crystals' version beat them to release) and featured an upbeat lyric in which the protagonist is still on her way to Broadway and sings, "I got to get there soon, or I'll just die." The song was played as a shuffle.

When Leiber and Stoller let it be known that The Drifters had booked studio time for the following day and were a song short, Mann and Weil forwarded "On Broadway". Leiber and Stoller liked the song, but felt that it was not quite right. The four held an overnight brainstorming session that culminated in the better-known version, now with a rock-oriented groove and with a more bluesy feel, which matched the new lyric in which the singer was now actually on Broadway and having a hard time.

George Benson's version of "On Broadway", from his 1978 album "Weekend in L.A.", hit No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 2 on the soul chart. Benson's take also has had substantial adult contemporary and smooth jazz radio airplay ever since. It won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance.


  • Videographer: Shefik

Last Updated: April 29, 2023

About Shefik

Celebrating over 25 years in the entertainment industry, Shefik has held senior-level positions at many Fortune 500 companies and celebrated brands, including IBM, NBCUniversal, and MTV World. He currently serves as a Technical Lead at NBCUniversal. His work has been featured in television broadcasts and video productions for TIME, The Washington Center, "Unsung" (TV One), and Broadway World. He is currently the Executive Producer and Host of the nationally syndicated radio show "Shefik presents Invocation", which is broadcast on over 20 terrestrial radio stations and frequencies throughout the United States, as well as the internationally distributed video series of the same name via Prime Video and other notable outlets.

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