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Gayle Turner, Arbender Robinson, and Nasia Thomas: My Funny Valentine

Broadway at The Pierre

Gayle Turner was nominated for the Colorado Theatre Guild's Henry Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical. The role was Geneva Lee Brown in "1940's Radio Hour", directed by Bev Newcomb Madden at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities. Turner has worked with musical director David Nehls and director Bill Castellino ("Smokey Joe's Cafe", "Abyssinia", "Little Shop of Horrors").

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".

Nasia Thomas is an actress, singer, and dancer, known for "The Last Five Years" (2021), "4400" (2021) and "Clayton Howe's Entertainmentx" (2018). Starting December 5, 2022, she played the role Anna of Cleves in the Broadway production of "SIX: The Musical". her other Broadway credits include "Caroline, or Change", "Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations", and "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 Turner, Robinson, and Thomas, backed by pianist and musical director Chris Curcio. 

The trio performed the song "My Funny Valentine" during the concert, where Shefik served as Videographer. "My Funny Valentine" is a show tune from the 1937 Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart coming of age musical "Babes in Arms". The song became a popular jazz standard, appearing on over 1300 albums performed by over 600 artists.

"Babes in Arms" opened at the Shubert Theatre on Broadway, in New York City on April 14, 1937. In the original play, a character named Billie Smith (played by Mitzi Green) sings the song to Valentine "Val" LaMar (played by Ray Heatherton).

In the song, Billie describes Valentine's characteristics in unflattering and derogatory terms, but ultimately affirms that he makes her smile and that she doesn't want him to change. The description of Valentine was consistent with Lorenz Hart's own insecurities and belief that he was too short and ugly to be loved. The lyrics are sufficiently gender-neutral to allow the song to be sung about a person of any gender, and a large proportion of cover versions of the song have been by men describing a hypothetical woman.


  • 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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