Jason Danieley: Romantic Notions

| October 8, 2015

Jason Danieley

Romantic Notions

Feinstein’s/54 Below, NYC , October 3, 2015

Reviewed by Joel Benjamin for Cabaret Scenes

Jason-Danieley-Cabaret-Scenes-Magazine_212Jason Danieley has rarely been as relaxed on a cabaret stage as he was in his Romantic Notions.

A slow, expressive “Nature Boy” (Eden Ahbez) brought Danieley to the stage. He changed the mood with jokes about the pronunciation of his name—accent on the first syllable, but returned to the “romantic” theme, singing an ardent, fast-paced “With a Song in My Heart” (Rodgers & Hart) followed by a dreamy “I Wish It So” (Blitzstein), capturing his yearning, younger self singing in his bed.

The song list clung closely to autobiographical allusions. George Harrison’s “Something” led directly to the ’70s hit “Believe It or Not” (Mike Post/Stephen Geyer), both performed as influences on Danieley’s artistic fantasies.

Sadness raised its head twice. First, was the memory of the late Roger Rees with whom Danieley appeared recently in the Kander-Ebb-McNally The Visit, from which he sang a touching “You, You, You,” a dark waltz featuring a long piano solo by Musical Director Tedd Firth.

Second, was the revelation that his wife, Marin Mazzie, was not well. If there ever was a lush love song, it is “And This Is My Beloved” (Borodin/Wright/Forrest) and Danieley sang it with all his heart, dedicating it to her. He reminded us to “hold the hand of your lover, kiss them three seconds longer and say you love them.”

“For Once in My Life” (Ron Miller/Orlando Murden) was an exultant closing number, sung to a Sinatra-style swinging arrangement, clearly expressing his hopefulness.

This is a handsome, talented performer with a big voice who is maturing beautifully.

Tedd Firth’s band included Pete Donovan on bass and Clint DeGannon on drum.

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Category: Cabaret Reviews, New York City, New York City Cabaret Reviews

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