Barb Jungr & John McDaniel: Come Together: The Music of the Beatles

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Barb Jungr and John McDaniel

Come Together:  The Music of the Beatles

Feinstein’s/54 Below, NYC, October 30, 2015

Reviewed by Joel Benjamin for Cabaret Scenes

Barb-Jungr-John-McDaniel-Cabaret-Scenes-Maazine_212As she and Musical Director/vocal partner John McDaniel showed off their stuff in Come Together: The Music of the Beatles at Feinstein’s/54 Below, Barb Jungr prowled the stage with age-defying vigor. She knelt to aim her songs [written by John Lennon and/or Paul McCartney] at audience members, singing them in a vigorously rich voice that could belt as well as coo.

Jungr boogalooed onto the stage singing “Got to Get You Into My Life,” revealing her Liverpudlian upbringing and her pride in the Beatles’ accomplishments that led to this show, joining with her musical comrade McDaniel.
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One after another, the songs left rapt expressions on the audience members’ faces.
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  There were the ironic—“Eleanor Rigby,” “Piggies” (George Harrison), “Penny Lane”; the love songs—“And I Love Her (Him),” “I Will,” “Something” (Harrison); the philosophical:—“Fool on the Hill,” “The Long and Winding Road”; and, finally, the warm summing up of “In My Life,” Jungr and McDaniel’s quiet, meditative encore.

McDaniel’s arrangements gave new life to such songs as “It’s for You,” given a pleasant waltz beat, and a Latin-tinged “Step Inside Love” [both written for Cilla Black].

As they went through the several periods of the Beatles’ career, they made an admirable case for these songs’ inclusion in sophisticated cabaret programming.

Joel Benjamin

A native New Yorker, Joel was always fascinated by musical theater. Luckily, he was able to be a part of seven Broadway musicals before the age of 14, quitting to pursue a pre-med degree, which led no where except back to performing in the guise of directing a touring ballet troupe. Always interested in writing, he wrote a short play in high school that was actually performed, leading to a hiatus of nearly 40 years before he returned to writing as a reviewer. Writing for Cabaret Scenes has kept him in touch with world filled with brilliance.