54 Sings Broadway’s Greatest Hits!
Feinstein’s/54 Below, NYC, January 26, 2017
Reviewed by Ron Forman for Cabaret Scenes
Scott Siegel’s latest edition of his monthly 54 Sings Broadway’s Greatest Hits featured seven excellent vocalists and a song list that included many of Broadway’s most memorable songs. As per usual, Siegel introduced each song with an informative and entertaining anecdote. Musical Director Ross Patterson provided just the right piano accompaniment for the varied vocalists.
William Michals’ booming baritone opened the show with “Thine Alone” celebrating the 100th anniversary of the opening of Eileen in 1917. Later in the program, he displayed a softer, romantic side by performing “Where or When” (Babes in Arms), dedicated to his mother sitting in the audience. In addition to her wonderful voice and great phrasing, Lianne Marie Dobbs displayed marvelous dramatic skills with “A Wonderful Guy” (South Pacific) and later with ”Someone Like You” (Jekyll and Hyde). Siegel’s introduction to “Broadway Baby” included his singing the original, very different lyrics to the melody, before it was performed by the big bold voice of Hunter Ryan Herdlicka (pictured). He would return to sing an especially beautiful “No One Is Alone” (Into the Woods). Kea Chan, a precocious 19-year-old visitor from the Philippines, got a standing ovation for her magnificent sound and dramatic skills with “I’d Give My Life for You” (Miss Saigon). Josh Israel made his cabaret debut by singing and tap dancing amazingly kinetically on the small Feinstein’s/54 Below stage to “I Can Do That” (A Chorus Line). I was thrilled by the spectacularly dramatic Judy McLane’s performance of “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man” (Show Boat), as great as any I have heard. She returned for “Someone Else’s Story” (Chess). Mark Nadler did “All That Jazz” (Chicago) as only he can, with his high-energy, frantic piano and very expressive facials. He closed this very entertaining show with a tour de force, singing all six female roles to Chicago‘s “Cell Block Tango.”