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Marin Mazzie & Jason Danieley: Broadway and Beyond

| June 5, 2017

Marin Mazzie and Jason Danieley

Broadway and Beyond

Feinstein’s/54Below, NYC, May 29, 2017

Reviewed by Elizabeth Ahlfors for Cabaret Scenes

Marin Mazzie & Jason Danieley
Photo: Maryann Lopinto

In a show steeped in sentiment and spectacular singing, Marin Mazzie and Jason Danieley demonstrated the magic of music with Broadway and Beyond at Feinsteins/54 Below. What stands out is their chemistry and honesty as familiar songs are expanded with their fresh insights.

Celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary, Mazzie and Danieley opened with an eclectic medley from the quirky Engarde Arts production of Trojan Women: A Love Story. It was in this show where they first met. Bookending with a duet of “All the Way” (Sammy Cahn/Jimmy Van Heusen), Mazzie sang a tender, “When You Wish Upon a Star” (Leigh Harline/Ned Washington) followed by Danieley’s swingy “The Glory of Love” (Billy Hill). 

Mazzie is a three-time Tony Award nominee for roles as Clara in Passion, Mother in Ragtime and Lilli/Katharine in the revival of Kiss Me, Kate. Danieley originated his role in The Full Monty and starred in numerous Broadway shows, including Candide, Chicago, and was last seen as Schoolmaster Kuhn in John Kander and Fred Ebb’s The Visit. Their voices have different timbres, but blend with underlying emotions that weave through this strong selection of music. Mazzie is theatrical with dramatic beauty and a wide-ranging soprano, and Danieley has a dry sense of humor and a dashing sensitivity with a potent baritone.

Each is a first-class actor and singer, trying to convey a story. Together, their songs form an arc of storytelling and experiences through duets and solos. Included is some of their strongest material, like Mazzie’s dreamy “Hello, Young Lovers,” which she sang in Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II’s The King and I. Danieley followed with South Pacific‘s “Younger Than Springtime,” and what he commented was a particularly timely message, “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught.” A soft boss nova beat behind Cole Porter’s “So in Love” (Kiss Me, Kate) lifted Mazzie’s delivery to an esoteric level.

In an evening of highlights, the centerpiece of their story is a Stephen Sondheim medley beginning with “Happiness” (Passion), a duet showing their palpable connection. From Merrily We Roll Along, Danieley sang “Good Thing Going” and Mazzie soloed with “Not a Day Goes By.” Their duets of a passionate “Too Many Mornings” (Follies), and a driving determination behind “Move On” (Sunday in the Park with George), stand out in the segment.

The specter of Mazzie’s battle with ovarian cancer could not help but hover over the evening, and their songs reflect insights from the illness, gratitude, and a love that, as their finale says, “is here to stay.” One cannot help but feel the power of love in Danieley’s “I Miss the Music” (Curtains) by Kander & Ebb, whether it is between a songwriting pair or a couple in love. Mazzie’s rendition of Ragtime‘s “Back to Before” (Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens) rings with truth, and she brings a strengthened perspective to Kander & Ebb’s “But the World Goes ‘Round” that touches us.

A charismatic duo, Mazzie and Danieley were accompanied with imaginative and exotic rhythms by their trio: Rich Rosensweig on drums, Pete Donovan on bass, and Joseph Thalken, musical director/pianist/arranger.

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

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