54 Sings Broadway’s Greatest Hits

| June 28, 2017

54 Sings Broadway’s Greatest Hits

Feinstein’s/54 Below, NYC, June 23, 2017

Reviewed by Ron Forman for Cabaret Scenes

Douglas Ladnier

The 15th edition of Scott Siegel’s now monthly 54 Sings Broadway’s Greatest Hits proved that this very popular series keeps getting better. This edition featured eight uniformly excellent vocalists singing 14 of Broadway’s most memorable songs. As always, Siegel matched the appropriate voice to each song, and his comments between numbers were interesting, informative, and amusing.

Douglas Ladnier’s (pictured) big, masculine sound worked perfectly on the opening number,“They Call the Wind Maria.” He would return and make “Summertime,” a number almost always performed by a female, his own. Lianne Marie Dobbs’ facial expressions and dynamic demeanor made “People Will Say We’re in Love” and, later, “Somewhere,” delightful to watch and listen to. Brian Charles Rooney’s voice, soulful with “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables,” or big and loud for “Pity the Child” (Chess), is always thrilling when it soars at the and of a number. William Michals reprised “If I Can’t Love Her,” which he performed on Broadway as the Beast in Beauty and the Beast, and had the audience cheering at his big finish. Beth Malone brought back memories of Judy Holliday with her performance of “I’m Going Back” (Bells Are Ringing). Siegel introduced “Once Upon a Time” from the failed show All American as one of Broadway’s most beautiful songs, and Cooper Grodin’s soft and very pretty performance provided the evidence to support Siegel’s claim. Matt Weinstein sardonically performed “Not While I’m Around.” Samantha Owens’ very dramatic “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina” stopped the show. Malone  returned for the next-to- closing number, a very expressive performance of one of Irving Berlin’s best love songs, “I Got Lost in His Arms.” Michals closed the show with a number he performed in his role of Emile de Becque on Broadway in South Pacific, “This Nearly Was Mine.”

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

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