Mauricio Martínez

| September 11, 2017

Mauricio Martínez

Metropolitan Room, NYC, September 1, 2017

Reviewed by Joel Benjamin for Cabaret Scenes

Mauricio Martínez

Mauricio Martínez, a Latin heartthrob of the first order, charmed his sold-out audience at the Metropolitan Room. The crowd included fellow cast members from the recently shuttered On Your Feet in which he played Emilio Estefan. 

He jumped right into the Latin pop library with an intense medley of “Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps” (“Quizás, Quizás, Quizás”) (Osvaldo Farres/Joe Davis) and “Bésame Mucho” (Consuelo Velásquez), showing off his sexy, light tenor’s darker notes.

Thereafter, he took the audience on an amble down his life in theater, starting with his childhood in his beloved Monterrey, Mexico, and on to his run in On Your Feet. He appeared in shows in Mexico and London and performed numbers from several. 

From Beauty and the Beast he gave us a moving “If I Can’t Love Her” (Tim Rice/Alan Menken); from Jesus Christ, Superstar a powerful “Gesthemane” (Rice/Andrew Lloyd Webber); from Evita, a pining “High Flying, Adored” (Rice/Lloyd Webber); from a new Mexican musical, Children of Salt, there was the very romantic “Morena Cariño” (by Martínez’s music director, Jaime Lozano) partnered with Barrie Kealoha who created heated sensuality; and, most moving, “If I Never Got to Tell You” (Gloria & Emily Estefan) from On Your Feet, with Doreen Montalvo, who played his mother-in-law. Their shared tenderness and warmth gave the song great depth.

He ended his set with “Losing My Mind” (Sondheim), to which he and his band gave a light Latin beat, turning the song from torchy to frothy.

He was accompanied by his MD/arranger Lozano, who shared piano duties with Emmanuel Shvartzman and Clay Ostwald. Calvin Jones on bass and Karl Latham on drums packed a lot of wit and power into their playing.

As endearing and sexy as he is—not to mention incredibly handsome—Martínez can also sound a tad glib, relying on his god-given gifts. Clearly, he can engender emotions in his listener, and he is at an envious moment in his career, but he needs to investigate his songs more deeply. There’s so much there to build on.

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

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