Brian De Lorenzo...and Friends

Some Enchanted Evening

Scullers Jazz Club
Boston, MA
There are good shows and there are great shows, but once in a blue moon you’re at a cabaret and you know something extraordinary is going on. We could even see that moon through the picture windows at Scullers Jazz Club this particular night and you’d be hearing Brian De Lorenzo…and Friends, leaving us moonstruck.

De Lorenzo is at the top of his game. He’s a sought-after performer on the musical theater scene, appearing this past year as Bob Cratchit to David Coffee’s Scrooge in the IRNE-nominated A Christmas Carol at North Shore Music Theatre. He appears with New England Light Opera (just last month in their Frank Loesser tribute) and he sang for Irving Berlin’s daughter and granddaughter (and the rest of us) the week before last in the American Classics’ 100th Anniversary of “Alexander’s Ragtime Band.”

When he isn’t singing, he’s looking for vintage sheet music at estate sales and dusty old book stores. He treated us to Lerner’s original lyrics for the verse of “On the Street Where You Live,” discovered in a Chicago book shop. When he delivers a gorgeous Mercer ballad like “When October Goes” (which Barry Manilow set to Mercer’s lyrics after his death), you can almost hear a teardrop in De Lorenzo’s phrasing. Even more remarkable, you can hear the sweetness emerging from the melancholy in his voice. Just when you think romantic ballads are his forte, he has you laughing out loud with John Forster’s naughty travel song, “Entering Marion” (“For the few minutes I was in Marion…all Massachusetts was mine”). He can capture the urgency and longing in a breathtaking Craig Carnelia song like “Flight” (“I’ll start to soar/Watch me rain ’til I pour”). He has the rare ability to transform his tonality to the style of the song: He can find sweet high notes and soft low notes in a song like “My Foolish Heart” and then sound like a smooth, matinee idol in the joyous “I Got Rhythm.”

Speaking of joy, when De Lorenzo’s friends got into the act, he happily played straight man to an irrepressible Randy Zinkus on the hilarious “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” and again for a baby doll-voiced Lynda D’Amour on “Suddenly Seymour” from Little Shop of Horrors. Kathy St. George joined De Lorenzo for a playful “How About You?” and then Jack Donahue and De Lorenzo sang impossibly close harmony in “Where Is Love?” from Oliver! Bill Duffy at the piano supplied the eloquent accompaniment, including the delicate, ethereal music box setting for “Some Enchanted Evening.” And it was.

Beverly Creasey
Cabaret Scenes
March 29, 2011