Broadway on 22nd, Metropolitan Room

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Broadway on 22nd

Metropolitan Room, NYC, September 7, 2014

Reviewed by Joel Benjamin for Cabaret Scenes

Anita-Gillette-Up-with-a-Twist-Cabaret-Scenes-Magazine_212The latest chapter in the Metropolitan Room’s wonderful series Broadway on 22nd was a multi-faceted look at Broadway (and some from Off-Broadway) music, accompanied by the indomitably talented Tracy Stark.

Andrew Chapelle began with a clarion-voiced version of “Everybody Says Don’t” (Sondheim), but softened up with a pensive “When You’re Home” (Miranda). His thoughtful “Infinite Joy” (Finn) came with a moving vignette about his grandfather.

The ageless Anita Gillette (pictured) started with a “A Cock-Eyed Optimist” (Rodgers & Hammerstein) as interpreted by one who’s seen everything. In her red-hot mama persona she blasted “Lovie Joe” (Jordan/Cook; 1910!). She was joined by Jeremy Abrams for the classic “You’re Just in Love” (Berlin), ending on a ruminative note with “The Party’s Over” (Styne/Comden & Green).

Michael Mejía’s “The Diva’s Lament” (DuPrez/Idle) caught the over-the-top, kvetching quality of the number. “Breathe” (Miranda) was internalized as an expression of his own self doubt and was quietly intense, as was “I Won’t Send Roses” (Herman).

Doreen Montalvo put her sexy stamp on “Stoney End” (Nyro) and a passionate “Enough” (Miranda). Her “What I Did for Love” (Kleban/Hamlisch) was haunted by the recent loss of her mother to cancer and evoked tears from many.

Joel Benjamin

A native New Yorker, Joel was always fascinated by musical theater. Luckily, he was able to be a part of seven Broadway musicals before the age of 14, quitting to pursue a pre-med degree, which led no where except back to performing in the guise of directing a touring ballet troupe. Always interested in writing, he wrote a short play in high school that was actually performed, leading to a hiatus of nearly 40 years before he returned to writing as a reviewer. Writing for Cabaret Scenes has kept him in touch with world filled with brilliance.