Melba Moore

Melba Moore

Forever Moore

54 Below, NYC, May 23, 2015

Reviewed by Annamaria Alfieri for Cabaret Scenes

Melba-Moore-Cabaret-Scenes-Magazine_212A generous and courageous Melba Moore celebrated her 54 Below debut with lots of vocal pyrotechnics. To the delight of her fans, Moore included “Purlie,”  the song that helped her win her a Tony Award (for her role in the show of the same name) and “Lean on Me,” which she was nominated for a Grammy. She also paid tribute to “legendary ladies of song,” telling of the inspiration they offered her.

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Her paean to Barbra Streisand, “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” came with a description of a visit from the diva. From Nancy Wilson, Moore borrowed “Guess Who I Saw Today,” leading to the most intimate and nuanced performance of the evening.

She gave out Lena Horne’s signature “Stormy Weather” with her own brand of lightning and thunder.

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Midway through her set, Moore offered the gift of the stage to a friend—Anthony Wayne, star of Pippin, for two well-sung numbers from that show. Then, to everyone’s great delight, she introduced her father, Clement Moorman, who was celebrating his 99th birthday! He accompanied himself at the piano in charming and true renditions of “That’s Life” and “I Love a Piano.” Entertaining as well as inspirational, Clem made us all want to grow up to be like him.

Moore ended the evening with fireworks finale version of Diana Ross’s hit “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand),” which brought her fans to their feet.

Annamaria Alfieri

Annamaria Alfieri is the author of four acclaimed historical mysteries, including the current Strange Gods, which takes place in British East Africa in 1911 and is described as Out of Africa meets Agatha Christie. Writing as Patricia King, she also is the author of five nonfiction books, including Never Work for a Jerk, that landed her on the Oprah Winfrey Show. She is a past president of Mystery Writers of America, New York Chapter, and Vice President of the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival. She is a life-long fan of the American Popular song.