Marieann Meringolo: In the Spirit

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Marieann Meringolo

In the Spirit

Feinstein’s/54 Below, NYC, November 26, 2016

Reviewed by Ron Forman for Cabaret Scenes

Marieann Meringolo Photo: Devon Cass
Marieann Meringolo
Photo: Devon Cass

Traditionally, the holiday season begins with the Thanksgiving weekend. The season began wonderfully for me with one of the best and most fun holiday shows that I have seen and heard in quite a while, Marieann Meringolo’s In the Spirit. Meringolo has that rare combination of a beautiful sound and a powerful yet very controlled voice.
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Her cheerful demeanor allows her to intersperse funny stories smoothly into her mix of traditional and modern holiday songs. She was backed nicely by a trio featuring Boots Maleson (bass), Brian Woodruff (drums) and Musical Director Doyle Newmyer (piano), who also joined with Meringolo for three duets.

She began by singing “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” at the bar and then strolled ingratiatingly through the audience, stopping at tables (including mine) to sing directly to members of the audience. She showed off her amazing ability to hold notes, but not screech, with “Silver Bells” and “Do You Hear What I Hear?

.” The trio provided a very nice light jazzy background to “My Favorite Things.” In a change of pace from the up-tempo previous number, Meringolo performed a beautiful, very slow “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” This very attractive singer showed her sexy side, chatting suggestively to Newmyer before performing “Santa, Please Be Mine.

” Mentioning that Newmyer was married led to a hilarious duet on ”Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” Graceful arm movements pulled me in to a very melodic “O Come, All Ye Faithful.
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” After amusingly checking the ethnic background of the audience, Meringolo performed a hilarious “It’s Christmas and We’re Jewish.” Meringolo and Newmyer’s voices blended nicely again with their duet “Mistletoe and You.” Her closing number, “Christmastime (It’s Time to Fall in Love)” was followed by a warm, moving and especially appropriate encore “My Grown-Up Christmas List.”

Ron Forman

Ron Forman has been a Mathematics Professor at Kingsborough Community College for 45 years. In that time, he has managed to branch out in many different areas. From 1977 to 1994 he was co-owner of Comics Unlimited, the third largest comic book distribution company in the USA. In 1999,after a lifetime of secretly wanting to do a radio program, he began his weekly Sweet Sounds program on WKRB 90.3 FM, dedicated to keeping the music of the Great American Songbook alive and accessible. This introduced him to the world of cabaret, which led to his position as a reviewer for Cabaret Scenes.