Michael Feinstein: Christmas Crooners

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Michael Feinstein

Christmas Crooners

Feinstein’s/54 Below, NYC, 12/18/17

Reviewed by Peter Haas for Cabaret Scenes

Michael Feinstein

‘Twas a fortnight ’til Christmas, a clear winter sky
On West 54th Street, the spirits were high,
The dining room full up at Feinstein’s Below
Michael was back with a holiday show. .

The house was packed and the mood was festive as Michael Feinstein returned to New York to celebrate the music and moods of the holiday season. Center stage, flanked by video images of burning yule logs, and with his ever-youthful voice, energy and humor, he offered an upbeat program of wintertime and popular standards.

Sharing piano duties with music director Tedd Firth, and with energetic backup by Mark McLean on drums, Phil Palombi on bass, and Pete Smith on guitar, Michael was in merry and mellow form.

Among numbers were Harry Warren and Al Dubin’s “I Only Have Eyes for You” (in an upbeat version, with a guitar solo by Smith); the Alan & Marilyn Bergman/Johnny Mandel “Where Do You Start?

,” featuring Feinstein on piano; Prince’s
Kiss”; the gentle “You and Me Against the World” by the team of Kenny Ascher and Paul Williams; and a medley of songs by Irving Berlin (no, “White Christmas” was not included).

The holidays were recognized with such numbers as Earl Lawrence’s “That’s What I Want for Christmas”; a pop “Winter Night” by Gratlen Oulette and Judge White; Jerry Herman’s Mame hit, “We Need a Little Christmas”; and Hugh Martin’s always-tender “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” Another side of the season was represented by Feinstein’s performance of Tom Lehrer’s merry “(I’m Spending) Hanukkah in Santa Monica,” with the audience joining in. He closed the show, at the piano, with a first-gentle, then upbeat rendition of “Without a Song.


Michael Feinstein is at the club through 12/30.

Peter Haas

Writer, editor, lyricist and banjo plunker, Peter Haas has been contributing features and performance reviews for Cabaret Scenes since the magazine’s infancy. As a young folk-singer, he co-starred on Channel 13’s first children’s series, Once Upon a Day; wrote scripts, lyrics and performed on Pickwick Records’ children’s albums, and co-starred on the folk album, All Day Singing. In a corporate career, Peter managed editorial functions for CBS Records and McGraw-Hill, and today writes for a stable of business magazines. An ASCAP Award-winning lyricist, his work has been performed at Carnegie Hall, Feinstein’s, Metropolitan Room and other fine saloons.