James D. Gish: So in Love

James D. Gish

So in Love

Desert Stages Theatre, Scottsdale, AZ, January 5, 2018

Reviewed by Lynn Timmons Edwards for Cabaret Scenes

James D. Gish

James D. Gish is a name to watch. Still in his early twenties, he has set his sights on a solo career à la Michael Bublé. Gish recently returned to Desert Stages Theatre to present his one-man cabaret, So in Love. Desert Stages started out as a youth theater many years ago and continues to produce productions with both young artists as well as adults.

Gish’s return was to help the theater raise funds and christen its new space located in the Scottsdale Fashion Square mall. It was his chance to say thank you to an organization that gave him his start.

Hailing from the small town of Bullhead City, Arizona where he discovered his passion for music and live performance, he attended Arizona State University and earned a degree in Business. His still-evolving story is one of a millennial who is turning his side hustle of performing into a full-time career due to his drive and the sheer magic of his tenor voice. He recently produced his EP, also called So in Love, with DW Music at Warner Brothers Studios in Nashville featuring a 53-piece orchestra and a choir. It reached the top ten on iTunes in the first week of its release.

He received rave reviews in December for Newsies at Phoenix Theatre, in which he played the lead role of Jack Kelly. Many of his fellow cast members were in the nearly sold-out audience cheering him on through eleven songs organized into two acts. 

His cabaret drew from this debut recording, opening with “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and then its title song, from Kiss Me, Kate. He was at his best on “Nella Fantasia”—so comfortable in Italian—and seemed to have the most fun with his own medley of Disney songs. Act I rounded out with “The Music of the Night” (The Phantom of the Opera) and “Anthem” (Chess). Act II included “Luck Be a Lady” (Guys and Dolls); “This Is the Moment” (Jekyll & Hyde), “It Just Takes One,” “Crazy Little Thing,” and “Roads.” His accompanist, Mark Feary, who played one solo in Act II is brilliant—one of the best pianists in the Phoenix region.


Gish understands the need to engage in cabaret and his skills at storytelling, comedy, and self-disclosure will only grow as he matures. No one was credited with directing this show, leaving this reviewer to assume that the fog machine used during the entire first act might have been an idea that would and should have come and gone in a rehearsal.

Gish has a pure and soaring tenor voice that has landed him many stage roles.

He sometimes gets tight in his upper range and, at one point, his voice cracked. He handled the situation with humor and grace which helped endear him to his audience. Following his run in Arizona, he was off to Las Vegas and other cities where he has many more shows ahead of him.

Lynn Timmons Edwards

Lynn writes and performs themed cabaret shows based on the songs of the Great American Songbook throughout Arizona. She has had three short plays produced in the Theatre Artists Studio Festival of Summer Shorts and is working on a full length play, "Fairy," based on the life of Mary Russell Ferrell Colton, a founder of the Museum of Northern Arizona. In addition to writing and singing, Lynn plays bridge and tennis and enjoys traveling with her husband and artistic companion, Bob. Born in Ohio, Lynn is a graduate of Denison University (BA), Arizona State University (MPA) and has lived in Arizona since 1977.