54 Sings Hollywood’s Greatest Hit Songs

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54 Sings Hollywood’s Greatest Hit Songs

Feinstein’s/54 Below, NYC, April 16, 2018

Reviewed by Ron Forman for Cabaret Scenes

After producing over two dozen highly successful Broadway’s Greatest Hits! shows at Feinstein’s/54 Below, Scott Siegel decided to  mine the vaults of Hollywood studios in order to begin what will hopefully be a series of Hollywood’s Greatest Hit Songs shows. As is the case with his shows, he gathers a cast of some of the very best voices from Broadway and the cabaret world to perform a series of carefully selected numbers. For this outing, he presented 13 singers, each bringing his or her unique style to the number performed. Music director Ron Abel remarkably matched his work on piano to each performer.

Siegel introduced each song with an interesting comment or anecdote to move the show forward.

Natlalie Douglas opened the evening by beginning “The Man That Got Away” softly, then building to a very big climax. Stephen DeRosa sang and danced his way through a lively “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head.” Alex Getlin’s trilling voice worked marvelously on what Siegel described as Henry Mancini’s favorite of all his songs, “Two for the Road” (words by Leslie Bricusse), which also included a wonderful piano solo. Douglas Ladnier hummed the first few bars of “The Way We Were,” then built to a dramatic finish, before humming the last few bars.

The very pregnant Jenny Lee Stern produced laughter by using her stomach as a prop, performing “My Heart Will Go On.” Nicole Turner’s operatic voice made her performance of “I Will Always Love You” memorable. Luke Groom’s spectacular sound brought back memories of Mario Lanza’s performance of “Be My Love.” To close the show, Brian Charles Rooney (the man of many voices, all wonderful) used his Elvis voice to dramatically close the show with “Unchained Melody.”

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.