Jason Danieley

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Jason Danieley

Feinstein’s/54 Below, NYC, June 11, 2018

Reviewed by Ron Forman for Cabaret Scenes

Jason Danieley
Photo: Maryann Lopinto

Broadway star Jason Danieley has a powerful voice, looks great on stage, is comfortable and moves gracefully, and is always charming.  In other words, he has all of the qualities necessary to be a wonderful cabaret artist. In addition, his elocution is excellent and each of the numbers that he performed at Feinstein’s/54 Below was done in his unique style. He was scheduled to perform the show with his wife, Marin Mazzie, who, due to illness, could not appear.

But, somehow, he managed to put this almost entirely different show together in less than 24 hours. Trouper that he is, the show played as if it had been planned long in advance.

Danieley opened with a mash-up of a very slow and haunting “Nature Boy” with an up-tempo “With a Song in My Heart.” He moved nicely around the stage while singing “If I Only Had a Brain.” His Irish heritage came through while performing with an Irish accent “I Wish It So” (from Marc Blitzstein’s musical Juno) with an Irish accent. “Because of You” (very different from Tony Bennett’s recording) and “Time After Time” (very different from Sinatra’s), with Danieley gliding smoothly across the stage, were the only two numbers borrowed from his planned show with Mazzie.

He did a heartfelt, dramatic performance of what he said was one of his favorites,”Time,” written by his music director Joseph Thalken (with Barry Kleinbort). His romantic sound was thrilling on two ballads:  “Someone to Watch Over Me” and “I Have Dreamed.” The latter, from The King and I, was preceded by a funny anecdote. Mazzie starred in the latest production of that show and Danieley said he was a “cameo” in it: she wore a cameo with his photo inside.

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He closed with a big finish, belting “For Once in My Life.

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” His encore, done Dean Martin style, was “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head.

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.