Anthony Santelmo Jr.: Christmas in July

  • Post author:
  • Reading time:4 mins read

Anthony Santelmo Jr.

Christmas in July

The Laurie Beechman Theater, NYC, July 25, 2018

Reviewed by Bart Greenberg for Cabaret Scenes

Anthony Santelmo Jr.

What could be more appropriate on a hot, sticky, wet summer evening than to celebrate Christmas with a mix of weird, forgotten, and reverential songs? Somehow, it all came together to both cool the audience down and lift them up as Anthony Santelmo Jr. and company celebrated the December holiday. Serving both as a preview of his soon-to-be-released same-titled CD and a self-contained show, the program bounced along from one highlight to the next.
online pharmacy no prescription drugstore

buy avanafil online no prescription

Declaring “anything worth doing is worth overdoing!,” Santelmo filled the stage with four top-notch musicians—Rob Thomas (violin), Boots Maleson (bass), Howie Gordon (drums), and Jeffrey Klitz (piano and music director)—and the three lovely Graces of Christmas—Laura Kim, Cheryl Martin, and Michele McConnell—providing background vocals.
online pharmacy no prescription drugstore

buy premarin online no prescription

buy cipro online no prescription

The crowded stage did limit the star’s mobility, but he made up for it with his ebullient personality. The “overdoing” also led to a show that was about 15 minutes too long.
online pharmacy no prescription drugstore

buy zithromax online no prescription

Some judicious trimming of the song list will only make what is left shine even more.

Santelmo possesses a huge tenor voice capable of ranging from comedy swing to classical beauty. His slightly depraved cherubic face coupled with a mass of silver curls brings to mind an Italian Zero Mostel. One moment he is swinging a long-forgotten Johnny Mercer gem, “Santa Claus Came in the Spring,” and the next he is letting his opera-house tenor soar on Schubert’s “Ave Maria.” The dark and moody “Winter Arrives” (Richard Eisenberg) and the tender “Every Night Snow Falls” (Miriam Moses) demonstrated the performer’s desire to find new material as well (both songwriters were present). And two different versions of “Who Says There Ain’t No Santa Claus?” (one with music by Sammy Fain, the other Burton Lane) showed his adept handling of that most pixyish of lyricists, E.Y. Harburg.

Throughout, he also maintained a wonderful rapport with the audience, whether donning a Santa hat and inquiring “does this make me look gay?,” or humorously dealing with a slightly bizarre interruption from the audience. Even a momentarily flubbing of lyrics only made us adore him more.

Bart Greenberg

Bart Greenberg first discovered cabaret a few weeks after arriving in New York City by seeing Julie Wilson and William Roy performing Stephen Sondheim and Cole Porter outdoors at Rockefeller Center. It was instant love for both Ms. Wilson and the art form. Some years later, he was given the opportunity to create his own series of cabaret shows while working at Tower Records. "Any Wednesday" was born, a weekly half-hour performance by a singer promoting a new CD release. Ann Hampton Callaway launched the series. When Tower shut down, Bart was lucky to move the program across the street to Barnes & Noble, where it thrived under the generous support of the company. The series received both The MAC Board of Directors Award and The Bistro Award. Some of the performers who took part in "Any Wednesday" include Barbara Fasano and Eric Comstock, Tony Desare, Andrea Marcovicci, Carole Bufford, the Karens, Akers, Mason and Oberlin, and Julie Wilson. Privately, Greenberg is happily married to writer/photographer Mark Wallis, who as a performance artist in his native England gathered a major following as "I Am Cereal Killer."