Broadway Sings Unplugged: Justin Timberlake

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Broadway Sings Unplugged: Justin Timberlake

The Green Room 42, NYC, September 24, 2018

Reviewed by Chris Struck for Cabaret Scenes

Justin Timberlake

A musical series that features a bevy of talent singing more contemporary pop in a hip new room that caters to a more muted, but energetic version of classy might sound good to some. It sounds good to me! Broadway Sings Unplugged, led by Corey Mach and music director Joshua Stephen Kartes, serves up hot hits and pop classics to delight millennials eyeing an evening out that doesn’t involve bump-and-grind music or bottle-service competitions. This month, Justin Timberlake; next month the Beatles.
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And if it is more of the same, the room will be riled up to see talented singers give it their all.

Making the evening special with their talents were quite a few spectacular singers, but Jelani Alladin, Natalie Weiss, Ben Fankhauser, and Rachel Potter stole the show. Alladin sang a heart stirring version of “My Love” (Timberlake/Timothy Mosley/Nate “Danja” Hills/Joseph Harris) that set the tone for an evening of pining for the romantic feeling that tugs on one’s inner heartstrings, crooning, “If I wrote you a symphony/just to say how much you mean to me.” Building on it as the show went along were Weiss with “Gone” (Timberlake/Wade J.
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Robson) and Fankhauser with “Pusher Love Girl” (Timberlake/Mosley/Jerome “J-Roc” Harmon/James Fauntleroy). Each featured the love-mad lyrics that are a part of Timberlake’s music, and it felt as though each performer put a piece of his or her inner angst into lines that dripped with desire.

The overwhelming highlight, however, was provided by Potter who, in a duet with Mach, rang out a raucous “Until the End of Time” (Timberlake/Timbaland/Hills) as they mirrored each other’s tone and intensity beautifully. Potter then brought down the house with “Cry Me a River” (Timberlake/Mosely/Scott Storch). A spin on the classic that has seen revitalizations over the years, this Timberlake original made his debut spectacular in 2002, and it was the startling finale for an emotionally power-packed evening.

Chris Struck

Chris Struck's debut novel, Kennig and Gold, is due to be officially published in June 2019. He's written reviews for Cabaret Scenes since August of 2017. For more information about the writer, see