The Me Nobody Knows In Concert

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The Me Nobody Knows In Concert

Feinstein’s/54 Below, NYC, October 22, 2018

Reviewed by Chris Struck for Cabaret Scenes

Just when you start to think that musicals are all fun and happy affairs about teens in high school and sponges that talk, you’re hit with a voice from Broadway’s past delivering the emotional oomph of a thousand tragedies of New York City’s often grimier history. The Me Nobody Knows is possibly one of the most stark and dramatic examples of how NYC’s past has been enriched by resilience and colored by its ability to change from a city teeming with sorrow to one that allows an opportunity for people from all walks of life to excel. The mixing and melting has always been there, but if the chilling lyrics and poems of the children of 1960s New York have anything to say about it, the city has come a long way from the “Flying Milk and Runaway Plates” that Walter Russell III sang about.

Putting aside the emotional and contextual depth of the score by Gary William Friedman (music) and Will Holt (lyrics) and focusing on the night’s performers, in addition to the excellent and precocious Russell, there are two others who stood out. Ashley De La Rosa and Analise Scarpaci were undeniably sensational in solo and group performances.

De La Rosa, whether by design or not, dominated in every song that she appeared in, including the opening number, “Dream Babies,” and especially “Take Hold the Crutch.

” Her powerful voice and infectious personality brought the music to life even though, after 50 years, the message might have gone stale. Scarpaci has a tremendous ability to use her upper register to sound a siren’s call, nowhere better than on “How I Feel,” delivering “Lord, this life is a hard thing to live.
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While perhaps not on the level of De La Rosa and Scarpaci, Daniel Yearwood’s work and his ability to take on multiple styles and show alternative aspects in his performance made him the subtle star of this show. He replaced his joyous appearance for seriousness, and later for desperation, that truly captured the haunting emotions that reverberate through time.

Joining this large and exceptional group of performers were Clay Rued (cello), Peter Brendler (bass), and Jeff Davis (drums).
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Pianist and music director was Deniz Cordell. While The Me Nobody Knows is a worthwhile expression of New York history, I believe it’d be best to keep an eye out for De La Rosa, Scarpaci, or Yearwood when they appear in more shows soon.

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