54 Sings Lady Gaga

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54 Sings Lady Gaga

Feinstein’s/54 Below, NYC, January 8, 2019

Reviewed by Chris Struck for Cabaret Scenes

Lady Gaga

What is there to say about a 54 Sings show that hasn’t been said. Not much probably, but the cast of this one was spectacular.

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Led by the amazing Lauren Marcus and ending with the talented Annie Golden singing “Born This Way,” this show should be reprised as much as possible! Starting off with someone as flamboyant as Marcus, who paraded around singing “Bad Romance,” might have made for a tough act to follow. But Taylor Iman Jones had an impeccable vocal quality singing the lyrics of “Diamond Hearts”: “I might not be flawless, but you know I got a diamond heart.” These two performances and that line characterized the evening. Things may not have been flawless, but they were as close to perfect as they could be.

The best moment and song of the show, however, was the surprisingly raucous performance by Brian Charles Rooney of “Love Game.” Not only did he bring his own light-up disco stick but he had those lyrics down as well as though he had sung it at every karaoke club in Japan on a dare from Lady Gaga herself. Imploring the audience to “Put your paws up!,” he pulled one from Marcus’ playbook by serenading the audience while walking between tables. Even when he did take the stage, the high-octane performance did not stop as his voice echoed on important lines: “Let’s play a lovegame, play a lovegame!”

There were quite a few other talented cast members who made this show great. Talia Suskauer’s performance of “A-Yo” was impactful and, had Rooney and Marcus not made their high-energy marks, her in-your-face performance would have been one of the most memorable highlights of the evening. Along the same lines, Carrie St. Louis’s “The Edge of Glory” called on that same momentum as she sang with gusto.

Without the same fluid dominance as as shown by some of the others who put body and soul into the songs, she utilized her wonderful voice to work vocal magic.

Nathan Salstone also deserves mention for his performance of “Speechless.” Accompanying himself on guitar and offering a heart-warming rendition of the song, he implored, “I’ll never love again, oh friend you’ve left me speechless.” The musicians were Megan Talay (electric guitar), Andi Buch (bass), Joshua Roberts (drums), and Luke Williams (piano).

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 StruckChris.com