Marieann Meringolo: Shades of Love

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Marieann Meringolo

Shades of Love

54 Below, NYC, September 16, 2022

Reviewed by Ron Forman

Marieann Meringolo

Marieann Meringolo is a dramatic vocalist whose facial expressions and body language make every song she performs a story. Her enunciation is excellent, so each word of the story can be easily understood. She is quite confident on stage, and she often interjected laugh-out -loud remarks between songs. In Shades of Love at 54 Below, she was backed by two excellent musicians—her long-time music director Doyle Newmyer on piano and Boots Maleson on bass—and she gave each of them opportunities for solos. Newmyer joined her on vocals for some songs.

Her three shades of love are attraction, falling in love, and unconditional love, and she carefully chose songs from different genres for each of these. She opened with a haunting medley of “Wild Is the Wind” that started slow, but then sped up on “What Is This Thing Called Love.

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” Her voice blended nicely with Newmyer’s on his composition “Head Over Heels.” After telling us how often she had listened to Billy Joel’s “Summer Highland Falls” as a teenager, she said she appreciated it even more now and then gave a very emotional performance of that song. She reprised two songs from her past show that paid tribute to Alan and Marilyn Bergman: a very bold “Love Makes the Changes” (music by Michel Legrand) featuring a honky-tonk piano by Newmyer, followed by an emotionally charged “Fifty Percent” (music by Billy Goldenberg), ending with a very big finish.

She combined humor and drama with her introduction to and performance of “It Must Be Him” using her phone as a prop.
She told a very touching story of how Anthony Nunziata wrote (with Jeff Franzel) the very moving song “I’ll Be with You Again.

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” She very nicely covered the Neil Sedaka/Howard Greenfield “The Hungry Years” and Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now.” She remarked that her closing number, “I Am Blessed,” written by her friend Marsha Malamet (with Mark Mueller) described how she feels about herself now. She held the last note of “Meadowlark” (Stephen Schwartz) in her encore number while the audience kept applauding.

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.