The Concerts for City Greens

 

Devil and the Deep Cast

Devil and the Deep Cast

Sean Harkness, Karen Oberlin

Sean Harkness, Karen Oberlin

Ian Herman, Matt Scharfglass, Sean Harkness

Ian Herman, Matt Scharfglass, Sean Harkness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raissa Katona Bennett

Raissa Katona Bennett

 

 

by Marilyn Lester

 

Season eight of Concerts to benefit Tudor City Greens, a free, outdoor series, had its 2015 debut under sunny skies and dropping temperatures, made tolerable by the heat generated in sizzling musical and vocal performances. This award-winning series features professional performers from Broadway and the New York City cabaret, jazz, classical and opera scenes, who give their time and talent to make these sparkling concerts happen.

On hand for this opener was Raissa Katona Bennett, series host and vocalist, highlighting with a mini-medley of “If I Love Again/Will You.” Series regular Tanya Moberly offered her rendition of the 1977 Kansas hit, “Dust In the Wind.” Musical regulars Sean Harkness (guitar) and Matt Scharfglass (bass guitar) were joined by guest pianists Ian Herman, Jeff Cubeta and Mark Janas, who divided the Musical Direction. Janas provided a classical treat, diverting from the popular format to play Felix Mendelssohn’s “Hunting Song,” while Herman and Harkness played a selection from their new CD release “Duet.”

Other highlights of the evening included a variety of vocals from guest artists. Karen Oberlin sang “All the Things You Are,” and Meg Flather delivered “Moon River.” Two “discoveries” new to the City Greens scene were opera singer Andrew Lebon, whose baritone “Where Is the Life That Late I Led,” contrasted with the Dublin-born Colm Reilly’s clear and straightforward tenor on “Skylark.” Powerhouse vocals were sung by Carolyn Montgomery-Forant and Carly Ozard, who serendipitously both chose “dog songs:” “He’s a Tramp” and “Perfect Is Me” respectively. Katona-Bennett arranged a musical preview with the cast of her soon-to-premiere Off-Broadway show “Devil And The Deep” (http://theatreeast.org/production/devil-and-the-deep).

The concerts, which build community awareness and help increase donations to spaces which otherwise might go wanting, will continue through the summer, produced by Music and Art for City Greens. All who participate, volunteer and donate their time and services, such as sound design by Stuart J Allyn of D.R Studios.

The Concerts for City Greens, Free (donations accepted), Wednesdays, 6:30 to 8 pm

South Park at Tudor City (41st Street between 2nd and 1st Avenues), weather hotline: 347-868-7563, www.musicandartforgreen.org

Photos: Marilyn Lester

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