NY Music Review by Sandi Durell
Who else can gather up Tony, Drama Desk Nominees and Winners, MAC and Nightlife Award Winners and every other kind of winner in the performing arts? Creator, host and all around ‘everybody loves’ guy . . . Scott Siegel. This time he outdid himself with a roster of performers who all, deservedly, got standing ovations.
Let’s start with Mr. ShowBiz himself – Mark Nadler who, with his usual pizzazz (yes, I do like that word) accompanied himself and sang “Everything Old is New Again” and his exciting “S’Wonderful” as a wrap-a-round to Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.” The man has boundless energy and talent.
Farah Alvin (a recent new Mom) gave a powerful rendition of “Don’t Rain on My Parade.” And if its trivia you’re interested in – remember that finger on the ET poster – it belongs to a young Farah Alvin!
Recently seen in “Act One” at Lincoln Center, two time Tony Nominee composer/singer/actor Bob Stillman resounded with “Being Alive;” the passionate and formidable Maxine Linehan made Craig Carnelia’s “Flight” her own, along with “Unexpected Song.” And for her birthday her husband, songwriter Andrew Koss surprised her with a very funny and clever song (sung by Bob Stillman) about the difficulties of day to day life in New York – construction, rents go up, apartments shrink . . . but what keeps him out of Bellevue is knowing what to do . . . “I Think of You.”
In 1971, Carole Demas created the role of Sandy in “Grease” and re-created “Meadowlark,” which she originally sang and to which she is obviously soulfully connected. What a treat!
Although, the show was presented in two acts, it was obvious that everyone was eager to hear more as the man in the colorful flower shirt (Scott Siegel) presented some new performers including the current female lead in “Matilda the Musical,” Jill Paice, who sang joyously – – “Once You Lose Your Heart” ( Me and My Girl) and “Hold On” (The Secret Garden).
The beautiful and dramatic Marya Coburn, who hasn’t performed in public for 20 years, obviously hasn’t lost a beat. She can tell you stories about her days in Hollywood, on TV, about Sinatra, Presley, a flunky movie she made in Spain with a young Antonio Banderas, sing “Besame Mucho” in Spanish and so much more! She’s ready for her third act because as she states “I’ve got guts,” presenting a medley of “New York, NY/Cry Me A River.” I think we’ll be hearing a lot more from Ms. Coburn!
Musical direction/accompaniment was by Ian Herman.
Oh, what a night! Endless talent and we’re anxious for the next round at 54 Below on August 12th 9:30 pm. Best to make reservations because there was nary a seat in the house!
Tickets & Information: (646) 476-3551
54 Below – 254 W 54th St, Cellar – New York, NY 10019
Photos/Video: Russ Weatherford