DSCN4735Callaway Sisters



by: Sandi Durell

With a twinkle in their eyes and lots of heart and love, Ann Hampton Callaway and sister Liz Callaway did what they do best – sing and provide an evening of tongue-in-cheek humor with a little bit of sibling rivalry, thrown in for good measure, and a lot of sibling revelry.

The two theatrical wonders opened with “It’s Today” unlike any other day, blending their unique sounds in perfect harmony and continuing with a versatile swinging arrangement (with some freshly penned lyrics by Ann) in “Friendship,” giving them each the opportunity to get in some humor-filled digs at one another; Ann showing off her 15 MAC Awards to Liz’ one; Liz getting back with her Emmy Award (they are both Tony Nominees).

Jazz baby Ann, soulful, smoky and sensual reached down deep emotionally in “My Buddy/Old Friend” and was full of spice, vinegar and scat on “Rhythm in My Nursery Rhymes.”  Crystal clear as a bell Liz Callaway regaled with “Meadowlark” and the most tender “My Heart Is So Full of You” (referring to her husband).

An anthem-like a capella “You Must Believe in Spring” was an extremely touching harmonic duet.

The gals shared stories galore about coming to New York together, Ann wanting to be a singer, songwriter, painter, poet, and promote world peace – Liz . . . just wanted to be on Broadway. Of course, having a mom like Shirley Callaway (well known voice teacher & vocal coach) gave them a leg up!

When friends knew they were bringing back “Sibling Revelry” (after 18 years – last at Rainbow & Stars), everyone had ideas about what they should sing.  So they made a scenery change (brought the bar stools downstage) and began their “Huge Medley.”

This is a piece de resistance, not only of tunes, but theatricality that should make its way to a Las Vegas stage.  There’s not enough room to mention all the songs, but suffice it to say that it opens with “Sisters,” moves along with “Bosom Buddies” and includes a laugh aloud “A Boy Like That” with a big ending of “Happy Days Are Here Again” that sandwiches a whole bunch of great songs in between.

Bringing the audience into the fray, “Brotherhood of Man” concluded a non-stop evening of high energy, sparkling and delightful music. With Musical Director/pianist Alex Rybeck  and Jered Egan on bass, Ron Tierno on drums (the show directed by Dan Foster), this is an evening not to be missed.

You have several opportunities, if you can score a ticket, Fri. Aug. 30, 8 & 11 pm; Sat. Aug. 31, 8 p.m.  www.54Below.com  254 West 54 St. (Cellar) NYC  646-476-3551 or 866 468-7619

Photo: Magda Katz