by Joe Regan Jr.
Craig Pomranz, MAC Award Best Male Vocalist 2012, brought his special Valentine Day show “Love Is A Necessary Evil” to New York’s Café Noctambulo on March 5, 2016. Pomranz who had done this show in Los Angeles on Valentine’s Day appeared with Michael Roberts, his music director, on piano to a sold out house.
Pomranz began his show with Irving Berlin’s “”Be Careful, It’s My Heart,” singing it softly and sweetly before melding into Frank Loesser‘s “I’ve Never Been In Love Before” which established his “love” theme. He told us one of the first recordings he heard as a child was his parents’ Nat King Cole album, “Love Is A Thing,” a Ned Washington/Victor Young collaboration, and when he sang it, he allowed his upper range to belt out some of the high notes but he always returned to the softer approach.
Because Pomranz is one of Doris Day’s biggest fans he sang several songs she recorded: “Someone Like You,” “My Heart Tells Me,” “My Foolish Heart” (another Washington/Young creation,) and then burst into a sing along version of “Heart” from Damn Yankees.
Pomranz stated there were three things that one thought about when celebrating love and Valentine’s Day: candy, wine, and flowers. For the first, he revived “Lollipops and Roses” and “Sunshine, Lollipops and Roses” both sung simply and purely. For wine, he belted out a strongly rhythmic “The Night They Invented Champagne” and Lesley Gore’s hit “Blue Champagne.” Best of all was the flowers section: a comedic version of Murray Grand’s “I Always Say Hello To A Flower,” then tenderly on “Violet For Your Furs” and Jerry Herman‘s “I Won’t Send Roses” from Mack and Mabel.
Keeping on the love theme, he honored Marlene Dietrich by singing her signature song, “Falling In Love Again” altering the center lyric to “Girls cluster to me/like moths around a flame.” Roberts’ piano work on this and all the other selections was symphonic.
Towards the end of the first act, one of the best selections of the evening was a moving rendition of the Beatles’ “I Will.”
Pomranz has written an international best selling children’s book “Made by Raffi” illustrated by Margaret Chamberlain. The book inspired Amanda MacBroom and Michele Brourman to write a song entitled “Different” with which he closed the show. It’s about a young boy who discovers he has a talent for knitting and his rainbow colored scarves make him very popular with his peers. The song is spellbinding and can be heard on CDBABY. The book can be bought on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble. For more information about Pomranz’ future schedules and many recordings, go to www.CraigPomranz.com.