Layout 1



By Joel Benjamin


David Meulemans, a Florida-based performer, has found a home away from home in New York City: the legendary Metropolitan Room where he is “Artist in Residence.” His Lucky to Be Me was a stroll through his life in song on March 19.


He told of his professional successes and how he came out, forcing himself to reconsider many aspects of his life, including parenthood. He seems to have landed on his feet, judging from what he chose to call his show and also the generally upbeat nature of his song list.


Meulemans can best be described as a pleasant singer with a fine pop baritone voice. He exudes a slightly old fashioned air, dressed in a crisp, white dinner jacket (which at one point he covered with the absurd, fuzzy pink costume he had to wear as a singing telegram guy) that belies his lovely casual air. His manner is cool, but genial; his emotional range not huge, if this show is any evidence.


His first two numbers seemed to reflect his philosophy of life: “Pennies from Heaven” (Burke/Johnson) and “Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries” (Brown/Henderson). The closest he got to naughty was “Nothin’ but the Radio On” (Winkler/Markham) about sunbathing in Fire Island.


“Rhode Island Is Famous for You” (Dietz/Schwartz) reflected his happiness in finding a partner, while “Since You Stayed Here” (Rubins/Larson) defined the bittersweet aftermath of a relationship. Using “You Mustn’t Feel Discouraged” (Styne/Comden & Green’s sardonic take on the “Pick Yourself Up” attitude) was a bit glib, with a few lyrics stumbles.


He also should have had second thoughts about including “Tchaikovsky” (Weill/Gershwin), which is too closely associated with the late, great Danny Kaye. It’s tongue-tying list of Russian composers is only effective when sung at a breakneck speed.


His “lucky” medley (a bit overdone) did allow him to mine the richest portion of his voice in the Bernstein/Comden & Green “Lucky to Be Me.” John Bucchino’s beautiful “Grateful,” which ended the show, and was truly moving and heartfelt.


He was directed by the highly respected and much loved singer, Sally Mayes, who, along with music director Hubert ‘Tex’ Arnold, constructed and arranged this show.   Bassist, Bob Renino’s witty playing was totally in tune with Meulemans’ easygoing style. Look for return engagements in June, September and December.




David Meulemans – Lucky to Be Me

(March 19, June 11, September 16 and December 10, 2016)

Metropolitan Room

34 West 22nd Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues New York, NY

For reservations, call 212-206-0440 or visit

For more information, visit