By: Sandi Durell
It’s always a treat to hear the rich and formidable voice of James Barbour – albeit, too infrequently I must admit.
But harken Barbour fans, as the glorious-voiced wonder has brought his annual holiday show to 54 Below this season for only two performances – the one I attended late last night and the upcoming December 12th show at 7 p.m.
He is charmingly endearing and filled with heart-warming family stories about his wife, in-laws and especially his two little girls, ages 2 and 5. And, he’s very witty displaying an off-handed casual delivery.
Although his set list is filled with all the musical spirit of the season, in my opinion, there just wasn’t enough of the grandeur of Mr. Barbour’s magical voice who filled a great deal of the evening with guest appearances. However, we did get to hear the mile-a-minute Streisand version of “Jingle Bells,” a memorable “White Christmas” and “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” Parts were distributed for the “12 Days of Christmas” to audience members producing a hysterically funny rendition.
Highlights of the show included James’ singing “Who Will Love this Child” (Hunchback), Frank Wildhorn’s “Bring Me Giants,” “If You Just Believe” and “Oh Holy Night.”
Guests included TNT Rock Band star Tony Harnell with “Northern Lights;” Frank Basile in a “Little Drummer Boy” duet with James, and Stephen Wallem (Nurse Jackie) with “Still, Still, Still.” Next week’s guest will be Mary Testa.
There’s no doubt the crowd would have stayed into the wee small hours because you just can’t get enough of the sensitive and soaring interpretations that James Barbour brings to a song.
Piano accompaniment is by Jeremy Roberts.
254 W. 54 Street- Cellar, NYC
To purchase tickets visit TicketWeb.com
or call (866) 468-7619
*Photos/Video: Magda Katz