By: Sandi Durell
In a very frank and funny debut at 54 Below, Joanna Gleason, born in Toronto, shared her newly attained citizenship in the USA.
Accompanied by the string quartet Well Strung, an extremely talented classic to jazz male group, along with Jeffrey Klitz on piano and Lee Weissman on guitar, Tony Award Winner Joanna Gleason (Broadway debut – “I Love My Wife”; the Baker’s Wife, original cast “Into the Woods”), tall, svelte and glamorous in black lace and sequin, is steady as they come, her delivery impeccable whether it’s a vocal lyric or a humorous story line about her multi-facted life. Ms. Gleason is notable not only for Broadway roles but TV and film work.
From walking her dog Gretchen and dreaming of having her own band, to college girl fantasy of being Darcy Dorsey (that would be sister of Jimmy and Tommy) singing with the band and having a thing with the drummer, to the birth of son Aaron (a songwriter now living in Brooklyn with a wife and child), to her divorce and then remarriage to Chris Sarandon, each narration begets a song.
The songs are gems representing each segment of her life – – “Where or When,” “I Can Dream Can’t I?” – – “Moments in the Woods,” a simply sweet version of “But Beautiful” (w/guitar).
Joining her on stage was long-time friend Chip Zien (the Baker, Into The Woods), ah yes, “I Remember It Well” – a humorous parodied version ensuing. A knowing “And So It Goes” (son Aaron and hubby Chris joining her on stage), was a perfect closer.
Ms. Gleason knows how to land a laugh and there were many as she engaged her audience, a packed house of friends and fans. Gratefully, she has other shows scheduled: Wed. October 16th and 23rd both at 9:30 pm.
www.54 Below.com , 646 476-3551 or 866 468-7619
254 West 54 St. (Cellar) NYC
*celeb photos: Dylan Bustamante