by Linda Amiel Burns
Two of Broadway’s finest singers opened their show “Broadway and Beyond” to a packed house at Feinsteins/54 Below on May 29, 2017 at 7:00 and 9:30pm. This engagement marks, not just their 20th Wedding Anniversary, but also 20 years of singing together, mainly on tour and on television. Separately they have appeared on Broadway many times: Marin nominated for a Tony Award in the 1999 revival of Kiss Me, Kate, and original productions of Ragime and Passion. Jason has been featured in The Full Monty, Curtains, Candide, and The Visit.
The San Francisco Chronicle dubbed this husband and wife duo “Broadway’s Golden Couple” and it could not be a better title and they could not have presented a better show, with the support of an incredible trio, Joseph Thalken, music director on piano and arranger of many of the songs, Rich Rosensweig on drums and Pete Donovan on bass. Marin and Jason opened with a terrific medley from The Trojan Woman, the show where they met 20 years ago and it set the tone for the evening, beginning with “All The Way”(Cahn & Van Heusen), followed by Marin singing “When You Wish Upon A Star” (Harline & Washington) and Jason’s “The Glory of Love” (Billy Hill).
Marin sat on a stool and quietly talked about her devastating diagnosis of Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer and the journey that they have been on for the past couple of years and what it does to a relationship. The last six months of 2016 were “very difficult” and she said that she is grateful to be back on stage and singing to this appreciative audience. Proceeds of the run are going to The Cancer Support Community, and the Club even created The HT, the Healing Tonic Cocktail, especially for the occasion.
When “revisiting” Kander & Ebb’s “And The World Goes Round” Marin found that the song represented the “score of her life” and her poignant rendition brought me to tears. In an evening of one highlight after another, what stood out was Marin’s “Hello, Young Lovers” from the King and I (Rodgers & Hammerstein) and a haunting “So In Love” from Cole Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate. Jason beautifully acted a medley of “Younger Than Springtime” and “You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught” (South Pacific) and it was extraordinary. The “Sondheim Suite” was riveting and with those two glorious voices, it felt as if we were watching a complete Broadway Show. The medley opened with “Happiness” from Passion, Jason’s “Good Thing Going” from Merrily We Roll Along, followed by the two dueting on “Too Many Mornings” from Follies, Marin’s “Not a Day Goes By” and ending with “Move On” from Sunday in the Park with George.
Jason included “You, You, You” from The Visit, and “I Miss The Music” from Curtains written by John Kander in memory of his late partner Fred Ebb, along with “You Walk With Me” from The Full Monty (David Yazbek) that members of the gay community have been singing at their weddings.
I’ve heard many singers perform “Back to Before” from Ragtime (Ahrens and Flaherty), but Marin made it a thrilling experience, and after her battle with cancer, it held a deeper meaning. They closed with the duet “Opposite You” from The Glorious Ones” (also by Ahrens and Flaherty) and you could feel the love, respect and compassion that these two great talents have for each other. After a standing ovation, the encore was the Gershwin’s “Love Is Here To Stay,” the song they danced to at their wedding 20 years ago.
There are only a few chances to see this brilliant husband-and-wife team in “Broadway and Beyond” at Feinsteins/54 Below on May 31 and June 1. Visit: www.54Below.com/Feinsteins for times, prices, info and to make reservations.
Photos: Maryann Lopinto