By Sandi Durell
Can one so young, good looking and confident from Toledo, Ohio, making his debut at The Green Room 42 be this extraordinary? You bet! Mark William, taking the stage in full out glamour – gold lame jacket, silver sequin bowtie – is the epitome of panache, adding his own brand of pizzazz.
He’s an old soul born with a penchant for the great standards, his smooth song stylings and lyrical understanding impressive in one so youthful. Whatever that “it” is, he’s got IT!
Opening with a medley of tunes “Come Live With Me,” “Come Fly With Me” segueing into “Blue Skies” and “From This Moment On,” left no doubt that the evening ahead was about to offer up more than some songs from the Great American Songbook.
From the age of 5, Mark was hooked on the Golden Age. Heart-warming childhood tales of his dance instructor (with the cigarette hanging from her mouth) brought recognizable laughter. His proud Mom in the audience was a big inspiration, herself a virtuoso pianist, providing the wonderful music to which Mark gravitated.
“Golden Rainbow” would have seemed quite a task to take on when the original recording artist Marilyn Maye was sitting close by! But Mark William is as comfortable on a stage as any pro I’ve witnessed. And nail it, he did!
A special arrangement of the Jerry Herman classic “Put On Your Sunday Clothes” had notable varying rhythmic changes, making it another well chosen tune.
His guest, the always fabulous and charming Klea Blackhurst, brought tons of laughter as they bantered and sang Irving Berlin’s “You’re Just in Love” – a little tune they had worked up while in Florida together.
Mark William, the nerd, fell in love with 60s television shows from which sprouted a Bewitched Medley including the show’s title song segueing to “That Old Black Magic” and “Witchcraft.”
A Peter Allen Medley offered up even more insight – “When I Get My Name in Lights,” “All I Wanted Was the Dream” – as to where this young man is headed, all brought home as the show reached its conclusion with “I Want to Go to Hollywood,” and encore (Mark now in a black sequin jacket) of Marc Shaiman/Scott Wittman’s “Let Me Be Your Star” adding in another talent . . . tap dancing.
Well, it was one exciting surprise after another! Is there nothing, young Mark William is not capable of handling?
Speaking of stars . . . William is on a fast track and someone you want to keep your eye on!
With musical director/arranger Clint Edwards on piano, Jonathan Ward on drums, Sam Zerna on bass, Jernej Bervar on guitar and Andrew Wagner on trumpet you want to make certain you don’t miss the possible reprieve of this show which I hear is in the works.
Special shout out to director Preston Ridge for making this up and comer shine!
And I’d be remiss if I didn’t add the fact that New York’s hottest cabaret room, The Green Room 42 was filled to capacity with the who’s who of Broadway and Cabaret: Vivian Reed, Debbie Gravitte, Lee Roy Reams, Jerry Mitchell, David Hyde Pierce, Harvey Evans, Jim Caruso, Lorna Dallas, KT Sullivan, Ron Raines, to name a few!
Mark William has, well, a few connections and fans!!!! What a pleasure spending the evening crooning with Mark!
Pssst: menu/food really good!!
Photos: Genevieve Rafter Keddy
The Green Room 42 – 570 Tenth Ave. (4th Floor) Tickets@thegreenroom42 or