Reviewed by Joe Regan Jr.
Ryan Silverman, most recently Billy Flynn in the long running “Chicago” and last year as Giorgio in the critically acclaimed “Passion” at Classic Stage Company, made his U.S. cabaret debut on January 24 as part of the Café Carlyle Winter 2014 Late Night Shows. A strikingly handsome young man, Silverman confessed early in the show that his head was frozen a certain way because on the way to the hotel his taxi was rear ended. The accident did not dim the energy of his performance which he considered a special party, encouraging everyone to drink up with him. Silverman’s terrific trio was Paul Masse on piano, Michael Bianco on bass. and John Doing on drums.
Silverman opened with a swinging “Sing You Sinners,” and continued to swing on his second number, “Charade.” He confessed an admiration for Tony Bennett and saluted him by singing “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” (with verse) very movingly. Silverman has a big strong voice and, at times, he was singing too loudly into the microphone and sometimes it was difficult to understand the words on some of the unfamiliar songs. He stayed in the rhythmic mood for “Besame Mucho” inviting everyone to drink up with him because it was, after all, a late show.
Silverman quieted down to sing, with only Masse’s piano support, beautiful renditions of Cole Porter’s “All of You” and “I Am Loved.” These two were special highlights of the show. Inventively, he mashed up Sting’s “Moon Over Bourbon Street” and “No Moon at All.”
At one table were performers from “Chicago” including Brent Barrett. He told of playing Raoul in “Phantom of the Opera” in Las Vegas with Barrett but called his current Roxy, beautiful Bianca Marroquin on stage. They fooled around with “Besame Mucho” for a bit and then did a wonderful “Moonglow,” dancing very effectively together on the Carlyle small stage.
Silverman told us of his admiration for “Stop the World I Want To Get Off” and saluted Sammy Davis by singing a very tender “What Kind of Fool Am I.” He talked about his wife and their fourteen month old daughter. When his wife was pregnant he would sing to the baby in her stomach “Not While I’m Around” and that song from “Sweeney Todd” was one of the most endearing songs of the evening. After “Mirabella,” a love song he himself wrote, he closed the set with a blasting “Birth of the Blues.” The audience demanded an encore; he hadn’t planned one, so he sang acappella complete with verse “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” It was wonderful! For this night he sang thirteen songs. Everyone wanted more. He announced that for his next performances he and his great musicians would prepare more songs! Silverman certainly heated up the audience on a very cold night!
Ryan Silverman’s other dates at Café Carlyle, all at 10:45 PM, are Fridays, January 31 and February 7 and February 14. Reservations are strongly recommended