NYMusic Review by Michael Stever
Video Filmed/Edited By Michael Stever
New York City (and yours truly) have loved Tamara Tunie for years. Not only did her striking, legal-eagle Jessica Griffin from ‘As The World Turns’ put her leaps and bounds ahead of the daytime TV pack, but nearly 25 years (and countless Film/TV roles later) Tunie is still knocking them dead and in a myriad of ways. I’ll never forget our first candid sit-down interview in 2008 during Stephen Schwartz’s historic ‘Defying Equity Broadway Concert,’ which helped spark the landmark grass roots movement that put a fatal dent into the notorious anti marriage-equality bill, Proposition 8. While no doubt a champion for ‘the light’ side of things where human rights are concerned, who could ever forget her in ‘The Devil’s Advocate’ where she sports an extremely horrifying scene as a ‘shape-shifting demon’ who morphs in front of a terrified Charlize Theron? Clearly this gal from ‘the burgh’ has been around, and knows how to leave a haunting impression.
Nowadays, this ethereal ebony beauty is haunting audiences with her rich, powerful, soulful set of singing pipes as Tamara Tunie brought the house down at 54 Below on May 27th, 2014. Singing to a packed standing room only crowd, she not only sang an unforgettable evening of jazz, but gave the audience a noteworthy history lesson – citing musical luminaries from her hometown of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. Legends From The ‘Burgh’ was a stand-out affair, masterfully representing every artist covered in her show, and she did it with the adept skill of a consummate story teller.
No memorable ‘burgh’ legend was left behind. Her “Lush Life” (in tribute to Billy Strayhorn) left the audience breathless, and resonated with the songs haunting, cautionary arc.
A powerful and chilling “Funny How Love Goes” (sung in tribute to the legendary Phyllis Hyman,) left nary a dry eye in the house, and ‘On Broadway’ (in tribute to jazz great George Benson), was the ‘piece de resistance’ affording the audience the perfect catalyst for leaping to its feet for this phenomenal Thespian dynamo! Other Pittsburgh artists featured include Stephen Foster, Billy Eckstine, Mary Lou Williams, Stephen Flaherty, Perry Como, Henry Mancini, Maxine Sullivan and many more!
Tamara Tunie’s ‘Legends From The Burgh’ showcases a master craftsman at work and is not to be missed. The extended run features one last show coming up on June 17th, at 54 Below so get your tickets now.
(646) 476-3551 – 54 Below – 254 W 54th St, Cellar – New York, NY