By Myra Chanin
Tim Connell is a real charmer who tells (and sings) the story of his life as it was and is in a welcoming, honest and heartwarming manner. He’s an accomplished triple-threat performer whose resume includes Broadway (Nick and Nora); Off and Off-Off Broadway (Naked Boys Singing and NY Fringe ’04); and National and International Tours (Spamalot and West Side Story). He’s slender, easy and couldn’t be more comfortable on stage regardless of whether he’s talking, singing or dancing. Tim presents a warm, attractive presence who smiles constantly, tells interesting tales and sings in a clear, appealing tenor. The audience adored him and was as delighted as Tim is that life has ultimately been good to him. It’s hard to believe he’s had a 35-year career. Did he warble his first notes in utero? And even more important, what will it cost me to get a set of genes like his?
You don’t have to read between the lines to imagine that life wasn’t easy being gay in a traditional Irish Catholic family among a brood of 11 kids (including a very different twin brother) and being the sibling who could best handle walking in 3-inch heels at the age of four. Tim takes the audience along on a journey of the significant moments and relationships that made him who he has become. And you’ll be pleased to know that when Tim spoke to father about the legalization of same sex marriage a few months ago, his father replied, “Good for you guys!”
His songs fit his story perfectly … and they are not the run of the mill stuff you often hear in Cabaret Rooms. My favorite? Peter Mills, “I’m Not Like The Other Cavemen,” a delightful and melodic spoof of mating. It was also good to hear material for the new age included, like Dan Fogelberg’s “Part of the Plan,” a delicious Carpenter trio, “Yesterday Once More,” “Sing,” and “Superstar,” Craig Carnelia’s masterpiece, “Flight,” and a slightly different take on country music’s Grammy-winning, “Looking for Love in All The Wrong Places.” The James Fallowell arrangements and backup are just lush and wonderful. I was particularly taken with Tim’s a capella opening of “Look to the Rainbow.” You can’t get more Irish than that.
There’s still one last encore performance of Tim Connell’s show at Don’t Tell Mama on Thursday, October 29th at 8 PM. It’s hard to think of anyone that wouldn’t enjoy watching and hearing him. Even an ordinary caveman would find something to beat his chest about.