by Lynn DiMenna (Florida Correspondent) . . .

Throughout her new two-act show, “Broadway Classics,” written specifically for this performance at The Arts Garage in Delray Beach, the doyenne of jazz, cabaret and Broadway, Ann Hampton Callaway, gave her audience, both in person and live-streamed, a dazzling gift…the gift of HERSELF! Warmly wrapped with the whole of her heart and the depth of her soul and displaying all the colors of her flexible four-octave range, she treated her listeners to an array of “showstoppers” and 11 o’clock numbers from many of Broadway’s most brilliant and memorable shows from the 1940’s to the 1990’s.

Given that she is a well-known and successful singer, calling herself a “diva” is perhaps appropriate but a true “American Idol” seems more accurately descriptive. She does what she does for ALL the right reasons…sharing her musical gifts, spiritual insights and positive, joyful vibes with others. She reminds us, by example and with self-deprecating wit, of why we’re here on this earth and in so doing, she inspires and uplifts with maximum impact. 

Opening with a signature, jazzy version of the Broadway gem, “Old Deviled Moon” (Lane & Harburg) from the 1947 musical, Finian’s Rainbow, she credited her Dad, legendary Chicago journalist, John Callaway, for introducing her to his jazz collection and inspiring her passion for the Great American Songbook. She also felt her mother’s presence, the noted voice teacher, Shirley Callaway, on stage and dedicated a haunting version of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” (Carousel) to her memory. With a nod to her nephew, sister Liz’s son, Nicholas, and the great Angela Lansbury, she poured her heart into Jerry Herman’s “If He Walked Into My Life” from Mame and then segued into Stephen Sondheim’s “Not While I’m Around” from Sweeney Todd.When she sang the Sondheim lyric “Nothing’s gonna harm you, not while I’m around,” every word was believable and it provided the highpoint of a show filled with a plethora of moving and memorable moments.

All in all, Ann Hampton Callaway remains a blessing to the world of live entertainment and beyond.The Arts Garage is also to be congratulated for keeping their doors open through this enormously challenging year and for continuing to present high quality performers who keep audiences coming back for more.

The Arts Garage, 94 NE 2d Ave, Delray Beach, Fl.