Cabaret

Lea Solanga A Concert You Don’t Want To Miss

Lea Solanga A Concert You Don’t Want To Miss

After a sold-out engagement last April, Lea Salonga has returned to Feinstein’s/54 Below to do what she does best…entertain. Her voice rich in texture, wraps around a song and nourishes it with an emotional connection to the lyric. It is simple and complex in the same breath. Who ever created her arrangements is a musical genius, because in the case of the blending of the Lennon-McCartney hit “Blackbird” with Kander and Ebb’s “A Quiet Thing” from Flora The Red Menace, songs I knew before because hypnotic. Ms. Solanga takes the celebration of the civil rights movement and attaches it to optimism quietly felt.

Ironically the Disney princess (Jasmine in Aladdin and Mulan in Mulan) starts off with her weakest number, the Rodgers and Hart classic “I’ll Take Manhattan.” It’s not that she sings it badly, it just kinda sits there, but then she peals like a rare blossom first with a jazzy version of  Victor Young / Ned Washington’s “My Foolish Heart” and then the mash up of “Blackbird” and  “A Quiet Thing.” Suddenly Ms. Salonga has you in the palm of her hand. Smartly she weaves together standards, pop tunes, and Broadway ballads with an amazing duo of musicians. Her music director  Jeff Harris on  piano and  Jack Cavari on guitar, and you have the perfect blend for an evening that just keeps getting better and better.

In “Story of My Life’ there are a mash up of tunes by Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Julian Bunetta, Jamie Scott, and John Ryan

Leon Russell classic “A Song for You” and the Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” becomes the desperate longing of unrequited love, as a bitter defeat is admitted. It is raw, painful and satisfying.

Tracey Chapman’s “Fast Car” is a speeding chase, that slows to a stop with Jeff Blumenkrantz / Annie Kessler and Libby Saines song “I Won’t Mind,” brought to life by Audra McDonald.

Back to standards with George & Ira Gershwin’s “Nice Work If You Can Get It.”

John Legend ‘s “All of Me” showed the passion of love while Robin Thicke, Cliff Harris, Jr., and Pharrell Williams “Blurred Lines” showed the carnal sexual version. You could feel the heat this song was so hot!

Michel Legrand and Marilyn & Alan Bergman’s “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?” coupled with the great Irving Berlin’s “How Deep is the Ocean?” brought to mind how to keep a relationship in tact and ran the gauntlet of emotions.

Salonga, who is a Tony, Olivier, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Award winner for originating the role of Kim in Miss Saigon and appeared in both the 10th and 25th Anniversary concerts of Les Miserables, knew her audience wanted to hear her hits and she obliges in the perfect encore.

One of the things you learn in this show is just how witty, warm and layered Ms. Salonga is. This is a show not to be missed and if you are not a fan of this amazing performer, you will be by the end of the night.

 

Cabaret

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. Currently she has a screenplay in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She was the Broadway Informer on the all access cable TV Show “The New Yorkers,” soon to be “The Tourist Channel.” email: suzanna@t2conline.com

More in Cabaret

Carole Demas, Sarah Rice

Carole Demas and Sarah Rice Pay Tribute to Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt

Suzanna BowlingJune 22, 2017
Alice Ripley

Broadway by the Year Brings Alice Ripley, Brandon Uranowitz And More To Town Hall

Genevieve Rafter KeddyJune 21, 2017

My View: Marilyn Maye Kicks XXX at The Friars Club Metropolitan Room Show

Stephen SorokoffJune 20, 2017

My View: Brian Stokes Mitchell

Stephen SorokoffJune 14, 2017
Katy Perry, American Idol

Have You Wanted To Audition For American Idol? Here’s How!

Suzanna BowlingJune 14, 2017
Vanessa Racci

Mama Mia Vanessa Racci A Good Singer Vanessa Racci

Magda KatzJune 11, 2017

My View: The Celebrities Turn Out For Golden Girl Haley Swindal

Stephen SorokoffJune 7, 2017

My View: Question: Can An Opera Star Also Be A Cabaret Star?

Stephen SorokoffJune 7, 2017
Singing Contest

Calling All Singers

Suzanna BowlingJune 7, 2017