When a Tony Nominee ( On The Town) with an exhilarating Tenor voice who is also a great actor and tap dancer brings his “story” to a Cabaret stage it’s a special experience. Tony Yazbeck took us on his life’s journey at The Green Room 42 last night and the trip started from his long hours of practice in his dingy basement as a youngster in Pennsylvania to his successes ( and failures) on the Broadway stage. At eleven Tony made his Broadway debut playing a newsboy in the revival of Gypsy starring Tyne Daly. His mother would drive the two hours with him every day after school from PA. to the theatre. Even a car breakdown right outside the Lincoln Tunnel did not stop Tony from from getting to the stage on time. As the smoking auto sputtered to a stop on the Jersey side of the tunnel his mother told him to get out of the car and start running to Broadway. Luckily a sympathetic Bus driver opened the door but Tony ran the rest of the way from the New York side of the tunnel. Tony has a heartbreaking story of having divorced parents who wouldn’t even speak to each other. Listening to the riveting narrative of his life I couldn’t help remembering one of the greatest story tellers of all time Danny Thomas who was of Lebanese decent as was Tony’s father. Finding his true love was as romantic as it gets, and his eclectic songs list of Broadway, Gershwin and Joni Mitchell are used effectively to enhance his story, and his Cabaret Act becomes a captivating mini Broadway show. Musical director Jerry Korman is in the “pit” and supplies wonderful theatrical style piano arrangements. Tony didn’t have to run to 42nd street. BTW, Tony strolled the tables and sang to a lucky patron.
(For another article by Stephen & complete photos of this show go to Broadwayworld.com)