MvVO Art Launches AD ART SHOW

Boogie Stomp A Past Forgotten

Boogie Stomp A Past Forgotten

Bob Baldori and Arthur Migliazza are Boogie Stomp now playing at the Elektra Theatre. Both are brilliant piano players with a love of the Boogie Woogie, jazz, blues, gospel and it’s history. The show is like an encyclopedic of a music that time may have passed. For most people who know the background of music, we know it started in the African American communities around 1870s. It is characterized by a regular left-hand bass, which is transposed following the chord changes. Basically eight to the bar. The genre started as a way to raise rent and dance. The problem is, in listening to two hours of this, I think this sound may have passed into oblivion.

Bob, who is considerably older, spoke of Earl Fatha Hines, Sonny Boy Williamson, Bob Seeley and Chuck Berry whom he worked with. Ask anybody under the age of 40 who Chuck Berry is and I can guarantee, they will not know who he is. Bob then played the harmonica and sang in a wobbly voice “Shake That Boogie.” I am not sure if that is how the harmonica is suppose to be played as it was squeaky. Hersal Thomas’s “Suitcase Blues,” “I’m So Glad I’m Living in the USA,” “School Days,” and “Okemos Breakdown” were included in the first set. It was an improvised “Fourplay” which included four-hands on one piano with hilarious choreography entwining arms and legs that finally made me sit up and pay attention.

The slow ballad “Tennessee Waltz,” made famous by Patti Page, started the second act in a rather boring way, but the highlight of the evening was Arthur’s “Boogie Woogie Man” into the “Bumble Boogie.” He was truly remarkable as his hands flew across the keys. Next up was one of my favorite songs, Benny Goodman’s “Sing Sing Sing” done with that same Boogie left hand and I am sorry it ruined the song. Had the Boogie been taken out it was an amazing arrangement, but that montonous left had took out the syncapaded  swing.

Next we got a mediocre composition by Bob called “By Myself.”“Honkey Tonk Train Blues” and “Got My Mojo Working” by Muddy Waters ended the show, but not without some forced audience participation.

Baldori wrote and directed the 2012 documentary Boogie Stomp, which inspired this production, but it is Migliazza, a professional pianist since the age of 13 and a two-time International Blues Challenge finalist who shines. For what the show lacks is the it factor of Jerry Lee Lewis, Liberace, Elton John. These men gave a show. When Migliazza is allowed to shine in the second act we get a glimpse into this entertainment and we are mesmerized. He can dance, speak prolifically without corny jokes and has the better singing voice though neither will win awards in this category.

John Campana’s book does not work nor does Kirk Gostkowski’s direction. The projections by John Michael Crotty were truly historical and enlighting. This is a show that should be a concert at BB Kings, Smoke or Blue Note, but is there an audience for this sound? I don’t thinks so, at least not enough to fill Town Hall or Birdland which is where these two really belong. Their musicianship is impeccable but I see why Boogie Woogie has all but faded into the background.

Boogie Stomp: Elektra Theatre, 300 West 43rd St.

Entertainment

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 Entertainment

My View: Concentrate on Nicolas King

Stephen SorokoffJune 19, 2019

My View: Cafe Centro Becomes A Love Boat For The Rob Russell Birthday Show

Stephen SorokoffJune 18, 2019

Brits Off-Broadway’s Square Go Runs Circles Around the Competition

RossJune 16, 2019

Open Roads: New Italian Cinema and The Filmmakers Who Made it a Success

Magda KatzJune 16, 2019

My View: Jazz On A Summer Night Is Hot In Palm Beach

Stephen SorokoffJune 16, 2019

In Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Halley Feiffer ReThinks Three Sisters

Suzanna BowlingJune 14, 2019

Wendy Stuart Kaplan’s Endless Conversation With New York and The World

Brad BalfourJune 14, 2019

He Says: 59E59 Theater’s Handbagged is Overstuffed but Intriguing

RossJune 13, 2019

American Paradox Gets Reading

Suzanna BowlingJune 12, 2019