The Arts Garage in Delray welcomed Tony-nominated Broadway denizen and jazz artist Ann Hampton Callaway to its stage last night. It was an evening of bring your own dinner or snacks, but most of all, it was important to bring your love and appreciation of great music and Broadway’s best.
It was a very savvy crowd who filled the room at South Florida’s popular eclectic venue for Ann’s new show titled “Broadway Classics,” which, as she told me, she put together specifically for this appearance.
When it’s just Ann, the singular artist accompanying herself, (while she sings), there’s nothing else that filters or gets between you and the unique colors of her masterful musicianship. With Ann’s fingers set loose on the keyboard, her notes, harmonies, rhythms and arrangements, intertwining with her lush voice’s theatrical power and improvisational abilities, the night was full of “moments.” I’ve never heard her belt so thrillingly, which truly serves so many of these Broadway Classics. The showtunes, Callaway’s witty, and at times spiritual banter, will be an evening long remembered by this Arts Garage Audience.
“Till There Was You” from THE MUSIC MAN was dedicated to the memory of the late Rebecca Luker, “If He Walked Into My Life” from MAME she dedicated to her nephew Nicholas Foster, and the R&H anthem “You’ll Never Walk Alone” to Ann’s mother and voice teacher the late Shirley Callaway. Each and every one equally moving.
Ann closed the 2 ACT program talking about the importance Barbra Streisand has played in her musical molding, singing an emotional “People” from FUNNY GIRL, with a devilish segue into “Being Alive” from COMPANY, which she shared with us she saw on Broadway with the Original Cast.
“Broadway Classics,” this newly curated grouping of songs from the 1920s to the 1990s, performed by the popular and legendary “diva” is more than a show, it’s an experience, especially hearing very familiar melodies and lyrics in a new time, after having shared the collective void we’ve all experienced during this isolating pandemic.
We may have not been able to attend Broadway Shows over these past 15 months, but Ann Hampton Callaway brought it back to vivid life with her song choices and her breathtaking musical sensibility.
We can only hope that New York and all other cities she plays in, will be able to share in this “Miracle on Callaway Street.” The street where she lives.
At my table ….
Eda Sorokoff – “One of the best shows I’ve ever seen her do.”
Craig Neier – “ I’m amazed by her charm, wit, personality and musicianship.”
Kari Strand – “I’ve always loved her.”
Richard Jay-Alexander – “OMFG! I have NEVER heard her sing like this. We need to get her back on Broadway. I am NOT exaggerating!