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My View: Joanna Gleason Overwhelms at Feinstein’s/54 Below

Joanna Gleason gave a  memorable performance in her superbly crafted, written and directed show last night at Feinstein’s/54 Below.  Jeffrey Klitz her music director and pianist created some of the most haunting and extraordinary arrangements for her group of musicians consisting of guitar, banjo, autoharp, cello, percussion and 3 back up vocalists called the Moontones. Joanna took the audience on a roller coaster of emotions both poignant and humorous with stories of her parents and herself in an evening titled “Out Of The Eclipse”  Even though the songs she used to weave her story were treasures written by varied composers/lyricists over a wide musical time frame they somehow felt destined to all come together to be in this show.  

 The music of Porter, Lambert Henricks, & Ross, Charles Strouse, Richard Maltby, Rodgers & Hart, Kurt Weill, James Taylor and others all were so well strategically placed in the journey she took us on. 

Joanna Gleason made us laugh and cry as she recalled her memories and end of life conversations with her mother and father.  A touching moment was when she sang Oyfn Prpestshik a Yiddish song written in the 1800’s. It’s about a rabbi teaching his young students the alphabet.  “When children, you will grow older…You will understand…How many tears lie in these letters…And how much crying….”  There were many tears and laughs during this unforgettable evening at Feinstein’s/54 Below which was written, directed and performed by Joanna Gleason.  This show is destined for another stage.

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Joanna Gleason

Revered by Broadway audiences for her unforgettable (and award-winning) portrayal of The Baker’s Wife in the original company of Into The Woods, New York has also embraced Joanna in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Nick and Nora, and Sons of the Prophet among others, racking up all of the major theatre awards along the way. This is to say nothing of her film and TV work, which includes Boogie Nights, Crimes & Misdemeanors, The Wedding Planner, and a whole host of other projects.

Joanna Gleason
Chris Sarandon & Joanna Gleason
Joanna Gleason & Moontones
Joanna Gleason & Chris Sarandon
Jamie deRoy, Joanna Gleason, Joan Ryan
Eda Sorokoff & Joanna Gleason
Ron Abel & Natalie Douglas
Jamie deRoy, Eda Sorokoff, Bill Hutton
Lights & Sound


Stephen studied at the Manhattan School of Music. Besides being a pianist, Stephen’s business career was in the Fashion Industry. He was CEO of a textile manufacturing facility and President of an international textile machinery company. Stephen was on the Board of Directors of the “First All Children’s Theatre” which brought the Stephen Schwartz musical The Trip and Captain Louie to the Kennedy Center in Wash DC. His wife Eda, an interior space designer and classical pianist was on the Board of Barrington Stage Company and is still active at BSC. Stephen’s photographs, videos and articles appear on, and The New York Observer. He is active in the entertainment events at the Friars Club, where he is a member. Stephen is also an Honorary Board Member of The Society For The Preservation of The Great American Songbook. Stephen

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