Sing Your Hallelujah, Shoshana Bean, Loud and Strong, Cause It’s Exactly What We Need This Holiday Season
“Go tell it on the mountain,” Shoshana Bean sings, “over the hills and everywhere.” And she has every right to, as her concert, Sing Your Hallelujah, filmed and performed at the legendary Apollo Theater in New York City, is something to completely and wholeheartedly proclaim loudly to the heavens, as we live in a world in great need for something as uplighting and well orchestrated as this holiday concert. Utilizing her powerhouse voice and that genuine charisma, Shoshana ushers us into an intimate engagement of her own creation, gathering old friends near to us, once more. Her voice swells and uplifts us all, and is as warm and gracious, as it is powerful and intense. Directed by Amy Segal, who directed the documentary “Schitt’s Creek: Best Wishes, Warmest Regards”, Bean, the dynamic Broadway star and Billboard #1 recording artist, never fails to astound.
“There are those of us who make our livelihood when people gather on mass,” she states, as the skyline of my beloved and much missed New York City floats by, “but our time has been cut short, or patiently measured” making every moment of connection feel more valuable than ever before. Overflowing with the musical energy of the holiday spirit and the true essence of the season, Bean tenderly greets us with an acapella “Oh Come All Ye Faithful.” It fills our heart with love and longing, making us wish for the day that we could all arrange ourselves around the stage and the singer for her dynamic brand of dialed down versions of beautiful seasonal songs. Joining her on that church-like Apollo stage are her dear loving friends; Tony and Olivier Award winner Gavin Creel (Broadway’s Hello, Dolly!, She Loves Me), dance phenom Jared Grimes (Broadway’s After Midnight), Broadway, TV and film star Jeremy Jordan (Broadway’s Bonnie & Clyde, Newsies), recording artist Shayna Steele (Broadway’s Rent, Hairspray), “Britain’s Got Talent” and recording artist Connie Talbot, and 2020 Tony Award nominee Daniel J. Watts (Broadway’s Tina: The Tina Turner Musical), each shining as bright as the legendary Christmas star (which I just read will be shining bright, for real, on the evening of Dec. 21st when Jupiter and Saturn will be just a tenth of a degree apart, the closest they have been since 1623, and most visible since the year 1226. This phenomenon is often referred to as the “Christmas star” so if you want, look southwest just after sunset on the evening of the 21st and you’ll see it with your very own eyes – more info, click here).
“When I stand on the Apollo stage, something magical and powerful always takes over. While circumstances prevented us from gathering and celebrating in the way we are accustomed, I couldn’t let this holiday pass without giving the best gift I know how to give. The gift of you, healing, and connection through music,” Shoshana Bean
With classics like Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne’s beautiful “Let It Snow“, and lesser known Christmas songs like “Mary Did You Know“, a song written by Mark Lowry, sung gorgeously with Talbot, Bean reminds us just how powerful and special we all are, especially during what might be thought of as one of the most complicated and difficult holiday season we have ever experienced. The holidays, regardless of your religion, have always been “a light in the darkness, a time to reflect, connect and be grateful“, Bean shares most poignantly with us, especially with 2020 being a year of so much uncertainty and loss. Stripping what matters down and re-evaluating exactly that, Sing Your Hallelujah, Shoshana Bean’s holiday musical celebration, captures the true spirit of the season in spite of life looking very different, but feeling exactly the same.
Her Jewish roots even find their way to gift us all with Israel’s National Anthem, “Hatikvah” (The Hope) and a stellar performance with Creel and Steele of a gorgeous Leonard Cohen song, which is not exactly about Hanukkah, but, almost more importantly, it is about faith and belief. Grimes’ tap dance number is dynamic and intense, not only showcasing the powerful expertise of the dancer, but the utter magnificence of the band that creates his platform. Jordan and Bean, packaged together for Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane’s 1944 harmonious “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” almost give us too much to take in, finding a uniqueness of tone and delivery, but it truly is Bean and her fabulous voice that bring the evening to a miraculous close with Adolphe Adam’s heavenly “Oh, Holy Night“. It soars up into the empty theatre with grace and soulful energy, as a weary world rejoices. She most playfully explains, ” we are single handedly saving Christmas“, and for that, we can only say, in unison, Sing Your Hallelujah, loud and strong, please. Because it’s exactly what we need, right now.
Sing Your Hallelujah is produced by For The Record and David Haring. David Cook, who has worked with Bean for nearly 20 years, including collaborations of her records: Superhero, Spectrum, and Selah, serves as the show’s musical director, arranger, while also playing the piano, with Richard Hammond on bass, Robin Macatangay on guitar, and Matt Musty on drums.
It’s an exciting staged moment, that ticket holders will be able to stream on any computer browser, mobile web,the Stellar Android or IOS app, or on TV via the Stellar app on Apple TV, Fire TV, and Roku. Tickets start at $30US with various VIP Package options that include a Live Q&A after-party, signed poster, audio recording of the show, personalized holiday greeting, and more. To Purchase or for more information, please visit www.singyourhallelujah.com.
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Cabaret, Talks and Concerts For June
The summer nights bring excitement to the clubs and cabarets. Here are picks for June.
92 Street Y: 1395 Lexington Ave. 6/1: Music Icons: Graham Nash in Conversation with Anthony DeCurtis; 6/2 and 4: California Dreamin’: Jessica Vosk Sings the Songwriters of Laurel Canyon; 6/12: A New York Evening Celebrating Peggy Lee and 6/16: Focus Features’ Asteroid City: Bryan Cranston in Conversation with MTV’s Josh Horowitz.
Birdland Jazz: 315 West 44 St. Every Monday at 9:30pm Jim Caruso’s Cast Party; Every Tuesday at 8:30pm The Lineup with Susie Mosher; Every Saturday at 7pm Eric Comstock with Sean Smith (Bass) & special guest Barbara Fasano (Voice); 6/5, 12 and 26: Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks in the Theater;Billy Stritch & Gabrielle Stravelli “Mel and Ella Swing!”; 6/6 – 10: Stacey Kent; 6/8: Phillip Officer: “Second Time Around” in the Theater; 6/12: The Brat Pack and 6/19: Natalie Douglas: “Freedom Songs: Juneteenth Jubilee”
Cafe Carlyle: 35 E 76th St. until 6-10: Sutton Foster; 6/13 – 17: Mira Sorvino and 6/20 – 24 Megan Hilty.
Carnegie Hall: 881 7th Ave at 57th St.
Chelsea Table + Stage: Hilton Fashion District Hotel, 152 W 26th St. 6/4: Reeve Carney; 6/7: Nicolas King; 6/26: Samantha Pauly and 6/27: Marieann Meringolo.
Don’t Tell Mama: 343 W. 46 St. 6/3: Tim Di Pasqua and 6/16: Tanya Moberly
Dizzys Club Coca Cola: Frederick P. Rose Hall, Broadway at 60th Street. 6/11: Songbook Sundays Fats Waller
The DJango: 2 Avenue of the Americas. 6/9: Jason Tiemann Quartet
54 Below: 254 West 54 St. 6/1 -4: Clint Holmes: Between the Moon and New York City- The Songs of Peter Allen, feat. Nikki Renée Daniels!; 6/5: Charles Strouse’s 95th Birthday Show! Feat. Stephen Schwartz & more; 6/6: Hands on a Hardbody 10th Anniversary Reunion Concert; 6/8 and 10: Jenn Colella: Out and Proud; 6/12, 14 – 17: Joe Iconis & Family, feat. Lauren Marcus & more!; 6/13:Jeff Harnar & Alex Rybeck: Our 40th Anniversary Songbook; 6/21 – 25: Shaun Cassidy: The Magic of a Midnight Skyand 6/29 – 7/1: Amber Gray
Sony Hall: 235 W. 46th St. 6/9: The Manhattan Transfer 50th Anniversary & Final World Tour w/ Special Guest The Diva Jazz Orchestra; 6/23 and 24: Sergio Mendes and 6/26: Broadway Sings Lady Gaga
The Town Hall: 123 West 43rd Street. 6/3: Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers; 6/6: PAGEBOY with Elliot Page and 6/12: Irish Repertory Theatre Gala 2023 | All My Loving The Lyrics Of Paul McCartney
Broadway’s Samantha Pauly and Reeve Carney Come To Chelsea Table and Stage
On May 29th catch Samantha Pauly for Memorial Day. Best known for originating the role of Katherine Howard in Broadway’s smash hit SIX the Musical, and her captivating performance as Eva Peron in Jamie Lloyd’s critically acclaimed revival of Evita on London’s West End, Samantha Pauly has carefully crafted an evening that reflects the last few years of her life. Join this Grammy nominee and Drama Desk Award winner as she revisits some career highlights, Broadway classics, pop/rock favorites, and all the fun stuff in between.
Grammy-winning singer-songwriter and actor Reeve Carneyreturns to Chelsea Table + Stage June 4th to perform a night of music honoring the artistry of the legendary rock n’ roll supergroup Led Zeppelin. Carney is best known for his portrayal of Dorian Grayin on Showtime’s Penny Dreadful, Riff Raff in Fox’s Rocky Horror Picture Show Reimagining, as well as originating the role of Peter Parker in Julie Taymor/U2’s Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark. He is currently starring in the Broadway blockbuster, Hadestown. Reeve Carney delivers a one-man-show cabaret that feels more like an invitation-only after-party than a traditional concert performance. Don’t miss this special performance from one of Broadway’s leading actors!
My View: It’s Richard Jay-Alexander’s Birthday!
If there’s anyone who deserves to be featured in TIMES SQUARE CHRONICLES, on this particular day, May 24, it would be this guy, Richard Jay-Alexander. Born in 1953, today he turns 70 years old, here in New York City. He has walked these city streets more than most, as he pursued and has enjoyed a 49 year career, working on Broadway, in most theaters, clubs and majestic musical institutions, such as Carnegie Hall and The MET. He’s touched many, many lives and has a passion for this business that continues to burn and just this past Sunday, he helmed a thrilling evening, celebrating BroadwayWorld.com‘s 20th Anniversary, at midtown’s historic Sony Hall. On the eve of his birthday, he attended his favorite Tuesday night happening, Susie Mosher’s The LINEUP at Birdland Theatre, and treated the audience to a couple stories, observations on this important birthday and then, with Billy Stritch at the piano, John Miller on Bass and Clint De Canon on drums, performed a moving and heartfelt (THEY LONG TO BE) CLOSE TO YOU by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Richard clearly has a gift and a passion for the stage and for music and we are all the better for it, on the receiving end.
Happy Birthday, Young Man! Here’s to many more.
My View: A Glamorous Celebrity Filled Night With Lorna Dallas at The Laurie Beechman Theatre
It was a celebrity filled audience last night and the glamor of Manhattan Cabaret nightlife was in abundance for Lorna Dallas and her show at the Laurie Beechman Theatre titled “Glamorous Nights and Rainy Days
Ms. Dallas returned to New York City with a wonderful new show. This was Ms. Dallas’ first appearance in this town since she performed at the Bistro awards prior to the lockdown of 2020. The three years respite has done nothing to dim the luster of Ms Dallas’ exceptional instrument. She stayed in fine voice all evening long. But she is more than just an excellent vocalist. She is also a compelling actress. Her show, skillfully crafted by director Barry Kleinbort, and sensitively accompanied by one of this city’s best musical directors, Christopher Denny, was a joy from start to finish. The star studded audience at the Laurie Beechman theater responded heartily to every one of Lorna’s numbers. Evening high points ran the gamut, from standards like “I Have Dreamed,” to “When the Sun Comes Out;” from an hilarious “By Strauss” by the Gershwin’s to a dramatic “Silent Spring” by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg. She also premiered a new song written especially for her by Ann Hampton Callaway and Amanda McBroom, “In My Dreams,” which wowed the savvy New York crowd. Hopefully, Lorna Dallas will return to these shores on a more regular basis. Three years is too long a wait for this powerful soprano’s next appearance..
My View: David Yazbek and Norbert Leo Butz at 54 Below
Tony, Grammy, and Emmy award winning composer/writer/musician David Yazbek and his band were on the stage of 54 Below last night playing some of his new songs from an upcoming album. They also played some great music from the Yazbek songbook and from his Broadway musicals.
In addition to being an award winning composer and lyricist David Yazbek is a formidable pianist possessing a fearless technique generating an extraordinary combination of intoxicating melodious dissonance. . A highlight of the evening for me was when he displayed his unique harmonic and rhythmic pianistic concepts on the Great American Songbook Standard “Over The Rainbow”. Norbert Leo Butz also starred in the the 54 evening titled “David Yazbek and The Bludgeoneers” and he brought the house to it’s feet with the “Dirty Rotten Medley”
The Band: Javier Diaz (Percussion), Tony Orbach (Sax), Sam Sadigursky (Clarinet), Dean Sharenow (Drums), Chris Tordini (Bass), Paul Vercesi (Sax)
And The Winners of The 2023 Drama Desk Awards Are ………
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