BWW CD Reviews: Bebe Neuwirth's STORIES... IN NYC Live at 54 BELOW is Spirited and Delectable
In March 2013, Bebe Neuwirth made her 54 BELOW debut with her one-woman cabaret STORIES WITH PIANO #4. Broadway Records preserved her cabaret by beautifully recording her Thursday, March 21 performance. Now, her ebullient and spirited cabaret has been made into a charming album entitled STORIES... IN NYC - Live at 54 BELOW. On the album, audiences are treated to Bebe Neuwirth's indefatigable Broadway belt, charismatic performances, and delightful personality as she delivers her brand of indefatigable star quality.
For the cabaret performances, Scott Cady's Music Direction expertly paired interesting songs with Bebe Neuwirth's unique vocal instrument, ensuring that every musical performance showcases every brilliant aspect of her sophisticated timbre. Additionally, the pair finds a divine cadence and energy together. As Scott Cady's fingers tickle the ivory keys, he and Bebe Neuwirth seem to breathe and move together, reflecting all the emotionality and depth of the chosen pieces.
The shining prize on the disc is hearing Bebe Neuwirth sing songs she is passionate about. Popping the disc into my stereo, I instantly felt transported to 54 BELOW. There is a tangible and electrifying aura to her performances that fills my living room as if I was listening to her sing to me in my own home. She makes iconic numbers like Irving Berlin's "I Love a Piano," Kurt Weill and Alan Jay Lerner's "Susan's Dream," and John Kander and Fred Ebb's "But the World Goes 'Round" feel like they are brand new, exciting pieces of musical artistry. Whether you're a fan of Broadway favorites or of Bebe Neuwith, STORIES... IN NYC - Live at 54 BELOW has plenty to offer all listeners.
Additionally, the vignettes that Bebe Neuwirth shares between numbers about the significance these songs hold for her give listeners an opportunity to get to know the acclaimed performer on a personal level. She invites us in to experience her wit and humor as if we were chums catching up over a decadent brunch. Moreover, we can't fault her when she tells us that she forgot the lyrics on "The Bilbao Song" because she continues to perform it with such professionalism and skill that we are too taken with the performance to really notice the missing lyrics.
Like many before her, Bebe Neuwirth explores the profound affect that musical theatre has had on her life by sharing her favorite songs from the Broadway songbook with us. She performs each piece with a delectable liveliness and keeps even the listeners at home attending to every note with her poise and grace.
Broadway Records released Bebe Neuwirth's STORIES... IN NYC - Live at 54 BELOW digitally on November 15, 2013. Physical copies of the album were released on November 19th. The recording can be purchased from iTunes, Amazon, and elsewhere music is sold.
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Image courtesy of Broadway Records.