BWW CD Reviews: Sierra Boggess' AWAKENING: Live at 54 BELOW is Ebulliently Radiant
Sierra Boggess rocketed to musical theatre stardom when she originated the role of Christine Daaé in 2006's PHANTOM: THE LAS VEGAS SPECTACULAR. She has returned to the iconic role of Christine Daaé for the West End production of LOVE NEVER DIES, the 25th Anniversary Concert of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA at London's Royal Albert Hall, and the 25th Anniversary of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA at Broadway's Majestic Theatre. Along the way, she has also starred as Ariel in Disney Theatricals' THE LITTLE MERMAID and Fantine in LES MISERABLES, among others. Recently, Broadway Records released her charming debut album, AWAKENING: Live at 54 BELOW, which was recorded during her August 2013 cabaret debut at the prized intimate venue.
Listening to the album, I couldn't help but ask myself, "Is there any genre that Sierra Boggess can't sing?" She flawlessly tackles the Broadway repertoire with songs by Richard Rodgers, Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and others, the world of opera with music by Giacomo Puccini, country music with a stirring rendition of Dolly Parton's "Wildflowers," and more. Across the recording, Sierra Boggess' celebrated, sparkling, and vivacious soprano instrument enchants on each musical performance. No pitch is missed and every note is treated with utter professional sincerity, ensuring that every perfectly placed utterance is nothing short of gorgeous. Whether sweetly singing "Just Around the Riverbend," being cantankerous and boisterous with "I Don't Care," doing a hilarious impersonation of Britney Spears on "Think Of Me" during her Andrew Lloyd Webber medley, or selling the inspirational anthem to the rafters "Live Out Loud," listeners can't help but get lost in her radiant, alluring, and lovely performances.
One of my absolute favorite aspects of the Live at 54 BELOW series is the conversational moments where the audience is warmly invited into the lives of the performer. Sierra Boggess doesn't disappoint, as she invites us to journey with her through her various inspirations. She speaks to us like we are close friends dropping by her home. In these tracks, and even when she is signing, her ebullient personality is unfettered, making her and this varied collection of musical performances all the more beguiling and endearing.
Sierra Boggess' AWAKENING: Live at 54 BELOW is another strong entry in this delightful collection of star-studded performances. If anything, this album just proves that the partnership between Broadway Records and 54 BELOW is made of magic and divinely blessed by the theatre gods.
Released by Broadway Records, Sierra Boggess' AWAKENING: Live at 54 BELOW was released digitally on Friday, December 6, 2013 and physically to select stores on December 10, 2013. It's available for purchase on iTunes, Amazon, and elsewhere music is sold.
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Image courtesy of Broadway Records.