Janene Lovullo a Touch of Class @ Sterling's
Broadway actress/singer Janene Lovullo returned to the concert stage after a ten-year hiatus @ Sterling's Upstairs @ Vitello's on Sunday, May 23 with a superior evening of song entitled You Are My World. She was accompanied at the piano by fine musical director Chris Marlowe.
To say that Lovullo is a consummate singer is an understatement. She has an astounding range with a delivery that would make many singers envious. She can be as dynamic as she wants to be, but will also lower her instrument to almost a whisper. For me, this is the mark of an exceptional artist who is first and foremost into telling the story of every tune she sings.
Highlights of the evening included: her opener by David Friedman "Listen to My Heart", an expressive song that genuinely showed off her intimate vocal styling, Stephen Schwartz's lilting "Mealowlark", a lovely Pretty Women medley that remarkably combined the seriousness of two Sondheim tunes "Pretty Women" and "Every Day a Little Death" with the infectiously upbeat Burt Bacharach "Wives and Lovers". There was also the wonderful Ed Kleban tune "Better", the gorgeous Rodgers and Hammerstein "I Have Dreamed" and a stunningly intense adult medley that divinely mixed "You Are My World" with "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life", "Out of This World" and "So in Love". To show her comedic skill and versatility there were "Billions of Beautiful Boys" by Marshall Barer who wrote the music for Once Upon a Mattress, the very sensible "My Dog Loves Your Dog", originally done by Cliff Edwards (Ukelele Ike) in 1934, and Elmer Bernstein's "Shakespeare Lied" a lighter look at romance with simple advice to 'Get over it!' Lovullo, instead of ending with a bang, went out with the utterly splendid Kander and Ebb favorite "A Quiet Thing", forceful in its own incomparable way.
It was a short 50 minute set, brilliantly conceived by Marlowe and gorgeously performed by Lovullo. With a standing ovation, like a great opera singer, she left us gracefully, as we begged for more. Real class! Brava!