BWW Review: Keri René Fuller's Debut Solo Show at The Green Room 42
If you do not yet know the name Keri René Fuller A.) You should, and B.) Trust me, you will. Fuller, who just returned from a year of touring with 'Cats' as Grizabella - Which should tell you enough about the vocal prowess of this performer - made her way to the cozy, trendy stage of The Green Room 42 last night to debut her first ever solo show. And what a debut it was.
You would think that Fuller - coming off a tour singing arguably the most famous musical theater song in history - would want to capitalize on that, play to the traditional musical theater fans and sing every 'Don't Rain on My Parade' and 'Defying Gravity' in the canon. What she did instead, was opt to reveal a different side of herself, a rawer, more modern-sounding side, letting the audience know that she has more to offer as a performer than safely sticking to the standards, and she can do so much more than belt - though we love to hear that too. Boy, did the audience love to hear that.
There wasn't a musical theater song in sight and if I'd initially mourned the lost chance to hear Fuller let loose with one more 'Memory' for old times' sake, it was proven very quickly and with no room for doubt that there was nothing for me to mourn over. Fuller makes hearing Billie Eilish and Sara Bareilles every bit as aurally satisfying as hearing the musical theater standards. Sometimes even more so. And that is a rare gift.
Fuller's capabilities as a performer were established from the very first song, Billie Eilish's 'when the party's over'. Her lower register is every bit as strong as her upper register, and she made each song a chance to showcase not only her vocal range, but her emotional range as well, seamlessly flipping the switch from quiet vulnerability to bold confidence. She sang her way through FINNEAS' 'Let's Fall In Love For The Night', Julia Michaels' 'Issues', Sara Bareilles' 'Armor', Lady Gaga's 'Always Remember Us This Way' from 'A Star is Born', Daniel Caesar's 'Best Part' and more. Every riff and belt was perfectly placed within each song, never excessive, never just to prove that she could. And she very easily could have done that. Every time Fuller hit a money note, the audience would react with whoops and hollers, and sometimes even disbelieving laughter, as if they couldn't fathom how a sound like that was being made right in front of their very eyes.
Fuller made it clear though that this debut solo show was not all about her. She showcased her incredibly talented band and background vocalists generously, bringing them to the forefront and allowing them to shine both with her and on their own, especially Brandon Michael Nase whose rendition of John Mayer's 'Stop This Train' was silky smooth.
Simply, it was just a pure treat to sit there and listen to Fuller's voice for an hour. Here's hoping that her next solo show isn't too far away so that even more people will have the chance to see her perform.
*Keri René Fuller's Team:
Jacob Fjeldheim: Music Direction and multi-faceted musician
Georgia Weber: Bass
Joshua Roberts: Percussion
David Kawamura: Guitar
Brandon Michael Nase: Direction and Background Vocalist
Maria Failla: Background Vocalist
Andrew Kotzen: Background Vocalist
Shayla Brielle G: Background Vocalist