BWW Review: LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE: A CELEBRATION OF QUEER LOVE At Feinstein's/54 Below
A collection of young, rising stars brought ss Valentine's queer realness
Heigh-Ho, My Merry Rainbow Tribe! Bobby Patrick your RAINBOW Reviewer here. Putting the silent T in cabareT to bring you all the T...
Last week's Valentine's celebrations started off with a big RAINBOW bang for Bobby at Wednesday night's LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE: A CELEBRATION OF QUEER LOVE at Feinstein's/54 Below. Produced by the beautiful and talented Meghan Gunther, with music direction by the equally beautiful and talented Brandon James Gwinn, a singer-pianist, composer-lyricist who started us off with his original song titled ORIGINAL SONG - what else? The full, fabulous line up of performers on the night can be seen here: LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE Line up; but the one face you will miss on that roster of fine young talent will be Producer, Gunther herself. One of the facts we learned on the night was that Meghan seems to have eschewed performing and is, presently, the General Management Assistant at AIN'T TOO PROUD, but we caught her showing her talent twice when she picked up a mic to sing backup and later a guitar to play for one of her production charges. One hopes that the shift to the production side will not keep this young lady away from the footlights forever. BUT, as far as the evening she put together goes, we must say she displays fine talent there as well.
Showing us an example of the color/gender blind world we dream of, Guther assembled a most diverse company of singing actors and acting singers singing songs celebrating queer love, but also, finally, the spectrum that is humanity. Meghan's mafia of millennials came to the stage, grabbed the mic, gave us a touch of their story or why the song they picked had meaning for them and then gave us a glimpse of our future. Beautiful words and music that included Carol King's SO FAR AWAY, Lloyd-Webber's I DON'T KNOW HOW TO LOVE HIM, and Styne's THE MUSIC THAT MAKES ME DANCE all sung by performers of varied pronouns singing the songs as written regardless of lyric genders. Gunther & Gwinn turned out to be a fine team as there was no time wasted and, together as host and pianist, they kept the show moving at a brisk pace, never getting bogged down in TOO MUCH talkie talkie, leaving the vocalist to say it all with music while flashing their headshots and recent credits on the overhead screens. Joining the troupe of Broadway hopefuls were 2 colleagues of Gunther's from AIN'T TOO PROUD, Jamari Johnson Williams and Jelani Remy who celebrated love by singing SECRET LOVE SONG (by Little Mix) and GORGEOUS (from THE APPLE TREE) respectively and showing why they have their jobs on the "big street."
In all, the evening played like a real Stars Of Tomorrow with standouts going to Preston Max Allen singing Lloyd-Webber's paean to unrequited love, Kat Griffin with her rendition of I CHOSE RIGHT from BABY and Danielle Purdy singing Lowdermilk & Kerrigan's RUN AWAY WITH ME; at first charming to bring her audience to her and then powerful to lift us all up. The times they are a-changing my rainbow pets, with more and more open queerness happening on our mainstream New York stages, in nightclubs and other varied venues. With LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE it is our sincere hope that the talented - off-stage as well as on - Meghan Gunther (and others of her generation) will keep hitting up rooms like F/54B with inclusive entertainments such as this fine show - so fine in fact, Bobby gives LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE: A CELEBRATION OF QUEER LOVE a big 5 out of 5 Rainbows, and our hopes for more music to love by in our future.
To Keep up with Meghan Gunther and find out what she's doing next
* All Photos By My Boss, Stephen Mosher