Review: 54 Below Brings Powerhouse Pop to the Stage

POP SINGS 54 brought down the house on May 15th

By: May. 16, 2024
Review: 54 Below Brings Powerhouse Pop to the Stage
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It may have been pouring rain outside, but in 54 Below the sun was shining brightly at Pop Sings 54 on May 15, 2024. The first performance of its kind at the famed venue was created with and to benefit a very good cause, namely to aid Experience Camps, the national non-profit that helps grieving children who have lost a parent, guardian or sibling, to enjoy a full life.  The evening’s revelry to this reviewer was more of an old time variety show in many ways.  Like the Ed Sullivan show of old, this night the audience was treated to a smorgasbord of singers, dancers and assorted talent.

Powerhouse vocalists Camille Trust and Leah Rich, started off the show with their belting rendition of “Take Me or Leave Me” from Rent. Camille Trust, who was clad in a two-tone slinky red dress along with Leah Rich, attired in white lace top, jeans and white booties with a sixties vibe, set the night off on a powerful footing with their impressive vocal talent.   

With the audience settled in, the show took a turn in a new direction. Onto the stage leaped British comedian and freestyle rapper, Chris Turner. Known from his appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Turner proceeded to create improvised raps using obscure ideas that were generated by the patrons.  Wow, Turner is witty, pithy, and quick - a truly unexpected talent to behold. Another unusual performer to grace the stage was Japanese tap dance virtuoso, Emiko Nakagawa.  Dressed in black leather leggings and a sparkling silver sequined top under a lace overblouse, this phenomenal hoofer set the stage on fire with her rapid-fire tapping shoes. Dancing to “Guns and Ships” from Hamilton, accompanied by vocalists Jack Freeman, Camille Trust, Leah Rich, it truly sounded as if a battle had begun.

Standout performances continued throughout the night such as the sultry version  “Hopelessly Devoted to You” (Grease) by Aeden Alvarez, the haunting song, “Not While I’m Around” (Sweeney Todd) as done with a rock / pop twist by Katie Martucci,  the impressive vocals of “Breathe” (In the Heights) by Nathan Farrell, a sonorous rendition of “Tomorrow” (Annie) by Sonny Step and his fabulous saxophone presentation  and of course, a “hit the back of the room”  a la Liza Minelli version of  “Maybe This Time” (Cabaret) by Camille Trust, among many others. 

One special performer was Tina Larosa, a 17-year-old camper at Experience Camps who performed a fabulous vocal and guitar solo of “Til There Was You” (The Music Man). A final encore of  “Over the Rainbow” by the entire cast didn’t leave a dry eye in the place.  This reviewer says “Bravo” and let’s hope that this is just the beginning of more Pop Sings 54 shows!

POP SINGS 54 featured Elliot Aquilar, Aeden Alvarez, Nathan Farrell, Jack Freeman, Tina LaRosa, Katie Martucci, Emiko Nakagawa, Leah Rich, Sonny Step, Camille Trust and Chris Turner. Musical Director was Devon Yesberger.

Find great shows to see at 54 Below on their website here

Learn more about Experience Camps on their website.


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