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Review: Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway AS LONG AS WE'RE TOGETHER! Shows Such Sweet Sisterhood

Review: Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway AS LONG AS WE'RE TOGETHER! Shows Such Sweet Sisterhood

The Callways share a bond with each other and with their audience.

Do you know why people love artists? Because they make us feel. They give us permission to feel. Every day, most of us do the same thing: we wake, we work, we sleep. We do it again. There are variations to our day... we have to get the kids to school, we have to get to the doctor, the dentist, the cleaners, the shoe repair, the mechanic. We have to do the marketing, the cooking, the correspondence. Nevertheless, from dawn til dusk, we are busy, we are putting out fires, setting 'em up, knocking 'em down, and we are pulled in a million different directions. Self-care often falls by the wayside, and that includes feeling. There just isn't time to feel the feelings, to get them out, and to stay healthy, so we set them aside, we push them down, we ignore them and don't acknowledge them, and we end up in therapy, or, worse, in hospital.

Review: Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway AS LONG AS WE'RE TOGETHER! Shows Such Sweet Sisterhood

But when we look at that painting, when we read that novel, when we watch that movie, TV show, or play, we feel things - maybe not the feelings we should be feeling, but we are feeling something. The artists to whom we give ourselves give us a reason to take the lid off the jar and take out the feelings, for an hour, for a minute, for a moment. If they are expressing anger, we can feel it with them. If they are sad, we can cry. If they are happy, we can laugh. Whatever medium in which the artist is working, if it is a medium that resonates within each of us, then it is a medium that can set the motion and set the freedom. The artist is in control and the artist is our gatekeeper.

Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway are two such artists and gatekeepers.

Review: Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway AS LONG AS WE'RE TOGETHER! Shows Such Sweet Sisterhood

The Callaway sisters are playing 54 Below this week with a show titled AS LONG AS WE'RE TOGETHER! and it is an appropriate title for the duo because they discuss, in their musical cabaret, their best friendship. They don't need to discuss it - it shows. But it is good to see and hear the feelings and the relationship because it makes us feel, and that's wonderful. I'm not best friends with any of my siblings, it isn't something that my family dynamic seemed to nurture, so wasn't it a treat to get to see that glorious relationship between these two women who hold hands and look into each other's eyes while singing to one another, and wasn't it a pleasure to see how much the twin Tony Award nominees crack each other up? Just being in a room with the Callaways is a joy because they are a joy, and they know precisely how to put on a show, using all the parts of themselves, and why shouldn't they? They are the best in the business.

And the show, the show, the show: heavens, what a show

Review: Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway AS LONG AS WE'RE TOGETHER! Shows Such Sweet Sisterhood

Ann mentioned at the top of the performance that this was their Thanksgiving show and, as such, they have created a kind of a buffet, made up of bits and pieces from their past shows. Well, a buffet is always good but this one was spectacular, with numbers from SIBLING REVELRY, BOOM, and BROADWAY THE CALLA-WAY, and none of the material is old hat or out of date because they keep it fresh, resonant and in the moment. Their dialogue obviously originates from a script, but it is apparent that the script is merely a framework to keep them on track as they ad-lib and speak off-the-cuff in manners that tickle everyone, including themselves. But the framework structures what will happen when it is time for each of them to sing, and that is where the emotions really come in. Whether laughing uproariously at the AHC-penned "Here Come The Callaways" or sobbing over any number of ballads in the program that is beautifully ballad-heavy, the emotions have to come because Ann and Liz have that special, that unique, that incomparable ability to take you along with them, wherever they go. There is so much humanity in their duet of "Corner of the Sky" and so much drama in a mash-up of "When The Sun Comes Out " and "Stormy Weather" and yet there is hilarity in a dueling "Friendship" and playfulness in a sensational Stevie Wonder medley, and whatever is the order of the moment, Liz and Ann are poised and prepared to get there, and to take us with them. This is musical storytelling at its very best, and it shows off the sisters as they are meant to be seen, particularly in Ann's heartwrenching "Both Sides Now" and Liz's medley from Evening Primrose, both numbers, alone, worth the price of admission. The ultimate moments of reward on Wednesday night, though, were the Callaway duet on "Our Time" that, immediately, followed their heartfelt, hopeful, wistful reminiscence about the first time Liz ever heard it, and a gratitude medley that was most appropriate for the Weekend of Thanks, during which many reflect on that which makes them Grateful.

The Callaway Sisters make this writer feel grateful.

Review: Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway AS LONG AS WE'RE TOGETHER! Shows Such Sweet Sisterhood

I am usually given a plus-one to most shows I see in New York City. I had a date for AS LONG AS WE'RE TOGETHER but they canceled on me at the last minute because they were so far behind their housework and cooking for Thursday. I understood. I got it. On my way home from the show, my would-be-escort texted me to ask how the show was. "Am I sorry I missed it?" they wanted to know. Yes. I told them: "You are sorry you missed it." But it was a teachable moment. Don't skip the shows. Don't skip the opportunities. These are The Great Masters, like the painters that have made their mark in the great museums of the world - not just Ann and Liz, all of them - but especially Ann and Liz. These are the great storytellers, the great musicians, the great singers, and they are here for us, and we need to go see them - not just to support them in their artistry; we need to see them for us. We need to see them for ourselves. Who knows when these chances will come again? We survived a year without live entertainment. We live in nebulous times when things happen and our lives get taken in directions unknown. So put the food in the fridge, leave the vacuum and window cleaner out for later, and take the night off to go see the shows. Don't say, "I've already seen them live, I can miss this one" because you can't miss this one. These are the masters, they are the geniuses, they are the ones who are more eloquent and more resplendent than we are, they are the deities that bestow upon us beauty and emotion, they are the painters that illuminate the world, they are the artists who give us permission to feel.

So when and if Ann is playing your town - go. When and if Liz is playing your town - go. When and if Liz and Ann are playing your town - go. Don't ask, don't question it, don't think about it - just go.

The AS LONG AS WE'RE TOGETHER band is Ritt Henn on bass, Ron Tierno on drums, and Musical Director Alex Rybeck at the piano. (When this story posted, I forgot to include them and I apologize, profusely, to these extraordinary artists for the oversight. S. Mosher)

Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway have two more shows of AS LONG AS WE'RE TOGETHER tonight (11/25) and tomorrow night (11/16) with a live stream tomorrow night.

THIS is the link for tickets. THIS is the link for the live stream.

Visit the Ann Hamton Callaway website HERE and the Liz Callaway website HERE.

Photos by Stephen Mosher; Visit the Stephen Mosher website HERE.

Review: Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway AS LONG AS WE'RE TOGETHER! Shows Such Sweet Sisterhood

Review: Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway AS LONG AS WE'RE TOGETHER! Shows Such Sweet Sisterhood Review: Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway AS LONG AS WE'RE TOGETHER! Shows Such Sweet Sisterhood

Review: Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway AS LONG AS WE'RE TOGETHER! Shows Such Sweet Sisterhood

Review: Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway AS LONG AS WE'RE TOGETHER! Shows Such Sweet Sisterhood Review: Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway AS LONG AS WE'RE TOGETHER! Shows Such Sweet Sisterhood Review: Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway AS LONG AS WE'RE TOGETHER! Shows Such Sweet Sisterhood

Review: Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway AS LONG AS WE'RE TOGETHER! Shows Such Sweet Sisterhood

Review: Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway AS LONG AS WE'RE TOGETHER! Shows Such Sweet Sisterhood

Review: Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway AS LONG AS WE'RE TOGETHER! Shows Such Sweet Sisterhood Review: Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway AS LONG AS WE'RE TOGETHER! Shows Such Sweet Sisterhood Review: Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway AS LONG AS WE'RE TOGETHER! Shows Such Sweet Sisterhood

Review: Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway AS LONG AS WE'RE TOGETHER! Shows Such Sweet Sisterhood

Review: Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway AS LONG AS WE'RE TOGETHER! Shows Such Sweet Sisterhood

Review: Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway AS LONG AS WE'RE TOGETHER! Shows Such Sweet Sisterhood

Review: Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway AS LONG AS WE'RE TOGETHER! Shows Such Sweet Sisterhood

Review: Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway AS LONG AS WE'RE TOGETHER! Shows Such Sweet Sisterhood

Review: Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway AS LONG AS WE'RE TOGETHER! Shows Such Sweet Sisterhood Review: Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway AS LONG AS WE'RE TOGETHER! Shows Such Sweet Sisterhood Review: Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway AS LONG AS WE'RE TOGETHER! Shows Such Sweet Sisterhood

Review: Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway AS LONG AS WE'RE TOGETHER! Shows Such Sweet Sisterhood

Review: Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway AS LONG AS WE'RE TOGETHER! Shows Such Sweet Sisterhood

Review: Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway AS LONG AS WE'RE TOGETHER! Shows Such Sweet Sisterhood

Review: Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway AS LONG AS WE'RE TOGETHER! Shows Such Sweet Sisterhood Review: Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway AS LONG AS WE'RE TOGETHER! Shows Such Sweet Sisterhood

Review: Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway AS LONG AS WE'RE TOGETHER! Shows Such Sweet Sisterhood



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