Review: Nicolas King Celebrates WINTER IN NEW YORK (and more) at Chelsea Table + Stage

Songs about the cold got a warm audience reception on January 26th.

By: Feb. 03, 2024
Review: Nicolas King Celebrates WINTER IN NEW YORK (and more) at Chelsea Table + Stage

Enter the Entertainer.  Snazzy, jazzy and with razzle-dazzle energy to spare, Nicolas King bounces onto the stage and sails through his song selection.  Well, since his new show has the title and theme of celebrating Winter in New York, maybe we should say he sleds through his material that includes a cheery “Sleigh Ride.”  In his peppy patter he makes the point that this number and other included items about this season and snow and cold have been so wedded to Christmas shows and Christmas albums and December radio airplay that, even though their lyrics don’t mention the holiday, their shelf life seems to end annually before New Year’s Day.  But winter goes on and on. So, they are still in the wind for Nicolas King at Chelsea Table + Stage on West 26th Street. He tells us, however, that he hasn’t exactly been experiencing the thrill of the chill with fellow New Yorkers full time, as his recent gigs have found him in Florida and Mexico. 

New York is worthy of saluting in any season (as is the accomplished Nicolas King!), so the big town was the subject of some choices that don’t reference any season. So we got a few of the more famous “usual suspects.”  These included that “State of Mind” in a statement by Billy Joel, the seductive boat ride referenced Porgy and Bess, and a little item by Kander & Ebb (yes, that one favored by Liza Minnelli and Frank Sinatra and 1000 others, but reinvented in a thoughtful, slow tempo). 

Review: Nicolas King Celebrates WINTER IN NEW YORK (and more) at Chelsea Table + Stage There was a nod to “Manhattan” in the form of the first Rodgers and Hart success that will be 100 years old next year.  Other R&H classics came along in a break from the themes of winter and the city.  There’s a reason.  The kinetic King was cast as lyricist Lorenz Hart (pictured here) in a developmental reading of a biographical stage musical incorporating classic songs. (A side note: I caught his impressive acting and singing in the reading earlier that week and I hope it will have a full production soon; I have my fingers crossed for that, which makes it kind of difficult to type this review….)  Speaking of his theatre career, the still-boyish performer has been cast as Young Ben in the upcoming production of Follies in Las Vegas, along with Seth Sikes who appeared on stage as a guest as the dynamic duo turned up the energy to the hilt for a tour de force vocal duet on “The Joint Is Really Jumping Down at Carnegie Hall.” (Hold on to your hats!)  

Accompaniment was by a sterling jazz trio: pianist John di Martino; bassist Tom Hubbard (who seems to be playing in every other show I’m at, luckily for me); and drummer David Hawkins. What a grand group!  

Lest we forget that the chill will go away and there are warmer days ahead, a couple of songs heralded those (“Spring in Manhattan” and “The Things We Did Last Summer").  No matter what the calendar and meteorologist say, the talents of Nicolas King, who is suave with sparkle, are always in season. Meanwhile, wear your mittens.  

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Photo of Nicolas King by Gene Reed

See more upcoming shows at Chelsea Table + Stage on their website.



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