BWW Review: Night And Day! Michael Feinstein Brings Style and Sophistication To THE SINATRA PROJECT at The McCallum Theatre
Michael Feinstein's SINATRA PROJECT at The McCallum Theatre was "Night And Day" above the theatrical offering I had seen the night before. (See my review of "Prince Poppycock and Frenchie Davis" if you want to know what I am talking about). It was everything a concert should be and he was everything a showman should be - slick, stylish and produced to perfection. Feinstein payed tribute to "the greatest singer of the 20th century, and beyond", backed by a seventeen-piece big band, and wowed the sold out crowd with tune after tune and tale after tale. He was born to sing this music and the notes and lyrics fall from his lips as if they were written just for him to sing. It may have been an homage to Sinatra, but even as he paid tribute to one of his greatest influences and role models he made the music his own and left everyone wanting more - MORE FEINSTEIN!
Opening with "Luck Be A Lady", Feinstein exuded class and monumental charisma from word one. He followed with "All I Need Is The Girl" and "I Thought About You" before launching in to the first of dozens of fascinating, personal anecdotes about Sinatra and the songbook he made famous and ever-lasting. Feinstein is a consummate crooner and a showman of the highest caliber. His banter between songs was both eloquent and elegant. There wasn't a low moment in the near two-hour, two-act concert - he gave us stellar renditions of "Exactly Like You", "Fools Rush In", "So In Love", "Begin The Beguine" and more - the orchestrations were exciting and the band perfection.
Feinstein's finest moments came as he sat at the piano and accompanied himself - sans the band! He brought such an emotional intimacy to "Time After Time" and "I've Got A Crush On You" that is difficult to quantify in words. The showstopping number came near the end of Act One when he sang "What Kind Of Fool Am I" --- it was nothing short of brilliant. Hs vocal performance was "powerhouse" and his lyric interpretation magnificent.
The technical aspects of the production - albeit very simple - were flawless. The lighting design was ever reminiscent of a 1950's supper club and the balance of band and singer was spot on. The show was perfectly constructed and paced and executed from top to bottom. When he came out for his encore and I heard the ever-familiar fanfare for "New York, New York" I started to cringe a bit - but I have to say he made this well worn tune not only palatable but exciting and - dare I say it? - refreshing! His exuberance and enthusiasm for his craft reverberates to the very back of the upper balcony. It was one of those magical evenings in the theatre that you didn't want to end. I even shocked myself to notice that I was singing "New York, New York" all the way through the parking lot to my car - I thought that song had worn out its welcome with me years ago! (Nothing personal, Kander and Ebb!)
For more information or tickets for upcoming performances at The McCallum Theatre visit www.mccallumtheatre.com, or call the McCallum Theatre Box Office at (760) 340-2787.