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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Wherein the hairs on my neck are raised and I end up weeping

If you're reading on looking for the soap opera..."nevermind".
I had a stellar evening. I went to probably one of the best performances I've ever experienced. 
I'll attempt to make some comments without entirely gushing, but it is unlikely that I'll succeed. 
He was amazing. (Happy sigh.)

Certain singers performing certain songs will give me "goose bumps" or raise the hairs on my neck. Tonight's performance did both and had me weeping twice (OK, three times. I was in good company - I shared tissues with the woman next to me...).
He has such a perfectly controlled, rich, graceful, deep, textured voice with such timbre and versatility that I can't even gush adequately.
Seriously - Happy sigh. 

I've not seen a lot of his stage performances beyond PBS or the Tony Awards. But his voice - even not singing on the TV show "Frasier" as upstairs neighbor Cam Winston, is always a pleasure to hear.  
({gush-alert...} He is also quite handsome with a lovely smile. )
I have his striking singing voice on some Broadway soundtracks, had seen the PBS Concert performance of "South Pacific" with Reba McEntire, and had easily recognized his voice in the "Prince of Egypt" Soundtrack performing "Through Heaven's Eyes". 

Tonight - he demonstrated why he's been named "The Last Leading Man" by the New York Times. 
I agree unquestionably. 
He was charming and funny and kind and personable. 
(I know, gushing... Ahem - sorry.)
He performed show tunes, jazz, and all manner of song in between.
He was accompanied by 4 equally-stellar musicians: Tedd Firth (piano), Gary Haase (bass), Buddy Williams (drums), Bob Shepard (woodwinds).
His voice, posture, expression, & tone all blended to enhance the performance and to draw us into the world he was painting for us. 

He gifted us with "This Nearly was Mine" from South Pacific - "unplugged". 
He put aside the microphone and demonstrated the acoustics in Centennial Hall - filling it with his voice. 
What a treat!! And, yes, the UofA Theatre Majors in the back of the hall could hear him fine. 

I'll avoid listing all the selections he performed. (Some were entirely new to me.)
I plan to track down more music featuring this amazing talent for my collection.
He closed with "Impossible Dream" from the Man of La Mancha - which also seems to be a good place for me to stop gushing.
Night, all. 

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