Tuesday, April 9, 2013

cabaret review MARIN MAZZIE & JASON DANIELEY, "He Said, She Said" NJPAC, March 23

Married couple and Broadway stars Marin Mazzie and Jason Danieley have been together for around twenty years now.  The story of how they met and how their relationship came together is the theme that weaves together their latest cabaret show entitled "He Said / She Said." 

While the show could also be entitled "He Sings / She Sings" due to the fact that the majority of the songs are solos, there is enough high calibre solo material here sung by two very capable singers to get over the fact that the couple does very little singing together during the show.  Mazzie and Danieley have two of the clearest and strongest voices out there so while I would have preferred to have them sing more songs together many of the songs choices were inspired and fit in perfectly with the theme of the evening.

The duo's opening number is an up beat and bouncy take on the Johnny Mercer standard "Something's Gotta Give" which perfectly sets up the evening and the idea of love being more of a push me/pull me type of relationship.   Two solos that really hit home are Mazzie's take on "A Cockeyed Optimist" from South Pacific which receives a cha-cha type of arrangement and Danieley singing The Wizard of Oz's "If I Only Had a Brain" in a slowed down lounge type delivery.  Both hit home runs. Other highlights include a pull out the stops delivery of "Cry Me a River" from Mazzie and Danieley delivering "One For My Baby" with perfect emotions as if he's been at that bar in the song many, many times.

While the stories the couple tells give us a little insight into how they met, at an outdoor production of a show entitled The Trojan Woman where they prayed for the show to be rained out so they could spend more time together, there isn't a lot more of the details we learn about their romance except from the lyrics of the songs they choose to portray it.  And while most of the song choices fit well in displaying their growing attraction some of the choices were odd (Cole Porter's "The Physician") or seemingly out of place in the forward trajectory of their romantic arc.  There was more than one time when the patter between songs had one of the couple remind us where we last left off in their romantic courtship, something that wouldn't have been necessary if the patter leading in to the songs was clearer and more accurately set up the song in relation to their budding relationship.

But when you have songs like "Smile," "From This Moment On," "Our Love is Here to Stay" and "Blues in the Night" delivered by two powerhouse performers I guess it doesn't matter.

Marin and Jason in concert singing a Sondheim suite:

"The Natural Order of Things" -

a brief interview with Marin and Jason about this concert:

Jason and Will Chase sing "Lily's Eyes" from The Secret Garden:

Marin performs "Back to Before" from Ragtime:

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