Contributor Heather Cassell is delighted by Broadway great Andrea McArdle’s latest cabaret offering.
Tony-nominated Andrea McArdle greeted the full house at Feinstein’s inside the Nikko Hotel with an energetic song, as she made her way onto the stage and belted “Native New Yorker” to a lively audience.
The crowd at times burst into song along with McArdle, who at 49-years old is as spunky and upbeat as ever. She enjoyed performing along with musical director Steve Marzullo as much as the audience enjoyed listening to the music and stories she told in between songs from 70’s and Sunny: Live At 54 Below. McArdle’s latest release, her first from the Broadway Records label recorded live at 54 BELOW (254 West 54th Street), is what she calls a “verbal journal” of her youth as a showbiz kid in 1970s New York City.
The album’s songs are a mix of favorites from the 70s that made her want to sing, from “Rainy Days and Mondays” to obscure Broadway show tunes, such as “Fallin’,” which never even made it into a show. Of course the album also features “Tomorrow,” the iconic ballad from Annie that set off McArdle’s illustrious career.
She wrapped up the show with an encore tribute to San Francisco featuring “The Trolley Song” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Her voice is impeccable and youthful, even after hours of rehearsal and what she calls “texture” from age. With a voice so pure and true, McArdle hit every note effortlessly, as if singing is the most natural thing in the world. Between songs and while interacting with both the audience and Marzullo at the piano, she shared her memories of growing up around stars such as Carol Channing, Liberace and many more.
The show is delightful and entertaining, the epitome of cabaret. McArdle is a perfect performer who knows her music and clearly loves performing. This is a good time out on the town that should not be missed.
Heather Cassell is a freelance journalist and travel writer with more than 20 years experience covering LGBT and women’s issues. When Heather isn’t wandering off learning and writing about women’s and LGBT issues, she covers business, health and other news for a number of publications as well as the syndicated “Out in the World” international LGBT news column.