Cabaret Review: LOVE SONG SATURDAY NIGHT (Scott Siegel at 54 Below)

Post image for Cabaret Review: LOVE SONG SATURDAY NIGHT (Scott Siegel at 54 Below)

by Paulanne Simmons on June 8, 2023

in Concerts / Events,Theater-New York


Spring is in the air and so is love at 54 Below, where Scott Siegel is presenting Love Song Saturday Night, a monthly show where couples are encouraged to “swoon, raise a glass, and maybe share a kiss.”

The June 3 edition featured songs from Broadway, country, pop, R & B and around the world, sung by a cast of talented and versatile performers: Lily Arriaga, Molly Bremer, John Easterlin, Emily Iaquinta, Ben Jones, Ryan Knowles and the three sisters of MOIPEI, with musical direction by John Fischer.

Love is universal. The Kenyan MOIPEI sang East Africa’s most famous love song, “Malaika,” as well as the Scottish ballad, “The Water Is Wide.” The group has the perfect harmony only achieved by members of the same family.

Many of the songs had interesting histories retold by Siegel.

“The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” was made famous by Roberta Flack, but only after Clint Eastwood heard her slow and sensual version and used it in his 1971 directorial film debut, Play Misty for Me.

Carole King’s “I Feel the Earth Move” was on what Siegel called a “double A-sided single.” On the other side was “It’s Too Late.” Both songs were huge hits.

Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein’s standard “All the Things You Are,” comes from Very Warm for May, a show that was such a flop only twenty people were in the audience the day after it opened.

But an awesome love song is only as awesome as the person delivering it.

Easterlin, who sang “Love Is a Many Splendid Thing” and “Be My Love,” has a voice made for the last row of the top balcony. Knowles gave the audience two of the Righteous Brothers’ biggest hits, “You Lost that Lovin’ Feelin’” (by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, who died yesterday, June 2) and “Unchained Melody.” And his voice had such depth and passion we might have thought Bobby Hatfield had risen from the dead.

The most ambitious number of the night was the duet from Frank Loesser’s The Most Happy Fella, “My Heart Is So Full of You.” The song demands truly operatic voices, and Easterlin and Bremer did not disappoint.

Love can be glorious or painful. Love can make us feel on top of the world or in a deep hole from which we may never emerge. But whether we feel the earth move or have lost that lovin’ feelin’ we never tire of hearing those songs about what makes the world go ’round.

Love Song Saturday Night
54 Below, 254 West 54 St.
next show: Sat, Aug 19 at 9:30
for tickets, visit 54 Below

Leave a Comment