- CHARITY BENEFIT
Written By Joel Benjamin
October 8th, 2012
Tall and slender, Broadway veteran Dee Hoty took genteel command of 54 Below, her musical director John McDaniel at the keyboard, performing a program of Special Material, songs that were clearly close to her heart, all the while revealing some delightful tidbits about herself.
After a humorously intense “What You Don’t Know About Women” (Cy Coleman/David Zippel) from City of Angels, Hoty joked about her unusual name, claiming it was the shortest in show business—that is until some wise guy in the audience mentioned BD Wong! At the very least, she retorted, her name is alphabetical! She called 54 Below “the Law & Order” cabaret since, like that show, so many Broadway performers have appeared there. She then mused on her own history as a Ohio girl who came to NYC in 1979 which led, of course, to the Bernstein/Comden & Green “Ohio” which she amusingly combined with “N.Y.C.” (Strouse/Charnin) from Annie.
A lovely unpublished ballad by the Gershwin Brothers, “Ask Me Again” was given a heartfelt rendition. Hoty sang two Carol Hall songs: “Hard Candy Christmas” and “Piece of the Pie,” both about wishful musings, delivered with wry resign—from the two Whorehouse musicals.
After kvelling over her cute puppy dog whose picture adorned the piano, she mused “I’m Too Old to Die Young,” (a Moe Bandy comedy ditty about something that certainly does not apply to Hoty).
A funny rant about cyber-dating led to some darker songs like Sondheim’s “Live Alone and Like It” and “Could I Leave You,” the second of which was softened by Hoty’s interpolating the classic Lerner & Loewe “If Ever I Would Leave You,” a bizarrely right combination that made you wonder why no one thought of it before.
Her voice grew warmer and warmer as the program progressed and her final number, the now ubiquitous James Taylor “Secret O’ Life,” a homespun bit of philosophy, was rich, yet refreshingly direct.
Dee Hoty is a charmer.
There is one more show on October 22nd, 2012 at 9:30 pm
More Information: 646-476-3551 or www.info@54Below.com