- CHARITY BENEFIT
Written by: Sandi Durell
The sultry, sensual Broadway performer slowly glided her way up to the stage wearing a short white sequin covered dress that showed off her lovely figure. Wow, what a kid this must have been! And that’s just what the evening turned out to be – - the story of her growing up years in Rockford, Ill.
A three time Tony nominee, Mazzie has starred in Kiss Me, Kate, Man of La Mancha, Spamalot, Ragtime, Next to Normal and recently received a Drama Desk nomination for her role as Margaret White in the revival of Carrie off Broadway. Wouldn’t you think we’d be in for some Broadway showtunes? Happily not.
When Mazzie sings “Come on-a My House,” it’s with all the sexy, double entendre one could muster as her flawless voice intimated everything. The threading theme throughout spoke of watching her parents dancing to the songs she would hear played on the family stereo. She was 10, it was 1960. Malibu Barbie and Skipper Ken shadowed the dancing couple as she sang luscious renditions of “That’s All” and “Tenderly.”
Raw emotion, seduction and perfection of vocal technique brought shivers and tingles to “Begin the Beguine,” sung against the percussion drum beat of Larry Lelli, just as it had to little Marin when she heard it for the first time.
Filled with anecdotal tales of life in Rockford, Mom and Dad and brother (in the audience), the storyline continued up to her lavender bedroom, David Cassidy her boy wonder. She just wanted to be the long lost Partridge “Marin” as she launched into a fun-filled “I Think I Love You.”
In 1972, the family moved to Harlem . . . Blvd. in Rockville, Ill. and it was then she joined the Columbia Record Club – - if you recall, you could get a gazillion songs for a penny and she did. These trips down memory lane proved deliciously charming. Mazzie gave an extremely focused and impassioned rendition of “Anyone Who Had a Heart” and was empowering and mesmerizing with “That’s The Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be” – every word a gem. Musical director on piano, Joseph Thalken, provided backup vocals.
By the time she was in high school (1977), she was chosen to sing at the ceremonial mass to bless the class rings – the obvious choice “Evergreen.” Only one problem; Sister Ann Patrice (or SAP as she was known) had a problem with the lyric you and I will make each night a first, everyday a beginning. But she sang it anyway, just humming thru those bars. Amen!
The powerful, soaring words of Barry Manilow’s hit “Weekend in New England” brought unending audience cheers, as Mazzie used her dramatic skills to punctuate. Encoring with “I’m A Believer,” she paid tribute to her teen idol Davey Jones, doing the Monkey as her long blond hair waved about wildly.
Marin Mazzie is an incredible, versatile talent. This show brings a whole new image to the lovely lady with the impeccable voice, phrasing and attention to lyric. The other band members are Peter Donovan on Bass and Larry Saltzman on Guitar.
Her show continues thru Sept. 8th, 8:30 pm & 9/8 also at 11 pm at 54 Below, 254 West 54 St. 212 764-7900
*Photos: Stephen Sorokoff