Once again, I was seduced by the music of award winning composer/lyricist Bobby Cronin, when I attend his concert "Bobby Cronin and Friends" on Monday, December 19, 2011 at Don't Tell Mama in NYC. Bobby's music is inspiring, heartfelt, and uplifting. He really knows how to get to the core of what it means to live life and experience everything it has to offer, from love and joy to sorrow and loss.
Bring this music even more alive than it already is, Bobby assembled the best performers out there: LaQuet Sharnell ("Lysistrata Jones," "Memphis"), Jennifer Dinoia ("Wicked," "We Will Rock You"), Gerard Canonico ("American Idiot," "Spring Awakening"), Katrina Rose Dideriksen ("Hairspray," "Things to Ruin"), Brian Gallagher ("Chix6"), Jenn Furman ("Wicked" National Tour), Tricia Tanguy ("Marvelous Wonderettes"), Marissa Rosen ("My Big Gay Italian Wedding"), David Gordon ("Daybreak"), Erik Sisco (Stonewall Sensation, Suspicious Packages), Brett Teresa, Ashley Dawn Mortensen, and Nicole Hietter.
I can honestly say, every single performer blew me away with their talent and powerful vocals! I have been to many of Bobby's concerts over these past two years and this one continues in the tradition of excellent talent! The concert started off on a high note when Gerard Canonico, Erik Sisco, Ashley Dawn Mortensen, Katrina Rose Dideriksen, and David Gordon sang "Reach The Sky," from Bobby's Broadway-bound musical "Welcome To My Llife." All of their incredible voices blended perfectly together. The show continued on with the sexy and talented Brian Gallagher singing "Home For Christmas." Brian's voice is a pleasure to listen to because he can be very soft and other times very rock like. He often makes me think of Adam Pascal and I like that a lot! Next up, was Tricia Tanguy who sang "Make My Heart." This was my first introduciton to Tricia and gosh, I'm so glad I got to hear her sing. She has very controlled vocals with a great belt. After Tricia, Marissa Rosen to the stage to sing one of the more fun songs of Bobby, "The Understudy." Like Tricia, this was my first introduction to Marissa and I was very impressed. She has a big voice and knows how to use it! She made "The Understudy" quite enjoyable. A very delightful surprise of the evening, was the premiere of a brand-new Bobby Cronin song "Across The Sea" which was sung by the talented Brett Teresa. I haven't had the chance to hear Brett sing many solo songs over the years, but on Monday, I got a full dose of the talent that is Brett Teresa. He hit and belted all the right notes! His vocals were so strong that the amount of cheering and applause stopped the show for several minutes.
Coming back to the stage after Brett, was Erik and Ashley again. This time around they sang "Here In Our Home," from Bobby's musical "'Til Death Do Us Part." I've heard Erik and Ashley sing separately and they are amazing, but together, they raised the roof. Their voices are so rich, it's always enjoyable to hear them sing. This was a good song for them to duet on. Taking the stage next, was the extraordinary Jenn Furman, who's vocals are explosive! She sang a very fun song called "Oh Facebook," all about one girl's obession with the social media mogel. Almost everyone in today's society can relate to this song. Then Erik, Brett, Jenn, and Nicole burst out in "Lucky In Love." Once again a great mix of voices.
Keeping with the love theme, David came back to the stage along with Jennifer Dinoia when they sang "Then I Met You," a beautiful song about meeting the love of your life. Jennifer and David sounded great together, each also getting their moment to shine. They had great chemistry which really came through, especially when David flashed his big, sexy, winning smile! It added so much to the song. Katrina got another chance to shine, this time as a solo when she sang "Wilted." Katrina certainly got into this song of heartache as she demonstrated with her strong vocal skills. After Katrina, Brian and Ashley returned to the stage to sing "Is This Love," a song about wondering if you are in love with the person you are dating. Bringing more of his rock voice to this song, Brian radiated as he sang alongside Ashley, who's vocal quality is like no other (which I guess is why she just got cast as the understudy of "Elphaba" in the First National Tour of "Wicked"). Jennifer once again scored big points singing "Rain."
The next part of the show was truly remarkable. Jenn Furman and LaQuet Sharnell took to the stage to sing/belt out "You Deserve Better," one of my all-time favorite Bobby songs, about two friends who remind each other they deserve better than the last loser they just went out with. This song is SO TRUE, SO RELATABLE, and SO UPLIFTING! Everytime I hear it, I am reminded that I do deserve the best and not to settle for less! Jenn and LaQuet have such great chemistry on this song because you can tell just how wonderful their real friendship is. It really comes through! I hope they always perform this song together because I love it best when they do.
Since it is the holiday season, Bobby put in one more holiday song called "Ready For Christmas" which brought Gerard back to the stage, for another great song. Bringing down the house yet again and closing out the show was the amazingly talented LaQuet Sharnell who triumphantly belted out another one of my favorite Bobby songs called "Move On," all about leaving behind a bad situation. Another very inspiring song, LaQuet is the best singer for this song. Her vocal capability is beyond wonderful. She really knows the meaning of control and her talent always shines through!
Because no Bobby show is complete without it, there was an encore. Singing the title song from Bobby's brand new original musical, "Daybreak" (which just won the 2011 NJ Playwrights Contest) were Erik, Jennifer, Tricia, and David. This was the perfect way to end Bobby's show because this song is so uplifiting. It really reminds you that if you can just make it through the night to "Daybreak," things do start to get better because there is another day to make it so. Having these four performers sing it was brilliant! They sounded amazing together.
2012 is going to be a big year for Bobby! He's going to London to premiere "Daybreak," writing a song cycle while he's there as well, and will continue to move "Welcome To My Life" to Broadway. With so much of Bobby's music getting out there even more, I highly, highly suggest getting to one of these events or another one of his concerts. Bobby's positive energy is so welcoming in today's world. It's that positive energy that lends him to writing such heartfelt, inspiring, and relatable music! If you've never heard Bobby's music, then I suggest picking up his debut CD "Reach The Sky," visit his website, follow him on Twitter and Facebook, and read my 2009 interview with him (a new one coming soon)! The world should know Bobby Cronin, his music, and these amazingly talented performers above!