Reviews

Anthony Santelmo Jr

        "A Seeks Out the Tunes Retrospective"
                    By: Linda Amiel Burns

Anthony Santelmo, Jr. is a great singer and showman, but what makes him especially unique is that he is also a music historian with great taste in songs. This charming performer continues to find remarkable songs for his many "Seeks Out The Tunes" series of cabaret shows. From Dec. 21 -28, 2013, he gave four performances of "A Seeks Out The Tunes Retrospective" in the Brick Room at Don’t Tell Mama with his long-time collaborator Maestro Barry Levitt on piano, Jon Burr on bass, Rob Thomas on Violin and back-up singers, "The Up-Front Girls" Alana Rader and Rebecca Weiner.

        "A Seeks Out the Tunes Retrospective"
                    By: Linda Amiel Burns

Anthony Santelmo, Jr. is a great singer and showman, but what makes him especially unique is that he is also a music historian with great taste in songs. This charming performer continues to find remarkable songs for his many "Seeks Out The Tunes" series of cabaret shows. From Dec. 21 -28, 2013, he gave four performances of "A Seeks Out The Tunes Retrospective" in the Brick Room at Don’t Tell Mama with his long-time collaborator Maestro Barry Levitt on piano, Jon Burr on bass, Rob Thomas on Violin and back-up singers, "The Up-Front Girls" Alana Rader and Rebecca Weiner.

Anthony opened with a delightful song written by Barry Levitt and Peter Napolitano called "No Chestnuts Tonight" explaining that we were not to expect the usual holiday songs, as they would not be sung. Jim Rickett’s moving "Good Time" followed with lyrics about the passing of time as the "present soon becomes the past." Anthony mentioned that for him every song has a story and sometimes he finds the songs and many times, they find him.

A highlight of the show was an thrilling arrangement of "Breezin’ Along With the Breeze" (Richard Whiting, Haven Gillespie & Seymour Simons) with a counter melody and lyric by Barry Levitt. Composer Francesca Blumenthal was in the audience and loved Anthony’s rendition of her clever "Little Luncheonette" with the "Up-Front Girls" chiming in. Composer Ford Winter, also in the audience, was represented with the amusing "You Can’t Saw Sawdust" along with the lovely "When You Grow Too Old To Love" combining the beautiful voices of Anthony and Guest Artist Lorinda Lisitza.

One of Anthony’s great strengths is his acting ability and respect for the lyrics and that was demonstrated in the emotional medley "Why Do People Fall In Love/The Heart Is Slow to Learn" (Frank Wildhorn, Jack Murphy, Don Black & Christopher Hampton). Even material that was familiar was heard again in a fresh new way as Anthony turned each number into a monologue set to music.

For the entire show, Anthony had the audience in the palm of his hand with easy patter, sense of humor, great choice of songs and
a terrific performance. The crowd didn’t want him to leave and his encore was perfect to close the show "Everybody Has A Dream" by Billy Joel. We could see that Anthony’s "dream" is to continue to "seek out the tunes" and entertain us with his finds….something we are all looking forward to the next time around.

"A Seeks Out the Tunes Retrospective"
at The Brick Room at Don’t Tell Mama
4 shows from Dec. 21 to Dec. 28, 2013

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