By Sandi Durell
Singer, actor, teacher, director, ringmaster – yes, a cast of thousands rolled up into one sensational performer, and the definitive interpreter of Craig Carnelia’s work. The original Cast of Thousands, performed some 15 years ago by Eric Michael Gillett, has been honed, revamped, heightened and enlightened with the addition of songs from Carnelia’s other scores Is There Life After High School?, Working & Three Postcards. The result is a magical pathway into the hearts and souls of ordinary, and some not so ordinary, people . . . the human condition.
The comfort of memories and living in other parts of our lives surfaces in “Old Movies,” offering a list of the glorious silver screen gems and stars of the past; life’s efforts to succeed in the movie business, it’s failings, disappointments and highpoints, are brought to sad reality in “Blood on the Moon;” the pain and torture of relationships that end and couples parting become all too real in “You Can Have the TV” and “The Last Forty Years” while diametric pleasures sizzle with that bug in the sink in “Apartment 1-F.” Each of these situations has a resounding impact because we have either lived them personally or know others who fit the mold.
Haven’t each of us fallen into our own reverie reliving our pasts, childhood memories and sharing the realization that, although we look different on the outside, we feel like a kid inside. “The Kid Inside” suite beautifully describes that feeling; it’s “What You’d Call a Dream,” the sheer pleasure of those moments, so joyful.
Intensely in the moment at every turn, Gillett brilliantly offers up “Flight” as his soul takes wing to freedom. Wish me on my way. . .
Eric Michael Gillett has grown with the joys and tragedies of life’s experiences, as most of us do. His breathtaking performance skills, however, give him the ammunition to capture each of the characters, his glorious baritone pouring forth the emotional currents, unprotected by any façade.
He is accompanied by Musical Director Jeff Cubeta; arrangements by Christopher Denny & Jeff Cubeta.
Get thee to the Laurie Beechman Theatre! Remaining performance dates are June 22, 29, July 11, 18, 7:00pm www.beechmantheatre.com 212 695-6909