If you've seen the Broadway musical Movin' Out or heard the CD, you know very well how incredibly talented Michael Cavanaugh is interpreting the music of Billy Joel. Do not miss the incredible opportunity to view Tony-nominated Cavanaugh in person at Baltimore's Meyerhoff Symphony Hall backed by the huge and talented Baltimore Symphony Orchestra during the next three days.
When I saw Cavanaugh's performance on Broadway, he was seated at the piano in front of the orchestra high above the amazing choreography of Twyla Tharp. In this performance, Cavanaugh steps out of the shadows and demonstrates that he truly he is a consummate performer.
Let me be clear I was observing a "rehearsal" of the BSO SuperPops rendition titled "The Music of Billy Joel" as part of the "Free Baltimore" promotion. Close to 800 lucky and satisfied patrons, after being served free coffee and pastries, were delighted watching the Baltimore Symphony under the baton of BSO Pops Conductor Jack Everly perform along with Cavanaugh and his talented group of five superb musicians: Johnny Fedevich on drums (encased in a fiberglass cage and known for his performance in the film "Almost Famous"), Giovanni Mastro on guitar, Billy Venditti on bass, Jamie Hosmer on keyboards and acoustic guitar, and the amazing John Scarpella on tenor, alto, soprano sax and percussion (also a veteran from the Broadway production of Movin' Out).
Since it was a morning rehearsal and Cavanaugh was scheduled to perform the same night with the BSO at Strathmore Hall in Bethesda, he apologized in advance that on some occasions he would not be hitting those "high" notes. No one really cared or noticed. In fact, he hit quite a few of those high notes.
The concert is packed with Joel hits starting with the "Movin' Out Overture" ("I Love You Just the Way You Are", "My Life", and "Angry Young Man".
There was funny banter between Everly and Cavanaugh. When Everly asked for more vocals of Cavanaugh on his monitor, Cavanaugh replied, "Be careful what you wish for".
During "Uptown Girl", the audience was encouraged to clap along. Next was the beautiful ballad "She's Got a Way" (during which Everly left the stage and went into the orchestra to hear what it sounded like and when he returned to the podium Cavanaugh joked "Is it something I said?").
It was surprising to hear the Who's "Pinball Wizard" from Tommy but I'm glad it's in the program.
Originally from Boston, Charles' first college show was "Barefoot in the Park," he played the role of the telephone repairman. Next came "How to Succeed..." in which he played in the ensemble and then Chairman of the Board. He appeared in "Fiddler on the Roof" at the White Marsh Dinner Theatre as Lazar Wolf. Charles' daughter Britt played one of Tevye's younger daughters. Britt later completed a five year stint in Broadway's "Mamma Mia!" as the Sophie understudy. Charles conducts theatre trips to Broadway shows as the "Shubow Shuttle." |