Read this review by Andrew Martin about Marquee Five’s debut and MAC Award-winning show…it’s breathtaking: link here
Close-harmony vocal group Marquee Five, who happen to be a 2010 MAC Award nominee, has a unique angle in their approach. It’s not just their superb blend in song, and it’s not just their perfect physical counterpart to one another; rather, it’s that they were borne from a production of And The World Goes ‘Round, the famed revue by Kander and Ebb which started Off-Broadway and became a shot heard ’round the world, as it were. As, indeed, so might Marquee Five, if they continue on the same path as occupied thus far.
Comprised of Mick Bleyer, Vanessa Parvin, Sierra Rein and multi-award-winning chanteuse Julie Reyburn as well as Adam West Hemming (who also serves as Musical Director while the show is played solely on glorious piano by the incomparable Mark Janas), the quintet opted to present their most recent act at Don’t Tell Mama as a tribute to Kander & Ebb. Which, some might contend, would simply be an effort not to stretch their collective creative muscles and simply perform a modified version of the aforementioned revue. This, however, is not the case; it’s an utter departure from any compilation of the duo and instead emerges as an extremely purposeful show all its own.
The five segue from “And All That Jazz” into “Coffee In A Cardboard Cup” from 70 Girls 70, before Bleyer and Hemming dazzle the room on a couplet of “I Don’t Remember You” and “Sometimes A Day Goes By.” From There, Parvin, Rein and Reyburn have a beautiful moment on “There Goes the Ballgame,” before they hit it out of the park on a topnotch rendering of “Class.” And their solos are equally sensational; Hemming does a masterful job with “We Can Make It,” Rein is simply scrumptious on “Maybe this Time,” and “Isn’t this Better?” really couldn’t be better as delivered by Parvin. Likewise, Bleyer’s rendition of “Sara Lee” backed by all three ladies, and Reyburn’s truly standout moment with “Sing Happy.” They end with three group numbers, namely “A Quiet Thing,” “Cabaret” and “We Can Make It,” done as a reprise from Hemming’s earlier solo version near the top of the hour. It should equally be noted that Peter Napolitano has offered a directorial hand here that is not merely fantastic, but shows deep care for both the performers and the material they perform, and that Randy Lester has singlehandedly shown herself to be a technical director par excellence with her handling of the lighting and sound design.
At this writing, it’s unclear as to whether Marquee Five will return to cabaret with this particular show or an entirely new outing. Whatever the case, they should not be missed the next time around, by any means.
***On Tuesday, May 4th, 2010 Marquee Five received the 2010 MAC Award for Vocal Duo/Group
“I don’t sing because I’m happy, I’m happy because I sing” – William James