A Very Broadway Mother’s Day
Sunday night at Feinstein’s 54/below, Director/Producer/convivial Host Scott Coulter presented a cornucopia of performing mothers with sons and daughters from the ages of five to 17 (and adults). Kids ranged from adorable and game to talented professionals in their own rights. There were a great many “aws” and a few tears.
Lauren Fox, Jean Fox and Haley Fox
We open with one of two trios whose harmonies are spot-on appealing. Actress/singer, Lauren Fox, Jean Fox (their mother), and Haley Fox perform “Sentimental Journey” (Les Brown/ Ben Homer/Bud Green) with easy grace and appealing vocal arrangement. That the three begin a capella showcases just how much talent abides in the family. In fact, Jean Fox came up by way of The Brill Building, working with some of the best. The ladies used to sing together on car trips. (Some of us just played Geography.)
A second well modulated trio includes Joanna Gleason, her son, singer/songwriter, Aaron David Gleason, and daughter-in-law Stacy Bone-Gleason. Astonishingly, the Broadway actress doesn’t look much different than she did as the baker’s wife in Into the Woods. John Lennon/Paul McCartney’s “Because” enfolds us like a cashmere shawl.
Stacy Bone-Gleason, Joanna Gleason, Aaron David Gleason
Jessica Boevers Bogart and her son, Easton (age seven) give us Irving Berlin’s “How Deep is the Ocean?” with some doodley doo flourish, after which the vocalist is joined by son Tru (age five) replete in tuxedo jacket, for their version of “The Nearness of (Tru) – You” (Hoagy Carmichael/ Ned Washington.) Watching Boevers Bogart on her knees with the boys, both of whom remembered every lyric, was warm and fuzzy.
For a jaunty “You’ll Never Get Away From Me” (Jule Styne/Stephen Sondheim) Sally Ann Tumas Skoric lent her splendid voice to a duet with 16 year-old, dreamboat son, Gregory Skoric who exuded professionalism. “It takes a special kind of mother to choose to sing from Gypsy on Mother’s Day!” quipped host Scott Coulter. Lois Sage and her son Alexander Oyen Sage gave us two songs by John Bucchino (on piano) reflecting both his skill and theirs.
Sally Ann Tumas Skoric and Gregory Skoric
Jessica Hendy and her son Beckett, 10, (sitting on the piano top) sang “Tomorrow” (Martin Charnin/Charles Strouse). Though Beckett wants to be an ornithologist, he’s currently starring in Annie at school and last year played the wizard in The Wizard of Oz. Beckett is considering acting as a back-up since he only plays leads. Zena Goldrich (piano) and 17 year-old daughter Rachel Stern (vocal) offered Goldrich’s own, amusing “Alto’s Lament.”
Allison Posner dedicated “Always More” (Eli Bolin/Allison Posner) to her mother battling breast cancer in Florida. New mom Rachel Sklar, her sweetly behaved baby in a carrier, adapted the lyrics of Cy Coleman’s “You Can Always Count on Me” delivering a clear, pop interpretation: You’re nearly thirty pounds of solid kid/But look at what you did/You made me your mama…
Maxine Linehan and Rebecca Kloss
Maxine Linehan, whose Petula Clark show comes to Feinstein’s 54/Below on Saturday May 14, offers “Frere Jacques” with her very pretty and poised daughter, five year-old Rebecca Kloss on violin, followed by a solo “In My Daughter’s Eyes” (James T. Slater). The latter arrives part gospel, part lullaby and palpably all heart. Lovely.
Leave it to Stacy Sullivan and actress/singer daughter Savannah Brown (also on guitar) to offer the eclectic “Chasing Cars” (Gary Lightbody/Nathan Connolly/Tom Simpson/Paul Wilson/Jonny Quinn.) Sound is warm and feathery. These ladies radiate light. Sullivan then sings, or rather, enacts, Maury Yeston’s “New Words” with such sincerity one can practically see her reach across the room to her children.
Savannah Brown and Stacy Sullivan
We close with Joanna Gleason’s pretty “Goodnight My Angel” (Billy Joel): Someday we’ll all be gone/But lullabyes go on and on. /They never die/That’s how you/And I/Will be…
Musical Director/Piano-Michael Holland
Photos Maryann Lopinto
Opening: The Cast