He Said/She Said
Marin Mazzie and Jason Danieley light up the Cafe Carlyle with their dazzling new show.
This new outing uses 20 or so standards from The Great American Songbook to loosely illustrate their courtship, which began when they co-starred in an off-off-Broadway production of The Trojan Women: A Love Story. While the patter is cute, the music -- and lyrics of such geniuses as Oscar Hammerstein II, Cole Porter, and Johnny Mercer -- speak louder than their words.
Mazzie, whose strong dramatic soprano and superb interpretive skills have made her one of musical theater's most beloved leading ladies, scores again and again with her exquisitely conceived solos. A glorious "Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered" makes you want to mount another revival of Pal Joey instantly; a defiant "Cry Me a River" is an almost-definitive rendition of the classic torch song; her absolutely gorgeous "Something to Live For" aches with longing; and her version of "Smile" can make you do just that -- and cry at the same time.
Danieley's booming baritone gets less of a workout than usual, perhaps to emphasize the intimacy of the room, with its strongest showing on a first-rate take on "Come Back to Me" (marred only slightly on opening night by a brief lyrical slip-up). He also excels on two Frank Sinatra classics: a ruminative "One for My Baby" and a swinging "I've Got the World on a String," and has great fun with Porter's "It's Bad for Me."
The couple's duets are mostly on the lighter side -- including "Something's Gotta Give," "Too Close for Comfort," and their exuberant finale of "From This Moment On" -- with their sharpest pairing being a well-executed "Blues in the Night." The couple also gets consistently wonderful musical support from pianist and arranger Joseph Thalken, bassist Pete Donovaan, and drummer Dave Ratajcak.