Okay – so here’s the deal. I have a new crush. It is someone about which I knew nothing – sometimes I am certain I live under a rock – but the minute he opened his mouth to sing, I was a goner. His name is George Ball.
I feel comfortable admitting this publicly because I know that his wife and partner in crime, Amanda McBroom, would agree with me 100%. In fact, that was how she first fell for him. It was back in 1969 and they were performing Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris. He started to sing, and she, as she says in this remarkable performance at 54 Below, wanted to “crawl right down his vocal chords”.
Some Enchanted Evening – is a show you don’t want to miss, and lucky you – you have another chance to see it on Tuesday the 14th. This is a show about relationships, sung by two folks who know something about the subject.
That they adore and admire one another is obvious. The fact that they sound superb together is a gift to them and anyone within earshot. When they sing Little Things You Do Together they have earned the right.
McBroom is the sparkle and conversationalist. She is warm and funny and if given a chance, you get the impression that she would like to invite the entire audience out for a drink. She tells us that George is the love of her life and gives us the first song she ever wrote for him Ship In A Bottle. It is decades old but feels sweet and filled with new love. That is the thing about McBroom’s work – it is classic, as is her crystal delivery.
Mr. Ball gives us Highway Patrolman, which with anyone else besides Springsteen could sound hokey. But it doesn’t. He introduces is as a love song – a brotherly love song. Delivered with Ball’s unadorned baritone, it is a heartbreaker.
McBroom’s Round – an anthem to aging with purpose. She wrote it as a gift for herself on her last birthday. I want to be round. I want to be ripe. … I want to be rich as Camembert with a derriere that’s squeezable and plush. It is light, brisk, funny and layered. McBroom makes her points without bonking you over the head.
Ball graces us with sublime interpretations of September Song, Save The Last Dance, Amsterdam and Some Enchanted Evening. Listening to him makes you think you never heard these songs before.
The same goes for McBroom’s numbers – a Carousel (Jacques Brel/Eric Blau translation) in which she hooks you and drags you into a madness that is shattering. Finally there is her exquisite (and her most well known composition) The Rose. What is it about hearing a composer sing her own work? Something about hearing the song delivered from the spring out of which it bubbled is like no other interpretation. Especially when the composer’s voice is verging on sublime.
The duo gifts us with Brel’s You Don’t Forget the Past (You live with it, that’s all) and closes with Our Love is Here To Stay. It is.
Amanda McBroom and George Ball – Some Enchanted Evening is so delicious it is off the charts. Aided by their extraordinary partner Michele Brourman on piano and their new best friend Jered Egan on bass this becomes a nearly perfect evening. Okay – perfect. It is juicy, rich and filled with life. It is for anyone who has ever been in love, who is in love, looking – or has only heard the word as a distant possibility.
Don’t miss it.
Amanda McBroom and George Ball – Some Enchanted Evening: 54 Below, Oct. 14th at 7:30pm – Address: 254 West 54th Street, cellar, Ticket Range: $30 to $55 plus a $25 food and beverage minimum, Website: 54Below.com (646) 476-3551