By Holli Harms
Christmas Is Here!
He starts with The Sound Of Music’s, My Favorite Things, and that’s exactly what this little under 90 minutes is, Norm Lewis and some of his favorite songs and people and stories to share. Share. That is what the evening is about. Sharing his enormous talents and friends with us. The space is intimate and at the same time expansive with art and talent.
For the past five years, Mr. Lewis has been celebrating Christmas with audiences at 54 Below in NYC. Six shows each year during the holiday season, but this year, of course, made that impossible. So, instead of us going to Mr. Lewis, this year he is coming to you. Right into your home with special guests singing duets and even one of his loyal fans whom he invited to join him on stage and raise a glass together. His playlist from Santa Baby, Little Drummer Boy, Mary Did You Know?, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, Les Miserables’ Bring Him Home to Marvin Gaye’s What’s Goin On, and Phantom of the Opera’s Music Of The Night and so much more will have you snapping your fingers, tapping your feet, and sitting in quiet contemplation. Every song a unique and exquisite interpretation. Rudolph, a duet with Mr. Lewis and his cousin and friend Pastor Bobby Lewis, is funky off the charts fun time that had me moving. I shouted into the room, “This is the best Rudolph EVER!”
Norm Lewis is a bright joy as a person. His voice the best, a crooner, operatic, soulful, you name it his voice can do it. He was, after all, asked to sing for Pope Francis.
He speaks to us about the Pandemic and our process as humans moving through it. He honors Chadwick Boseman whom he worked with on Da Five Bloods. He speaks about the importance of Black Lives Matter, not as a yell, not an attack, but a talk, a talk of remembering, of reminding to not forget the love in all of this. He sings of the homelessness of children in a lesser know Burt Bacharach/Hal David song, Be Aware.
There is here an understanding of the need to take care of one another that he talks to us about, a call to action, and again, not preaching, not yelling, he is letting us know how much he cares.
The show rises above itself, above the music. It rises above and reaches through the screen. Friends of Mr. Lewis’ show up in videos to greet him. One of his best friends from childhood says, “You are the perfect medicine for the pandemic.” Exactly.
So sit down with yourself, with your family, watch, listen, and talk bout the importance of art and community.
Where can you find joy and happiness, and beautiful music? The answer with Norm Lewis.
Get your ticket and see it on your schedule, only a couple of clicks away.
Special guests: Sierra Boggess, Pastor Bobby Lewis
Musical Director Joseph Joubert on keyboards, George Farmer on Upright & Electric Bass and Perry Cavari on Drums & Percussion.
Feinstein’s/54 Below presents NORM LEWIS: Christmastime Is Here! on-demand from December 18-31. Shot in HD with four cameras, is part of the 54 Below Premieres series.