By Victoria L. Dammer
When over 20 Broadway stars and rising young talent get together and present a special concert entitled Broadway Rocks in a small intimate venue, the audience can expect a momentous event. And that’s what the crowd of 100 plus witnessed on July 24th at Chelsea Table and Stage, when producer Quentin Garzon, known for his acting and singing skills as well, presented 21 songs sung by various performers, such as Lauren Molina, Monica Ricketts, Ariel Neydavoud and Ahmad Maksoud, to name a few. The production showcased music from early rock musicals and as recent as 2019 with voices from an outstanding, gifted ensemble.
Garzon opened the show with the 80s hit song Just Like Paradise from the jukebox musical Rock of Ages. He had a robust voice that reverberated around the room and warmed the gathering of music lovers who also enjoyed dinner and cocktails during the show. His first song was just the warmup to what turned out to be 90 minutes well spent. Then, starting with the early rock musicals from the 60s and 70s, like Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar, the loud continuous applause throughout the evening proved that the love of Broadway music never gets old.
I believe I should recite every song and performer, but this is a review, not a laundry list. I will mention a few outstanding numbers, but it doesn’t mean anyone left out from my writing was any less than perfection.
In a sparkling black mini dress with red roses, Monica Ricketts followed with the song Easy to be Hard from the late 60s musical Hair. Next, Ariel Neydavoud sang the 70s hit song Heaven on Their Mind from Jesus Christ Superstar. He had a soft opening that crescendoed into a powerhouse of vocal cords that rocked the room. Then, jumping ahead to the 90s, we witnessed Leandra Ellis-Gaston, Pablo Rossil, and Jacob S. Louchheim entertain the crowd with the songs Eyesight to the Blind/Acid Queen from The Who’s Tommy.
From 2009’s Memphis, Avionce Hoyles sang a dynamic gospel-like rock rendition of Memphis Lives in Me. Ahmad Maksoud and Elena Christou presented a sultry, hauntingly beautiful duet of the song If You Want Me, from Once: The Musical.
It’s impossible not to give every performer accolades for their powerful voices. Still, one of the evening’s most commanding voices belonged to Yael “Yaya” Reich, with her emotional rendition of You Oughta Know from Jagged Little Pill. The word “Wow” comes to mind. Garzon and Emma Degerstedt finished the show with the 2019 hit Your Song from Moulin Rouge! And just like that, the show was over, but it was apparent from the tremendous applause the patrons would have sat through 90 minutes more without complaints.
Broadway Rocks, produced by Quentin Garzon. Featuring Brian Walters on the keyboard, Peter Douskalos and Dominic Frigo on guitar, Debbie Tjong on bass, Ally Jenkins on violin, Sarah Overton on cello, and Brad Bailey on drums.
Special thanks to Frankie Gabriel, Director of Operations for Chelsea Table & Stage, and Dan Fortune of Fortune Creative.
CHELSEA TABLE + STAGE, highlighting a diverse range of musical genres, is a welcome addition to the list of high-end venues on the New York performance scene, deftly balancing a glamorous interior, traditional hospitality, and top musical talent. The current lineup features a dazzling array from the worlds of pop, folk, country, soul, jazz, and much more. Providing a wide variety of upscale American menu items, with distinguished wine and bespoke cocktails, audiences will experience some of the best touring performers in the world alongside local emerging artists. CHELSEA TABLE + STAGE melds the ambiance of a classic supper club with the acoustics of a serious listening room and a contemporary spin appealing to several generations of music lovers.
CHELSEA TABLE + STAGE opens the doors to hospitality, entertainment, and enjoyment every night, featuring state-of-the-art sound and lighting, a 10-seat in-theatre bar, lofted VIP mezzanine for private groups, and table seating for the perfect date night. The ever-changing menu and entertainment schedule means guests never have the same night twice. CHELSEA TABLE + STAGE is located at 152 West 26th Street (between Sixth and Seventh Avenues), downstairs inside the Hilton New York Fashion District. Purchase tickets at chelseatableandstage.com @chelseatableandstage