Jack Quinn

Victor Gluck

Chip Deffaa

Brent Barrett – Night Songs
By: Joel Benjamin
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Brent Barrett at 54 Below
(All photos by Maryann Lopinto)

“In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening” (Hoagy Carmichael/Johnny Mercer) was Brent Barrett’s charming way of ushering in Night Songs, his crepuscularly themed program at 54 Below. Night Songs ranged from the dreamy—“Everything Beautiful Happens At Night” (Harvey Schmidt/Tom Jones)—to the boldly romantic—“Some Enchanted Evening” (Richard Rodgers/Oscar Hammerstein). Speaking of dreamy, Barrett still has the dreamboat good looks that helped propel his success, now seasoned with a becoming maturity. His eyes communicate with the same intensity as his beautiful singing voice. Barrett is incapable of a false move. Whether he’s quietly intense as in Jimmy Webb’s “The Moon’s a Harsh Mistress” or voluptuously romantic as in “Moonlight Becomes You” (Johnny Burke/Jimmy Van Heusen), it’s clear why he is in demand as a leading man.

Brent Barrett as he appeared in “Night Songs”

He demonstrated a wide range of emotions. He was youthfully giddy in the Bock/Harnick “Tonight at Eight” from She Loves Me and absolutely hilarious in “Who Took Me Home Last Night” (Jule Styne/Harold Adamson with updated lyrics by Barry Kleinbort) about a poor guy who couldn’t remember what he did the night before or why there were strange people in his apartment. “Nine O’Clock” (Bob Merrill) was the antithesis of “Tonight at Eight,” another song of anticipation—“We’ll see miracles from 9 to 10” went one of the lines—sweetly sung but in gentler in mood.

Brent Barrett as he appeared at his February 20 concert

In a nod towards Peter Pan in which he is touring now, he ended Night Songs with a robust “Never Never Land” (Styne/Comden/Green) bringing the audience to its feet.

His terrific band, led by his Music Director Christopher Denny on piano, included Bob Renino on bass and Rex Benicasa on percussion. Kleinbort, the director, guided the show to show every facet of Barrett’s talent.

Brent Barrett – Night Songs (February 20th, 2013)
54 Below, 254 West 54th Street, between Broadway and 8th Avenue, in Manhattan
Tickets: 646-476-3551/866-468-7619 or http://www.TicketWeb.com
More Information: http://www.brentbarrett.com

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