MOM’S NIGHT OUT: THE POP SHOW PRESENTS…MICHAEL JACKSON! – Review by Robin Gorman Newman
Looking to enjoy a fun mom’s night out….here’s a great suggestion………..THE POP SHOW AT BIRDLAND.
William Blake (Echoes of Etta, The Who’s Tommy, The Rocky Horror Show), John Duff (Bayside! The Musical!, Rent), Billboard recording artist and three-time Showtime at the Apollo winner Matt Cusson, Capathia Jenkins (Newsies, Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me, Caroline, or Change, Godspell, The Civil War), Leslie McDonel (American Idiot, Hairspray), N’Kenge (Motown The Musical, The Michael Jackson World Tour Tribute), Sondheim on Sondheim), Tony Award winner Tonya Pinkins (A Time To Kill, Carole, or Change, Radio Golf, The Wild Party, Jelly’s Last Jam, Play On!), two-time Grammy Award nominee Ryan Shaw (Motown The Musical), A. J. Shively (La Cage Aux Folles, Unlock’d, February House) Rachel Valdati (My Big Gay Italian Wedding) and American Idol Top 10 Finalist Erika Van Pelt performed songs from the Michael Jackson catalog at The Pop Show Presents…Michael Jackson! this week at Birdland Jazz Club in NYC.
The Pop Show is part of the Broadway at Birdland series presented by Jim Caruso. The Pop Show features music direction by Benet Braun, and John Capo is the creator, on-stage host and producer of The Pop Show. .
A global figure in pop culture for four decades recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most successful entertainer of all time, Michael Jackson transformed the entertainment landscape. His 1982 album Thriller remains the best-selling album of all time. The Pop Show Presents…Michael Jackson! featured songs from this groundbreaking album and nine others, and the performances ranges from tender to rousing. I wanted to get up and dance. Standouts for me were William Blake (stunning voice and hearftelt performer) who performed Human Nature, Capathia Jenkins who sang Rock with You (her smile and stage presence lit up the room), Tonya Pinkins (great range) who sang Man in the Mirror, Erika Van Pelt with a soulful and rockin’ rendition of Billie Jean and N’Kenge with a tender rendition of I’ll Be There.
In the spirit of Michael Jackson, who was a hugely generous humanitarian and supported an array of causes, John Capo, serving as show moderator, drew attention to charities including rescue.org and booksforafrica.org, which he thought listeners might want to explore supporting in one way or another. It was a lovely touch….making it a special evening of “music with a message.”
What is The Pop Show? Each month, for one evening, they feature a different pop music singer. Depending on the show, it could be pop. It could be country. It could be 70s soul or 80s glam. It could be an entire concert of Amy Winehouse songs. Or The Doors. Or One Direction. (But probably not One Direction.)
I have officially become a Pop Show groupie! This was my second performance…the first I saw featured Billy Joel songs….and it’s such a fun evening, I highly recommend it. And, the food is delicious as well. Next up in October is a tribute to THE ROLLING STONES.
Tickets for The Pop Show ($30 – $35 + $10 food/beverage minimum) are available by calling (212) 581-3080 or visiting www.PopShowNYC.com.
Birdland is located at 315 West 44th Street, New York City.