MTC SALUTES TONY BENNETT
By Marlene S. Gaylinn
Music Theatre of Connecticut (MTC) is currently presenting a concert of favorite songs associated with popular singer Tony Bennett. Although his mellow, singing style is not familiar to younger generations, Bennett, who is going on 86, is apparently still going strong and enjoys a following of select fans.
This brings us to wonder how three young and very talented tenors: Cristopher DeRosa, Johnny Orenberg and Jordan Wolfe, are able to transport MTC’s audience to a time when popular, male, song stylists offered music that most folks could enjoy. In an hour and a half, each singer is able to express his own personality in a wide variety of mood selections -- among them are: “Because of You,” “Love Story,” “Steppin’ Out,” and of course, Bennett’s signature piece, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” Director Ken Connors brings us over thirty pieces and each one is special.
Other than the musical “The Jersey Boys,” it’s amazing that young, male singers can even survive as an act these days. Regrettably, there are no popular or romantic pieces that everyone can sing and dance to and the days of “Your Hit Parade” are gone. Audience members were smiling wide, shaking their heads and tapping to the rhythms of their younger years.
Leading the band is pianist, Max Haymer, who is an outstanding jazz stylist. The musical arrangements by Vince di Mura are outstanding. Chris Johnson is on the drums and Dan Asher/Rich Zurkowsky play the bass.