Tall and elegant Michel Maguire looks like he should be posing for GQ covers rather than crooning tunes in a nightclub. But the smooth-voiced 1987 Tony Award-winner (Enjolras in the original Broadway company of “Les Miserables”) makes himself right at home on the tiny Cinegrill stage offering what he calls “an eclectic mix of my favorite music.” Aided by the economical staging of Clifford Bell, Maguire’s 14-number set, incorporating music ranging from Don McLean to Andrew Lloyd Webber, is woven together with minimal autobiographical patter. Maguire’s musical journey is enhanced greatly by the intuitive instrumental support of the four-piece ensemble led by musical director/pianist Gerald Sternbach.
The likeably nonchalant baritone immediately sets out to establish a light tone for the evening with an original novelty song, “The Greatest Opening Song,” that spoofs the seriousness of most show openers. He then shifts gears, demonstrating his power and vocal fluidity with a soaring rendition of “Something’s Coming” (Bernstein/Sondheim) from “Westside Story.” It is indeed Maguire’s ability to instill such melodic passion into his musical theater repertoire that make such Broadway fare as “Bring Him Home” (“Les Miserables”), “Music of the Night” (“Phantom of the Opera”) and “Out There” (“The Hunchback of Notre Dame”) the true high points of the concert.
The singer/actor’s pop persona is not quite as developed but he does instill some humor into the seldom-heard George Gershwin ditty, “Nashville Nightingale,” as well as his own tribute to Presley, “What Would Elvis Do?” He even manages to swing a little with the Irving Berlin standard, “Let’s Face the Music and Dance.”
Maguire incorporates a guitar into the proceedings that never quite manages to stay in tune but it certainly doesn’t diminish his haunting interpretation of Don McLean’s “Vincent,” which also features the adroit cello work of Harry Gilbert. The singer also accompanies himself on the tender Erroll Garner ballad, “Solitaire.”
Maguire’s between-song bio chatter remains understated throughout. One comical highlight is a recounting of his brief stint as a Wall Street stockbroker, punctuated by his pointed union of “Cool” (“Westside Story”) and Billy Joel’s frantic “Pressure.”