×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Sam Harris

Sam Harris, a versatile Broadway belter with a winning presence and sunny personality, has brought a varied bag of songs to Arci's Place. The singer has a decided flair for show tunes, but his repertoire runs the gamut from familiar theater pieces to a few soul flavored contemporary songs by Bonnie Raitt, Cyndi Lauper and John Lennon.

With:
Piano, Steve Marzullo.

Sam Harris, a versatile Broadway belter with a winning presence and sunny personality, has brought a varied bag of songs to Arci’s Place. The singer has a decided flair for show tunes, but his repertoire runs the gamut from familiar theater pieces to a few soul flavored contemporary songs by Bonnie Raitt, Cyndi Lauper and John Lennon.

Nominated for a 1997 Tony for his performance as a manipulative con man in Cy Coleman’s “The Life,” Harris, while gifted with a great range and big lungs, has a tendency to push too hard at times, bringing an often shrill clarion call to a song’s dramatic crescendo. When not over-stylized and overwrought, the singer settles down to crooning, and he is decidedly more appealing and passionately persuasive.

Harris inserts some broad standup comedy, including an overlong ode to the theater that concludes with an actor’s endless self-aggrandizing bio as read from the pages of a program. Anticipating his forthcoming move to L.A., the actor reads items from the wrinkled newspaper pages he is using to wrap wine glasses while packing. News clips noting a celeb psychic has been sued for consumer fraud and some Bush bashing regarding controversial environmental issues garnered a few aud chuckles, but it was a decidedly awkward detour from his song fest.

Harris turns Sondheim’s “You Could Drive a Person Crazy” from its original femme perspective in “Company,” adding his own lyrics for a playful manic confessional, and sings Coleman’s “There’s Gotta Be Something Better Than This” with a vivid wandering and restless intensity. A Harold Arlen medley of “I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues” and “Stormy Weather” revealed the bluesy emotional fiber of the classic torch songs.

Harris winds up with some saloon songs. He adds a vaudevillian Jolson edge to Johnny Mercer’s “I Wanna Be Around” and boozy melancholy to “Drinking Again,” winding up with the Arthur Schwartz loser’s exit, “(I’ll Go My Way) By Myself.” Restrained and less affected, Harris offered a warm and subtle farewell medley.

The barroom piano tinkling by Steve Marzullo is smoothly supportive, as is his adventurous approach to big bold show tunes.

Popular on Variety

Sam Harris

Arci's Place; 80 capacity; $30

Production: Presented inhouse. Opened Aug. 14, 2001, reviewed Aug. 17. Closes Aug. 25.

Cast: Piano, Steve Marzullo.

More Music

  • Midland Offers a Clever Take on

    Album Review: Midland's 'Let It Roll'

    At the end of 2019, if you tally up all the steel guitar playing that appeared on a mainstream country album released by a major label this year, chances are that at least 80 percent of it will have occurred solely on Midland’s new album. That’s not the only reason to buy “Let It Roll,” [...]

  • Taylor Swift: Borchetta 'Conveniently Forgets' Scooter

    Taylor Swift: Scott Borchetta 'Has 300 Million Reasons to Forget' Scooter Braun Warnings

    In an interview with “CBS Sunday Morning,” Taylor Swift charged that the president of her former label, Big Machine’s Scott Borchetta, has a selective memory when it came to recalling just how she’s long felt about Scooter Braun, who acquired her catalog when his Ithaca Holdings purchased the record company. “I knew he would sell [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein, Katie Holmes, Taylor Swift'The

    Taylor Swift Downplays Association With Harvey Weinstein

    Taylor Swift’s association with disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was among the topics the singer addressed in a revealing new interview with The Guardian. Weinstein held producer credits for the movies “One Chance” and “The Giver,” both of which featured Swift — in the former, a song, and in the latter, a supporting role. She [...]

  • Tanya Tucker Finds Fresh Footing With

    Album Review: Tanya Tucker's 'While I'm Livin''

    Before there was a name and a place for it, an “outlaw” was what Tanya Tucker was in the years following her gentle country smash with the gospel lilt, “Delta Dawn,” in 1972. A hellraiser and heartbreaker (Merle Haggard and Glen Campbell were just a few of her noted lovers), Tucker made as many headlines [...]

  • A pair of handcuffs

    D.C. Concert Biz Heavyweight Seth Hurwitz Arrested for Solicitation

    Seth Hurwitz, a highly regarded figure in the Washington, D.C. concert scene, was arrested Wednesday on solicitation of prostitution after a massage therapist who felt harassed by Hurwitz helped police set up a bust. Hurwitz, owner of the 9:30 Club and Anthem venues and chairman of the Merriweather Post Pavilion, was released on $5,000 bond [...]

  • Major Lazer Fortnite

    Major Lazer Remixes Fortnite Soundtrack and Releases New In-Game Skins

    Major Lazer, one of Diplo’s many creative outlets, has teamed up with Fortnite to offer fans access to a unique character skin and new remixes of the game’s Default Dance track. The Lazerism set includes the Major Lazer Outfit, Lazer Wings, Lazer Aze, the Lazer Blast emote and the EDM group’s remix of the “Default [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content