Reviewed by David Roberts
Theatre Reviews Limited
MetroStar’s 1st Runner Up Jason Morris is not only an international trainer of yoga teachers and a successful entrepreneur involved in a successful chain of yoga centers; he is also an accomplished and unique performer. In his recent appearance at the Metropolitan Room, Mr. Morris continues to validate his mantra: “music has not only the power to move us to feel, but more importantly, the power that propels us to act and heal.”
Spending time with Jason Morris and his music is indeed powerful: his insistence on being in the present and being completely authentic is healing for the mind, the body, and the spirit. His voice is soothing and his style is eclectic. Jason treats every lyric with respect and the result is a melodic line with fresh and clarifying phrasing. This blend of styling and phrasing places a welcome demand on the audience to appreciate music and lyrics with renewed interest. One must be disciplined and breathe with Jason Morris to fully “attain liberation from the material world and union of the self with ones ultimate principle.” In other words, to spend time with Mr. Morris at the Metropolitan is perfectly yogic.
Jason’s unique styling is evident throughout the thirteen songs (including the Encore with Julie Reyburn) he shares in “Musically Yogic” but perhaps most conspicuous in “Thank Goodness” (Stephen Schwartz); “Magic to Do” from “Pippin” (Stephen Schwartz); and Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newly’s “Pure Imagination” which, in Mr. Morris’ hands, is pure “paradise.”
It is difficult to imagine any crooner – male or female – finding hidden treasure in Rogers and Hammerstein’s “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” from “The Sound of Music;” however, that is precisely what Jason Morris accomplishes in his interpretation of this timeless song. The lyric, “A dream that will need /All the love you can give /Every day of your life /For as long as you live,” takes on a new meaning in his care as he shares with the audience the news of his mother’s recent diagnosis with ALS.
Jason’s Encore “The Letter” (Elton John/Lee Hall) sung with Julie Reyburn rounds out an enchanting evening with a remarkably gifted performer. The audience leaves the Metropolitan Room wanting more from Jason Morris who wants nothing more that each member of his audience know that “in everything you do/ always be yourself /and you always will be true.”