Reviewed by David Roberts and Joseph Verlezza
Theatre Reviews Limited
Any day is a good day when it includes sitting in the iconic Metropolitan Room listening to the equally exemplary Stacy Sullivan and her “Tribute to Miss Peggy Lee.” Ms. Sullivan understands the nature of a tribute as she examines the career of Peggy Lee, knowing who she was and what she was and using that vehicle to take the audience on a transcendent ride through her own reconstructed and re-imagined tour of the musical icon’s songbook.
The music, lyrics, and Ms. Sullivan’s style, phrasing and pure tone transport her audience to another time and place where she “messes with” the material. What makes this performance true star quality is her honesty and devotion along with the courage to explore and create her personal image and execution which is nothing less than magical.
Ms. Sullivan’s unique and refreshing style and phrasing is evident in “Hey There” from “The Pajama Game” (Richard Adler/Jerry Ross) and “Cheek to Cheek” (Irving Berlin). Her sensual and almost sultry tone vibrates through “Till There Was You” from the 1957 “The Music Man” (Meredith Wilson) and “Where did They Go” (Harry Lloyd/Gloria Sklerov). Honoring Peggy Lee’s decision to “sing softly,” Stacy Sullivan closes her performance with a heartfelt interpretation of “Angels on Your Pillow” (Peggy Lee/Paul Horner) and “Fever” (Eddie Cooley/Otis Blackwell).
During our conversation with Ms. Sullivan after her performance on January 11, 2014, we came to a significant consensus: our urban children and students have the ultimate phrase to define excellence. That short phrase is “All right, now.” Stacy Sullivan’s resplendent tribute to the legendary and courageous Miss Peggy Lee is just that: it’s “All right, now!” Plan to visit the incomparable Metropolitan Room to enjoy this tribute on one of the remaining dates of performance (see below).