Monday, December 14, 2009

James Barbour Holiday Concert to Play Colony Theatre

James Barbour brought his holiday concert straight from New York to the Colony Theatre in Burbank for one performance only Monday December 21 at 7pm. The benefit for the Colony co-starred rock/jazz singer Michelle Wolf with husband, brilliant musician Peter Wolf accompanying. Barbour referred to him as "Chopin at the piano!"
The hour and a half set gave singer par excellence Barbour a chance to show his lighter side - he is one helluva funny storyteller - as he engaged the audience in an interactive "12 Days of Christmas", the Hawaiian "Mele Kalikimaka" and the "Dreidel Song" ("Growing up in New Jersey, mine was the only house that had Christmas lights."). On a more serious note, Barbour performed stunning renditions of "O Holy Night" (his late mom's favorite), Frank Wildhorn's "Measure of a Man", "Believe" and "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year".
Michelle Wolf, from a completely different musical background than Barbour, blends quite amazingly with him, which was apparent in fine renditions of "Silent Night", "White Christmas" and "I'll Be Home for Christmas". Solo, she soared with "Away in a Manger", a breathtaking Leonard Cohen song "Hallelujah", the plaintive "Everything Must Change" and with an entrancingly different sound on "Ave Maria".
Not unlike Andy Williams or Bing Crosby, James Barbour has a laid-back quality that really came alive in this Christmas show. His boyish charm and good looks, along with his awesome
voice, make him one of the hottest Broadway stars to grace a contemporary stage. Those, however, who have only seen him in A Tale of Two Cities cannot appreciate what a deliciously loony mind he has!
Peter Wolf arranged "O Holy Night" for Barbour which is on a new 2 track CD called A Gift of Christmas. Available at iTunes, it also includes a reading by Barbour of "Twas the Night Before Christmas", fully scored by Wolf.
Michelle Wolf has her own Christmas CD entitled Angel of Christmas.


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