Dreamstage Live 'BROADWAY: STORIES & SONGS' (With Ted Sperling & Friends)

Guest: Jason Danieley

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Joe Szekeres

Wow! I am so grateful and appreciative to have had the opportunity to chat several weeks ago with both Ted and Jason before I saw tonight’s concert.

You can find both of their profiles here in Our Theatre Voice.

This evening was an artistic culmination for me to hear two professional artists collaborate and briefly reminisce about some of the moments they experienced in the world of performance. Most importantly, after fifteen months of lockdowns and bubbles, ‘Broadway: Stories & Songs’ just put a big ol’ smile on my face to listen to two incredibly talented guys entertain us tonight with some Broadway showtunes. I hadn’t heard of several titles, so I was pleased to be introduced to them for the first time.

Messrs. Sperling and Danieley appeared naturally comfortable with each other as the cameras rolled for this near hour-long concert. For me, just to watch their personal demeanor towards each other showed they clearly held respect for each other’s talents. Ted and Jason have also been friends for over 25 years as Jason met his late wife, Broadway artist Marin Mazzie, through Ted so this bit of knowledge adds even more believability to their relationship.

(May 28 and 29, Jason Danieley)
Danieley wore a grey suit with white open collar shirt while Sperling wore a dark coloured suit with white open collar shirt. Good to see this as wearing a tie would have made things seem just a tad too formal (along with the fact that wearing said tie would not be useful in singing).

For most of the concert, Sperling played the piano and offered back up vocals when necessary. Just watching Danieley ‘become’ the different characters in each of these songs was fascinating and inviting. I especially liked his Irish accent in the opening song ‘On the Streets of Dublin’ from A Man of No Importance. Danieley became the character in the song and, as he appeared to finish the number, I almost got the impression he was ready to say, ‘C’mon, let’s have a beer. I’m paying.”

This opening song was a perfect ice breaker for the concert.

I loved the tribute to ‘Sara Lee’. I don’t know if we have ‘Sara Lee’ dessert products here in Toronto. (I’ll have to look in the frozen section next time I go to the grocery store). These two attacked the song with great fun and ease, and at one point Mr. Danieley completed a pelvic thrust which made me laugh for a few seconds.

At one moment, the mood became poignant as Mr. Sperling stepped back and allowed Jason to sing ‘We Will Always Walk Together’ which he sung at his late wife’s memorial service. Just watching Danieley engage in this vocal moment with a resilient emotional strength as he looked up and sang to his beloved wife was highly moving. He paused for a few seconds at the end, and I thought I saw a glisten in the corner of his eye. A truly human moment that was shared with all of us.

‘They Can’t Take that Away from Me’ fittingly concluded the event for both gentlemen. The pandemic may have stopped them momentarily in their love of performance, but Covid can’t and won’t take away that connection each of them made with me tonight through songs and stories.

Jason Danieley’s concert will be re-broadcast again May 29, 2021, at 2 pm. EST.

Dreamstage Live continues BROADWAY: STORIES & SONGS with artists Victoria Clark on June 4, 5 and Meghan Picerno and John Riddle on June 11 and 12. For further information on tickets and to learn more about DREAMSTAGE Live, visit https://dreamstage.live

Photo of Jason Danieley, Ted Sperling and Ticket from Dreamstage Live website.

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