The Songs of Anderson & Petty

54 Below
New York, NY
Barry Anderson and Mark Petty, a trans-Atlantic songwriting team, have magically meshed their talents and sensibilities. The results were performed by a fine cast of skilled singing actors.

“Lost,” sung by Megan McGinnis, Todd Gearhart and Christina DeCicco, was a lament about alienation, while the lighter “One Day” examined a shy flirtation at a Starbucks that was slyly interpreted by Nick Cosgrove and Natalie Gallo. Stopping the show was “The Female Anatomy,” in which a lusty Jennifer Perry wondered why any male doctor would want to become a gynecologist—the imagery, let’s say, was quite colorful!

From a new musical came “I Do” in which Jen Burleigh-Bentz professed more than aesthetic love for the Eiffel Tower. From a musical about Jack Johnson, the legendary heavyweight champion, came the tough proclamation “He Never Lost the Fight” sung with passion by Curtis Wiley.

“Prom Queen” was about a high school reunion where the title character—Liz Larsen, in a hilarious performance—meets her old flame only to realize he’s gay!

The serious side of romance was examined in “Superman,” where Coleen Sexton longed for someone to save her from her dull life. The male perspective was illuminated in “Tell Me,” a rumination on losing a love, sung with intensity and longing by Todd Gearheart. Benjamin Eakeley was a dapper and slick wooer in “Beautiful Day,” while Brandon Andrus was overcome with memories in “Undone.”

The songs spun love in all its forms from worship to despair, and were literate, melodic and full of heart.

The large band, led by Anderson, created many moods and colors.

Joel Benjamin
Cabaret Scenes
August 23, 2014