Interwoven throughout the narration was music from their best loved musicals, beginning with the choir’s rendition of “It’s a Grand Night of Singing from STATE FAIR and featuring numbers from OKLAHOMA!, CAROUSEL, SOUTH PACIFIC, THE KING AND I, and THE SOUND OF MUSIC. What better songs to showcase the mellifluous pipes of the incomparable Matthew Morrison and Laura Michelle Kelly, reunited after starring together in the original cast of FINDING NEVERLAND? They were featured heavily throughout the evening, including in duets such as “People Will Say We’re in Love” from OKLAHOMA! and such memorable solos as Kelly’s “(When I Marry) Mister Snow” from CAROUSEL and Morrison’s “Younger than Springtime” from SOUTH PACIFIC (which he performed in the Lincoln Center revival).
Both showed a playful side, with Morrison leading the choir and dancing through the title song from OKLAHOMA! and Kelly taking off her shoes and gifting a flower to a choir member in “I’m in Love with a Wonderful Guy” from SOUTH PACIFIC.
The highlight of the show was the unexpected inclusion of the “Wedding Processional” in a medley from THE SOUND OF MUSIC that included classic Mormon Tabernacle Choir arrangements of the title song and “Climb Every Mountain.” The scale of the performance of the processional from Richard Elliott at the massive pipe organ with the orchestra and choir was nothing short of thrilling.
The concert ended on a high note with an inspiring finale in which Morrison and Kelly joined the choir and orchestra to perform the anthem “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from CAROUSEL under the breathtaking star-lit sky suspended above them.
“I have no idea what to expect,” he told ET. “I’m sure my wife is drumming up some kind of fun surprises and stuff, but it’s gonna be special.”
Morrison joked that his son has an unusually special talent: insanely fast-growing (and dangerous) fingernails.
“Those fingernails grow so fast and sometimes my wife and I both have scratches on our face or on our arms and stuff and then he scratches his own face,” he said. “I feel like we’re clipping his nails every three days — it’s crazy. ”
But he said that being a father has changed him significantly — and in profound ways.
“The amount of love that I feel — like, I heard this quote the other day about how it feels like your heart is outside of your body and it really is true,” he explained. “I’ve never known this kind of love. It’s a beautiful, euphoric kind of just amazing feeling that I’m just happy. I’m happy my son chose me. ”
Morrison was also thrilled to be back at the Tony Awards. Morrison himself is a past nominee, for his role in the musical The Light in the Piazza in 2005 and said that musical theater is his home.
“I was thinking about it on the car ride over here like my first tony awards that I got to be at and performed at was when I was doing Hairspray,” he said. It was 15 years ago and thankfully, they keep asking me to come back and this is home for me. I love this community and um the people and I love, I love live performances and live theater so it’s amazing to be here.”
Matthew Morrison, is known for starring in Glee, but long before that he treaded the boards of Broadway in Hairspray, The Light in the Piazza, South Pacific and most recently Finding Neverland. Now he is performing at Feinstein’s/54 Below until January 13th and this is a show not to miss. Morrison exudes a natural sex appeal. He claims in his show, that Feinstein’s/54 Below is the sexiest room, but this is the sexiest show, as Morrison seduces his audience with charisma galore. Starting off with a crooning “Nice N Easy,” Morrison entered from the front of the room, making audience members swoon with joy as he passed their table. Sounding and oozing the same charge, that Frank Sinatra did. His smooth stylings gave way to a man with a heart, when a young girl almost fainted with glee, was allowed a selfie with him. I have never seen anyone as delighted as this girl was. All night the cell camera’s were zoomed in so as not to miss a moment.
Next up was a sinful “On The Street Where You Live.” All I can say is if the revival of My Fair Lady has this version, it is sure to smolder.
Father to 12-week-old son Revel James Makail, John Mayer’s “Waiting on the World to Change” brought lyrics that really affected the singer, but it was “As Long As He Needs Me” from Oliver that his emotional ties to his son came through. The arrangement had Jimmy Emerson on flute and it added to the plaintiveness of the song. Also on “Waiting on the World to Change” there were some mean solos by Emerson on Sax and Daniel Kalischer on guitar.
Bill Withers “Ain’t No Sunshine” showed off the singers dancing skills, as well as some soul. Morrison feeds off the energy of his fans as he gyrated with a sinewy grace. During the song his hand slide down the mike as if making love to it and I can guarantee most of the audience wished it was them instead of that mike.
In “Hey There” from Pajama Game, Morrison oozed boyish charm as he played the ukulele. This was in tribute to his first gig as a back-up singer for Don Ho.
Brad Ellis, the arranger from Glee, is Morrison’s musical director and played the keys, but it was his arrangement of Cole Potter’s “It’s Alright With Me” that rocked the house. Morrison pulled some Bob Fosse moves that shook the house. Bass player Gary Wicks and drummer Pete Antunes also showed mad skills.
“We Kiss In The Shadow” was Morrison’s tribute to gay marriage and what life was like before acceptance.
His South Pacific medley made me want to see his performance and made me realize what a talented musician this man truly is.
Nominated for a Tony Award for his performance as Fabrizio in The Light In The Piazza “Il Mondo Era Vuoto,” was my favorite of the night. Stating “that show was the hardest I’ve ever done. It’s also the highlight of my career,” he vocally soared. It is in a more classical sound, that Morrison impresses and impress he does.
Keeping us up to date with the shows he has performed in, a Finding Neverland medley followed. A nine-minute Hairspray medley had Morrison rocking and rolling. It is clear he has a complete love for this show.
“Come Rain or Come Shine/ Basin Street Blues” allowed the whole band to show off. Morrison surrounds himself with some of best musicians and the caliber of this show is exceptional. For opening night Morrison’s guest was his wife Renee and the curtain call number was a medley of two Beatle songs for the girl who has knitted his young sons caps.
Morrison is personable and makes sure that everyone has a great seat and a fabulous time. His humor is a little sarcastic, but with a devilish charm. Morrison has that “it” factor and has talent galore. How Broadway hasn’t snatched him up to star in a role written for him is beyond puzzling. Do not miss this show as it is one of the best I have seen in a long time.
It’s official: Everyone is a fan of The Bachelor and Bachelorette. Matthew Morrison spoofs the hit ABC franchise in his latest film After the Reality, and Us Weekly has a sneak peek. Watch the video above!
In the film, Morrison plays a contestant named Scottie who is vying for the heart of the Bachelorette, played by Laura Bell Bundy. After Scottie’s dad dies, he quits the competition and is reunited with his sister, played by Sarah Chalke.
“When I was in Hairspray on Broadway, Trista and Ryan Sutter visited the production. It was right after their final episode aired, and they just seemed so down to earth, an incredible couple,” he recalled. “That was when, I assume, the show was fresh and truly about finding a connection with someone. But I think most people who go on these shows have to be a little lost and in search of some fulfillment. That’s the attitude and naïveté I brought into the character of Scottie.”