Entertainment » Music

Awakening: Live At 54 Below

by Steven Bergman
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Thursday Dec 12, 2013
Awakening: Live At 54 Below

The latest release from the "54 BELOW" series is from Broadway's original "Little Mermaid," Sierra Boggess. On "Awakening: Live at 54 BELOW" Boggess flexes her musical muscles in a variety of genres, from pop and country, through opera, with a generous helping of her bread and butter, musical theater.

Her patter is adorable, and her youthful outlook on life is endearing as she continues to embrace a spiritual existence. She idolizes Barbra Streisand before tackling "Before the Parade Passes By"; she kvells over Andrew Lloyd Webber before demonstrating some of the questionable choices she has watched other singers make with her "Ultimate Medley with Apologies to ALW"; and she genuinely enjoys her family, as indicated by having her sister accompanying her on cello for several selections, and performing Dolly Parton's "Wildflowers" with her father on guitar.

In one moment she talks about her Broadway success in "The Little Mermaid" as a star on the rise, and the next moment she is as giddy as a child around the more experienced stars she has had the opportunity to meet during her budding career.

Vocally, Boggess is at her best with her Disney selections ("Just Around the Riverbend" from "Pochahontas," and her most popular tune, "Part of your World") and on a pair of arias from "La Boheme," where the timbre of her voice suits Puccini very well. However, not every song lands on this release. Her traditional theater selections, which include "I Have Confidence" (from "Sound of Music"), the Kander and Ebb piece "A Quiet Thing," and standards such as "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," tend to suffer from too much vibrato, but, as Boggess expresses about criticism, "I Don't Care." Fans of the young performer should add this to their music collection, while those above the age of 35 can graciously go find another mermaid in the sea to follow.

"Awakening: Live at 54 BELOW"
Sierra Boggess
CD and Digital formats
Broadway Records

Steven Bergman is a Composer / Playwright / Performing Arts Educator based outside of Boston, MA.


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