A Live Music Showcase Review by Jefferson Harman
If you are a fan of Star Dreams Café, you may know that the theme song for our show, Dreaming With… (Believe In Your Dreams) was written and performed by award-winning Composer/Lyricist Bobby Cronin. Both a colleague and personal friend, I have had the privilege of knowing Bobby for over a decade. In that time, I have watched as both he and his music have matured and blossomed. He is an amazing writer, a respected teacher, and one of the kindest humans I know.
So as 2021 comes to a close, I wanted to take this opportunity to review his latest showcase, A Little Bit Of Bobby, which was performed at NYC’s Green Room 42 in November. I can think of no better way to close out the year than to celebrate Bobby and the many talented musicians, actors and singers that helped to make his most recent showcase a great success. As Broadway strives to return from the pandemic, it was a privilege to attend this live event and to see the joy it sparked in the audience and artists alike.
Produced by DDM Productions and directed by Michael Mills, the evening included selections from Concrete Jungle (Cronin), and from Mary & Max, The Musical, (Cronin/Skillman), based on the claymation film by Academy Award Winner Adam Elliot. Award-winning dramatist Crystal Skillman was on hand to introduce a gorgeous instrumental medley from their latest work, Rain & Zoe Save the World, which will premier at the Jermyn Street Theatre in London in February 2022.
The event was packed with old friends and new fans, enjoying the beautifully produced showcase. Several Broadway performers highlighted the evening, supported by an amazing vocal ensemble. Singers included Jelani Remy (Ain’t Too Proud), Angela Birchett (The Color Purple), Kate Rockwell (Mean Girls), Shuler Hensley (Oklahoma!), Lauren Elder (Side Show), Telly Leung (Aladdin), Devin Ilaw (Miss Saigon), Brooklyn Norstedt (making her New York debut at age 14), Leana Rae Concepcion, and Deon Oliverio. Musical direction by Yasuhiko Fukuoka (also on piano), with Mary E. Rodriguez on drums, and Sam Sultan on bass and keyboards. The Ensemble: Roggi Chuquimarca, Jessi Clayton, Yassi Noubahar, Regene Odon, Kara Pizzolo, Noah Virgile, and Andrew R. Widger. Full bios are available at https://sarahnowak.net/
Left to right – Christian Jorgensen, Dane Levens (DDM), Hersh Ellis, Bobby Cronin, Crystal Skillman, Lauren Elder & Drew Desky (DDM).
The after party following the show took place at the panoramic rooftop lounge of the beautiful Yotel on 42nd and Tenth. One of the highlights of the party was when Michael Mills introduced Bobby to actress Patricia Clarkson on FaceTime. The joy in Bobby’s face was radiant. There is a photo of this moment included in the album accompanying this review, along with images from the show and after-party. If you have the chance to see one of Bobby’s future works live, don’t hesitate to experience his music. In the meantime, song selections from the show are available on YouTube here. Photo Flash Album here.
Selections from Concrete Jungle
by Bobby Cronin
Come Here Boy (Jelani Remy & Angela Birchett)
Love Will Take You There (Devin Ilaw & Deon Oliver)
The Greatest Story Of My Life (Jelani Remy)
Don’t Think (Angela Birchett & Leana Rae Concepcion)
Unstoppable (Kate Rockwell)
Reasons (Angela Birchett)
from Rain & Zoe Save The World
Rain & Zoe Piano Instrumental Medley (Bobby Cronin, Piano)
Selections from Mary & Max, The Musical
by Music & Lyrics by Bobby Cronin, Book by Crystal Skillman
Music & Lyrics by Bobby Cronin Book by Crystal Skillman Based on the claymation film by Academy Award Winner Adam Elliot
Shine On (Telly Leung, Brooklyn Norstedt)
The Friend Song (Shuler Hensley & Brooklyn Norstedt)
Getting Bigger (Shuler Hensley, Brooklyn Norstedt, Lauren Elder)
Fly Right Outta Here (Lauren Elder)
Running (Telly Leung)
I Found My Words Around You (Lauren Elder & Devin Ilaw)
Sidewalks (Shuler Hensley)
Additional Information & Links
© 2021 Jefferson Harman. All rights reserved.