DPP 0001

Tony Yazbeck – The Floor Above Me

Tony Yazbeck
The Floor Above Me
Bay Area Cabaret at The Venetian Room, San Francisco, CA, December 4, 2016

Tony Yazbeck is a compelling triple threat: actor, singer and dancer. The Tony Award nominee (On the Town) performed his charming cabaret act starting with the precocious child dancer enamored with Fred Astaire, to his first audition for Gypsy, his romantic life and his Broadway success. Throughout the show Yazbeck hoofed with the style and grace of his idol Astaire added with the athleticism of greats like Ray Bolger, Buddy Ebsen and Gregory Hines.

Yazbeck has a beautiful tenor with great control and excellent phrasing. He absolutely hit Martin Sexton’s haunting “Where Did I Go Wrong” out of the ballpark, and his cover of Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” had a world weary, disillusioned feel far beyond his chronological age. With carefully scripted monologues reflecting his journey to date, Yazbeck showed his romantic optimism through song (The Beatle “Gotta Get You into My Life”, Isham Jones and Gus Kahn’s “It Had to Be You”, and the Gershwin’s “Our Love is Here to Stay”).

From his star turn as Gabey in On The Town he sang “Lucky to Be Me” (l. Bernstein/A. Green/B. Comden), a most apropos sentiment indeed. In a nod to a role he’d love to play, Yazbeck covered Sondheim’s poignant “Finishing the Hat” from Sunday in the Park with George. In another homage to Astaire, he closed the show closed with a rousing, tap-sational  “Slap That Bass”, first introduced by Astaire and Dudley Dickerson in the 1937 film Shall We Dance.

Since childhood, Yazbeck has been on the fast track to stardom. While it helps to be naturally gifted, there’s an innate special something that all stars possess. Yazbeck has it in spades.