BWW Reviews: Demaree Alexander Bows @ Sterling's
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Tuesday, March 22, 2011; Posted: 10:03 AM - by Don Grigware
On Sunday March 20 Broadway's former Young Cossette of Les Mis pretty Demaree Alexander brought her cabaret act to Sterling's Upstairs @ Vitello's with a bevy of talented guests on board. This young lady has a background not only in Broadway pop music but also in country; consequently, she nicely essayed a variety of musical styles alone and in duets with Kevin Odekirk, Dee Dee Magno-Hall, Jess Buda, Maura Hanlon Smith and brother Braden Danner. It was a lovely laid-back evening with Alexander's cute, easy going delivery and not without some exciting musical surprises.
Highlights of the 60-minute set included: the rarely heard "Miss Otis Regrets" by Cole Porter, a delightfully soulful "Feeling Good", a pleasingly low-key rendition of "L-O-V-E", another rare choice "Last Name" and a wonderfully simplistic call to love with "Some People's Lives", recorded by Bette Midler. She sent her solo encore of "The Wizard and I" from Wicked soaring higher than just about any other solo she performed with perhaps "The Life of the Party" from Andrew Lippa's Wild Party a close second. It was mostly in the duets where she scored the most points, as in "I Know Him So Well" from Chess with the beautiful Dee Dee Magno-Hall. Hall is quite a wonderful vocalist in her own right. I wish I had seen and heard more from her. Equally so with magnificent tenor Kevin Odekirk, who, along with Maura Hanlon Smith on an all too brief few bars as the mother, joined forces with Alexander on "Superboy and the Invisible Girl" from Next to Normal and even more appealing with "Mountain Duet" also from Chess. Odekirk is a tenor to watch out for. He's blessed with a great set of pipes. The surprise duet of the evening was with Alexander's brother Braden Danner - a first singing appearance in 20 years - on "The Song That Goes Like This" from Spamalot. Alexander's soprano range was put to good use here as she supported Danner who had most of the big belting comic moments. Congrats to superb musical director Bob Remstein at the piano and as well to Del Atkins on bass and Tom Walsh on drums.
This was a fine evening of song, with a great mix of song stylings. Petite, sweet Demaree Alexander has a likable 'girl-next-door'quality - her rendition of "Nature Boy" suits her well, but she underplays too much of the time. She has quite a strong and durable vocal range and really knocked the Wicked tune right out of the park. Next time around, I would like to see her leave those green sleaves on, that she put on only momentarily as an Elphaba tease, and follow through with more bold and daring moves. She would make a terrific torch singer and has great night club potential.
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