Entertainment » Music

Brian De Lorenzo :: He’d rather be singing

by Kay Bourne
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Thursday Mar 24, 2011

Openly gay cabaret artist Brian De Lorenzo puts his own spin on the Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein, II classic "All The Things You Are" when he performs March 29 at Scullers.

Local favorite De Lorenzo, who is celebrating 40 years of singing professionally with this gig (his first professional engagement was at age nine), shakes up the love song by pairing it with "I'd Rather Be Sailing" (from the musical A New Brain by William Finn).

Lyric lines "Sex is good but I'd rather be sailing" matched up with "You are the promised kiss of springtime???"

De Lorenzo agrees the songs are an odd couple, however, in truth, they are a twosome: "they're both about a love relationship," notes De Lorenzo in a recent phone conversation with EDGE; "and they're both sung to a second person."

He will also sometimes make a song intimate by employing his sensibility as an openly gay man. "I do sometimes sing songs written for a woman sung to a male and I keep it that way," he said. As an example, De Lorenzo offered "I Never Said I Loved You" from Jerry Herman's Dear World. "She's a waitress, a minor character in the show, imagining the love of her life, describing what he might be like."

For vocalist De Lorenzo, who has considerable experience singing in concerts and Broadway musicals too, such intimacy is part and parcel of singing cabaret, and one of the elements that distinguishes cabaret.

"You are breaking down the 4th wall that we have in theater," he said. De Lorenzo has been seen on stage recently as Bob Cratchit in the well received A Christmas Carol at North Shore Music Theater. Other widely applauded roles include Phil D'Armano in The Wild Party (IRNE Award Best Ensemble), On the Twentieth Century with Tony Ward winner Alice Ripley (Elliot Norton Outstanding Musical award), and Zangara in Sondheim's Assassins (named by the Globe as best theater production in 1998).

A musical high

His club appearances include New York’s Birdland, cruise ships in Alaska and the Mediterranean, and, of course, previous engagements at Scullers as well as at Club Café and the Calderwell Pavillion.

For the Scullers Jazz Club Tuesday night date, Brian De Lorenzo appears with Bill Duffy on piano with special guests including Lynda D’Amour, Will McMillan, Randy Zinkus, and Kathy St. George.

De Lorenzo enjoys the Scullers ambience. "I think it’s the closest we have to a cabaret room in Boston," he says of the club that presents national acts as well as choice area musicians. "You are surrounded by the audience on three sides which gives you a closeness. It’s easy to make eye contact with audience members. It’s also great to have a grand piano because really an electric keyboard doesn’t have the same feel at all!"

Growing up with music in the house (his father was a singer) and attending Catholic grade school which had music classes, at age nine De Lorenzo got his first professional experience in a production of Benjamin Brittan’s cantata "St. Nicholas"(the patron saint of children).

It wasn’t until a tour with the his college group the Fredonia Chamber Singers to Israel, however, that he first felt in his heart that he was a singer. He remembers clearly the moment during a concert in the seaside town of Rehoboth when singing a solo in the African American spiritual "Ain’t Got Time To Die" that "I felt a connection with the audience and a natural musical high. It felt so wonderful. I love when that happens when I’m singing."

Brian De Lorenzo....and Friends for one show only, Tuesday, March 29, 2011, at eight pm at Scullers Jazz Club, DoubleTree Guest Suites Hotel, 400 Soldiers Field Road in Boston. Show is $20; Dinner & Show, 458. For tickets or more info you can phone 617-562-4111 or go on-line at www.Scullersjazz.com. ? ? ? ? ? 

Watch Brian De Lorenzo sing "I’d Rather Be Sailing":

Watch Brian De Lorenzo sing "Not a Day Goes By":

Watch Brian De Lorenzo sing "There’s a Boat That’s Leavin’ Soon For New York":


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