VILLAINS! In The Green Room 42
Sea witches, and ghosts, and snakes Oh my God!
Heigh-Ho, my happy rainbow tribe! Bobby Patrick, your RAINBOW review here. Put the silent T in cabareT to bring you all the T!
So my dear Disney-o-files colleagues, Swingin ‘With The Mouse: Sunday Night Villains! The concert at The Green Room 42 (TGR42) gave us the Jazzmatize styles of Pablo Rossil as he applied real BeeBopADigity to great songs made famous by Disney Baddies. To help him, the arranger-conductor-orchestra-musician-SINGER was accompanied by a group of 6 crackerjack musicians and a few voices able to stage his excellent arrangements – including an original hunter ” terribly misunderstood “. Pablo kicked off the night as the sexy host-performer-hyphenated bear to his jazz version of THIS IS HALLOWEEN (NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS) with ease and the relaxed freshness of a true nightclub veteran, swing the number, put the gliss in its glissandos and warm the room well so that the program follows. Rossil’s original idea, SWINGIN ‘WITH THE MUSIC began in 2016 and reinvented beloved and lesser-known songs with new interpretations of jazz. Those the concerts are a series of performances covering a variety of themes, all dedicated to Broadway, pop, the American Songbook and treasured Disney musical memorabilia in dancing jive rhythms. An attractive idea, especially if you are a big Disney kid like little Bobby.
The line-up for SWINGIN ‘WITH THE MOUSE: VILLAINS Sunday included performances by singers Rossil, Janaya Mahealani Jones, Garrett Clayton and Gaston – Richard White of BEAUTY, all giving some of The Mouse’s most famous tunes from the “dark side” with Pablo’s cool layouts. Breaking away from the usual (read able to snore) format of speaking through the setlist and the singers, Bobby wants to start by giving the band some love – and the love certainly lasted all night. The jazz-a-holics that Pablo was lucky enough to have at night, brought real chops with their doorways (What? Bobby knows the words of music too!), Sticks, keys and strings.
Jade Elliot (tenor sax / clarinet)
Kellin Hanas (trumpet)
Ilai Macaggi (Trombone)
Benjamin Rice (Piano)
Malik McLaurine (Bass)
Chris Latone (Drums)
All of them mingled effortlessly in combinations that define the word combo, and each stood out brilliantly in the solo improvisational moments that had the venue swaying and applauding after each. Noteworthy here is Ilai Macaggi (Trombone) whose solo riff at one point caused his fellow musicians to visibly scramble his sounds and join in the applause afterwards. The program also included slots on the setlist reserved for musicians. Jade Elliot used her snake-shaped sax to swing and weave her way through Kaa’s TRUSSSSSSSSST IN ME in THE JUNGLE BOOK in a way so sweet and sexy you should be wondering, “This is for kids?”
Now on to the vocals … The four singers on the show were all great on their own, although their conductor relied heavily on himself and Janaya Mahealani Jones to perform 6 out of 10 numbers, no. ‘leaving that 2 each for the legendary Mr. White and influencer star, La Garrett – a young man who, if you’re one of his 3 ½ MILLION followers on TikClocks or his 1 ½ mil on the InstaPictoGrams (and Bobby certainly is), then you know his talent, his moves, his unstoppable vocal range and, of course, those eyes! (Le Soupir) The performances of these two gentlemen, quite frankly, really left you wanting more of them. Jones, whose fantastic voice, rapport with Rossil and hilarious stage presence made everyone love him so much you could almost forgive him for his reliance on his cell phone crutch to keep up with his words . This is … until … Richard White, without any crutches, “gets on” singing MINE MINE MINE from Pocahontas and just did a lovely and fun part of his struggle to get back on track and finished the number on his feet in front of a crowd who liked him even more for the gaff. This kind of live performance faux pas, handled with the aplomb of a veteran like White, shows crowds and youngsters how it was done before digital assists became addictions. None of these minor points detracted from the enjoyment of the night, but, for Bobby, it was a little disappointing that the company didn’t come together on stage for at least one group act. On a hilarious note, a man in the audience who couldn’t contain himself expressed disappointment to Pablo that he didn’t hear Garret Clayton’s FAB-U-LOUS rendition of I PUT A SPELL ON YOU (if you didn’t. not seen her Halloween video so you MUST CLICK HERE NOW!) a song sung by villain Bette Winifred in Disney’s HOCUS POCUS, but which was actually written by Jay Hawkins in 1956 and as such is right Disney Adjacent. After facing off against Camp CRUELLA DE VIL’s villainy numbers and Ursula’s POOR UNFORTUNATE SOULS, sporting beautiful black lacquered nails and her new wedding ring, there’s hope that TEEN BEACH MOVIE heart Clayton can deliver on its 2020 promise of a solo show in NYC … and the sooner the better.
All in all, it was a well spent evening, hearing some really catchy jazz arrangements with tons of musical surprises that demonstrated Pablo Rossil’s virtuosity in taking the familiar and making it his own.
And for all this we give SWINGIN ‘WITH THE MOUSE: VILLAINS! A respectable …
3 ½ on 5 rainbows
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All the pictures of this always charming, STEPHEN MOSHER