Mark William filled the house with music and love on Valentine’s Day at NYC’s Chelsea Table + Stage

For his Valentine’s Day debut at NYC’s new nightspot Chelsea Table + Stage, new-age crooner Mark William celebrated love with a special curated set list of standards, more recent hits, and an original song that he penned, all on the theme of relationships and romance. Under the direction of Preston and Richard Ridge, he not only commanded the stage with his vocal virtuosity, smooth and easy delivery, expressive face and gestures, and short segment of spectacular choreography with a high kick, but also thrilled the full house with some up-close-and-personal interactions, giving everyone a night to remember in Mark William: Love Sings!

Mark William. Photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy.

With orchestrations by Clint Edwards and Andrew Morrissey (who also served as Musical Director), William wowed enthusiastic fans with his signature stylings of classics by some of the greatest songwriters of the 20th-century stage and screen, from Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, and Lerner and Loewe, to Kander and Ebb, Burt Bacharach and Hal David, and Stephen Sondheim. He also reimagined Bruno Mars’ 2010 recording “Just the Way You Are” in a fusion of contemporary pop with the vintage style, and paid homage to the era in his own young and playful spin on love, “Wherever We Land.”

After making a grand entrance down the venue’s imposing staircase, William launched into an upbeat opening medley of “Come Live with Me,” “Come Fly with Me,” “Blue Skies,” and “From This Moment On.” The high energy continued with his animated and ebullient renditions of “The Trolley Song,” “She Loves Me,” and “On the Street Where You Live” that captured all the joy of the lyrics and melodies, as did “Put on Your Sunday Clothes” by one of his personal favorites, Jerry Herman (to whom he paid tribute in a previous musical revue).

Mark William. Photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy.

The effervescent numbers were interspersed with sincere and seductive songs in a slower tempo, including “Moon River” and “Ebb Tide” (with which he proved that “water can be romantic”), “Whatever Lola Wants” (a song that is actually about “lust, not love”), a suave medley of “The Girl from Ipanema, “The Look of Love,” and “The Way of Love” (that elicited sighs of yearning), and an enchanting mélange of “Bewitched,” “You Do Something To Me,” “That Old Black Magic,” and “Witchcraft’ (expounding “love as magic,” as he circulated through the intimate room and sang directly to some lucky members of the audience).

The delightful evening highlighted William’s rich and suave resonance, flawless breath control on the long notes, and engaging showmanship, which resulted in a standing ovation and call for an encore. He returned to the stage and his band (Jonathan Ward on drums, Sam Zerna on bass, Jernej Bervar on guitar, Josiah Lamb on trumpet, Dan Meinhardt on sax, and Andrew Morrissey on piano), in a dazzling blue sequined jacket and shoes, to close the concert with “It’s You Again/Love Is in the Air,” getting another standing ovation, and leaving the audience, including a roster of VIPs, wanting more.

If you missed this one-night-only event, you can see Mark William on stage again at Theatre Row, in the Off-Broadway revival of A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine, playing February 24-March 6, 2022. And I have no doubt that he will be in high demand to return soon to Chelsea Table + Stage.

Running Time: Approximately 70 minutes, without intermission.

Photo by Nathan Johnson.

Mark William: Love Sings! played on Monday, February 14, at 7 pm, at Chelsea Table + Stage, 152 West 26th Street, NYC, downstairs inside the Hilton New York Fashion District.


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