Although Gabriella Joy has performed numerous times at 54 Below, this is her first solo debut perfectly titled "A Collection of Firsts." The show highlights meaningful songs from Gabriella Joy's life and career.
Gabrielle Joy enters the stage dressed elegantly and sleek. She opens the show with a beautiful rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." She later tells us she sang that song at her first singing lesson.
She goes on to introduce the show as a journey of firsts. The songs she selected have been part of her life and she is honored to share them with us.
Her set included songs from In the Heights, Disney and an all-time favorite, Whitney Houston. Whitney is not easy to pull off but Joy put on a solid vocal performance of "I Want To Run To You", one of my favorites of the evening. She also did a spectacular mash-up of Whitney Houston and The Little Mermaid. Her journey of firsts continues when she is joined by her cousin, Katherine Acosta López, to sing a duet. López inspired Joy to pursue a career in musical theatre when she went to see her at a school show. Hearing her share the stories that inspired her in life and career was special.
Gabriella Joy is a treat to see! Her vivacious and charming personality shines on stage. Her energy is inviting and warm. She does a magnificent job of making the evening feel welcoming. It is evident that the audience adores her by the continuous clapping and affection they have for her.
I hope to see many more shows with her at 54 Below, Broadway and beyond. She is a must-see!
"Gabriella Joy: A Collection of Firsts"
Written and Performed by Gabriella Joy
Music direction by Daniel Rudin
July 10, 2023
254 W 54th St. Cellar, NYC 10019
Yani Perez, M.F.A, is a poet, playwright, translator, and educator. Her plays have been presented in various theaters in the United States such as La Mama and Yale University as well as internationally in Bogotá, Colombia. She works at IATI Theater, one of the oldest Latinx theaters in NYC. She is currently working on translations of Latinx artists in hopes of introducing them to English-speaking audiences.