Liz Callaway has left an indelible mark on and off Broadway with her remarkable talent. She has performed in hits like Merrily We Roll Along and Baby, for which she received a Tony nomination. She portrayed Grizabella in Cats and was part of the original cast in Miss Saigon. She has an extensive repertoire that extends beyond the Broadway stage, singing in animated films that include Anatasia, Aladdin and the King of Thieves, The Return of Jafar and Lion King 2: Simba's Pride. She has captivated audiences with her powerful voice and unforgettable performances. The magic continued in her recent performance at 54 Below this summer with her new show, Liz Callaway: Screen Gems.
She stepped onto the stage dressed in all black, looking elegant and stylish. She began the show with a beautiful rendition of "When You Wish Upon a Star" and "Let the River Run." She then explains the theme for the evening. She selected some of her favorite songs from her career and life--all from movies. She enlisted the public's help on social media, asking people to submit their favorite movie songs. Some made the list but unfortunately, not all; there were just too many.
The evening's set included songs like "Moon River," which the public requested most. She performed "Beautiful City" from Godspell. As the night progressed, she shared stories about her life and explained why she chose them. "It Might Be You" from Tootsie was her wedding song thirty-seven years ago! These stories were wonderful gems that added an intimate layer to the show.
She told of her journey into the animated world. The numerous attempts and auditions she underwent until she got the role. She then graced us with "Once Upon a December" and "Journey to the Past" from Anastasia. Additionally, she beautifully interpreted "Singing in the Rain" and "The Trolley Song" as well as "Over the Rainbow" from The Wizard of Oz.
Her band, directed by Alex Rybeck on piano, Ron Tierno on drums, and Ritt Henn on bass, perfectly complemented her voice. Their exceptional musicianship created a harmonious blend showcased on stage.
She closed with the song "Through the Eyes of Love," which she says is how she feels singing to her audiences. A touching gesture fitting for a warm, welcoming, talent-filled evening.
Liz Callaway's extraordinary voice has touched the hearts of countless audiences and her latest show, Screen Gems, continued to do so.
"Liz Callaway: Screen Gems"
Performed by Liz Callaway
Music direction by Alex Rybeck
July 8, 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.