Micky Dolenz at 54 Below
Photo by Fred Velez
By Fred Velez
Micky Dolenz has conquered many aspects of Show Business: television, records, films and stage. He’s added another notch to his conquests with a sold out run of his cabaret act at New York’s 54 Below Club in New York City, the site of the former Studio 54 disco, now turned into a Broadway theater with the small, intimate club located underneath. On July 7th, 10th and 11th, Micky with a young and talented band performed his show titled ‘A Little Bit Broadway, A Little Bit Rock & Roll’, and that’s exactly what was delivered. Among the those in the audience to catch the show were New York Radio DJ Jim Kerr who introduced Micky and legendary performer and producer Peter Asher of Peter & Gordon.
Peter Asher at 54 Below, photo by Fred Velez
Micky Dolenz sing’s ‘Don’t Be The Bunny’, photo by Fred Velez
With the band introducing him with a brief snatch of the Toni Basil’s hit ‘Micky’, Dolenz took the stage with a spirited rendition of the Leiber & Stoller song ‘D.W. Washburn’, which was both a hit for the Monkees as well as being featured in the Broadway show ‘Smokey Joe’s Cafe’. Micky greeted the enthusiastic crowd by explaining the concept of the show which would feature familiar Monkees hits and Broadway tunes. Micky showed his musical acting prowess with a suitable, sleazy performance of ‘Don’t Be The Bunny’ from the show ‘Urinetown’. This was followed with vulnerable renditions of ‘Mr. Cellophane’ from ‘Chicago’ and ‘Not For Me’, a song made famous by Billie Holiday.
‘Mr. Cellophane’, photo by Fred Velez
Carole King, who’s life is currently being represented in the Broadway show ‘Beautiful’, was recognized with a lovely performance of ‘As We Go Along’ from the movie ‘Head’. Micky then told his famous and funny story of attending a Beatles recording session and being referred to by John Lennon as “Monkee Man” before launching into a blistering version of the Beatles’ ‘Oh Darlin’. Micky mentioned that his parents were also actors and recounted a memory of his father George Dolenz walking around the family home singing ‘Some Enchanted Evening’ before singing a very heartfelt version of the song.
‘Some Enchanted Evening’, photo by Fred Velez
A funny moment in the show occurred when Micky’s musical director Michael J. Moritz Jr. explained that the next song would be performed in “Broadway Style” and what followed was a campy, slowed-up jazzy version of ‘I’m A Believer’ which had the crowd in hysterics before it was quickly abandoned and the song was properly performed, with Micky’s intro “I did this before Shrek!”.
Carole King was represented again with ‘Pleasant Valley Sunday’ followed by a loving performance of ‘Daydream Believer’ dedicated to the late Davy Jones where Micky invited the audience to sing along, and saluting upward in Davy’s honor. Micky then told the story of meeting his wife Donna and rushing cross country to pick her up after the events of 9/11 and proposing to her before singing a tender, emotional version of the song ‘One Of The Good Guys’ from the show ‘Closer Than Ever’ dedicated to Donna.
After a band introduction, Micky and the young band hit the ground running with a great version of ‘Goin’ Down’. Micky briefly left the stage to a standing ovation before returning to end the show for an encore with a sweet, beautiful rendition of ‘Pure Imagination’ from the movie ‘Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory’.
‘Pure Imagination’, photo by Fred Velez
The show was a departure from the type of show Micky usually does and it was recorded by Broadway Records for a release in September, with plans for Micky to return to the venue. If you have the opportunity to catch Micky Dolenz when he returns to 54 Below, I highly recommend that you don’t miss it!
Pre-order Link for Micky Dolenz – A Little Bit Broadway, A Little Bit Rock & Roll:
Last Train To Clarksville
Don’t Be The Bunny (Urinetown)
Mr. Cellophane (Chicago)
Not For Me
As We Go Along
Randy Scouse Git
Some Enchanted Evening
I’m A Believer
Pleasant Valley Sunday
One Of The Good Guys (Closer Than Ever)
Fred Velez, 2015.
Fred Velez is the author of ‘A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You: The Monkees From A Fan’s Perspective’ and the Monkees themed Holiday CD ‘A Little Bit Christmas’.