‘Will Gartshorez: Underappreciated & Overexposed’ at ‘Sizzlin’ Summer Cabaret’ at Signature Theatre by Eric Denver

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Last night, Signature Theatre continued the second day of its sixth annual ‘Sizzlin’ Summer Cabaret’ series with an outstanding solo performance by Will Gartshore (with a surprise).  Will performed over 20 songs in an entertaining evening of both fun and delight.

During the course of Underappreciated & Overexposed, Will displayed an encyclopedia of musical diversity. Opening with a powerful commentary on DC weather and climate change, he shared a combo of “Too Darn Hot” and “Fever” (a possible carryover of his day job responsibilities).  He continued with “Sing Me a Song With Social Significance” followed by “Room Without Windows” from What Makes Sammy Run?

Will Gartshore. Photo by Walter McBride.

Will brought the house down with his rendition of “Sailing” from William Finn’s A New Brain, a personal favorite of mine.  Now, Will was putting the petal to the metal as he continued with “Another Hundred People” from Stephen Sondheim’s Company, Irving Berlin’s “Manhattan Madness,” Adam Gwon’s “Calm” from Ordinary Days and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Pipe Dream.’  Although Will has vocal range and dynamics that a “wanna-be” actor/singer could only dream of, he’s at his best when exhibiting his musical expertise while simultaneously integrating his acting skills.

Now for the surprise that was discussed in the opening paragraph of this review.  Towards the end of the cabaret, two additional performers separately joined Will on stage for some duos. Will and Shayna Blass sang “The Temp and the Receptionist” by Kooman and Dimond.  The song which focuses on the theme of love in a cubicle resonated for me and probably the rest of the audience, who work in the typical DC cubicle environment.  The second surprise addition was Matthew DeLorenzo, who recently was awarded a  Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Musical in Studio’s production of POP!   (Ironically, Matthew and Will had both auditioned for the same role in POP! and Matthew was selected.  Matthew displayed his ability as a Tenor-Based Sopranist, utilizing his extended four-octave range, as he and Will sang parts of the script and song “Tonight,” each assuming the roles of Maria and Tony from West Side Story.

Christopher Wingert musically supported Will on the piano throughout the cabaret.  His superb command of the 88 notes on the keyboard was evident.

Running Time: Approximately 80 minutes with no intermission. Underappreciated & Overexposed will be repeated on Saturday July 14, 2012 at 9 PM, so buy your tickets ASAP. Tonight’s show was sold out.

Sizzlin’ Summer Cabaret plays through July 28. 2012 at Signature Theater – 4200 Campbell Avenue, in Arlington, VA.  For tickets, call (703) 820-9771, or purchase them online.