By Matthew Blank
02 Jul 2012
Directed by Carl Forsman with musical direction and arrangements by Dan Lipton, James' show, Under The Influence, played through June 30.
"This is something that I've never done on stage," said James in a statement. "I am going to sing the pop songs I grew up with, that live inside me and that I love to sing. There will be some Steve Winwood, Billy Joel, Squeeze and Genesis."
He added, "This doesn't mean that I don't acknowledge the music that is happening now. There will be an Adele cover, and I will include a few I've written. I hope I can pass on the joy I feel from this music to the people that hear them. This music is where my heart is, so I am taking the liberty of singing these songs for my week at 54 Below."
James was backed by Dan Lipton at the piano, Damien Bassman on drums, Greg Joseph on percussion, Nicholas D'Amato on bass, Erik Della Penna on guitar, Paul Vercesi on saxophone and Bob Millikan on trumpet. Clarke Thorell, who will be seen in the upcoming production of Annie, and Haven Burton, who has been seen on Broadway in Shrek, Legally Blonde and Rent, provided background vocals.
James, who starred as Frank Houston on NBC's "Smash," is a two-time Tony Award nominee for his performances in Shrek the Musical and Sweet Smell of Success. He has also been seen on Broadway in Time Stands Still, Next to Normal, The Apple Tree, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Titanic, Carousel and Blood Brothers. Visit his page at the Playbill Vault.
54 Below is located at 254 West 54th Street. For more information, call (866) 468-7619 or visit 54Below.com.