Matthew Morrison Goes Back to "Where It All Began" at 54 Below

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05 Jun 2013

Matthew Morrison
Matthew Morrison
Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Broadway and television star Matthew Morrison recently made his debut at 54 Below, celebrating the release of his new album, "Where It All Began." Playbill.com attended his June 4 concert.

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Walking down the stairs into the swanky nightclub 54 Below provides a journey back in time for guests, and Morrison's concert only enhanced that feeling. The Brad Ellis Big Band and Morrison's vintage-era outfit, complete with a three-piece suit and fedora, combined with the old-fashioned atmosphere of the nightclub itself, gave audience members a nostalgic, jazzy feeling that only grew as the evening proceeded.

Morrison opened the concert with a jazzy rendition of "It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing," scatting his way through much of the song. He then introduced himself to the audience, quickly establishing the difference between his real life and the character he plays on the TV show "Glee."

"I'm not a high school teacher in real life," he joked. "I don't hang out at high schools. I hang out at classy places like this — where people drink to forget about high school."

Any lingering memories of gym class or algebra were soon forgotten, as Morrison sang his way through the track listings on his new album, "Where It All Began," a collection of classic songs he said he grew up loving and hopes to introduce to a new audience of younger fans.

Morrison has found international fame with "Glee," where he plays show choir teacher Will Schuester, but many fans know him from his years on the Broadway stage, where he has performed in Footloose, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Hairspray, The Light in the Piazza and South Pacific.

Playbill.com interviewed Morrison before his concert, and he said he identifies himself as a dancer as well as an actor and singer, speculating that he might dance on the tables at 54 Below. Proving true to his word, he danced as much as he could on the relatively small stage. The songs were well-suited for dancing, including a jazzy rendition of "Luck Be a Lady" and "The Lady is a Tramp," which featured some newly revised lyrics including, "She refuses to believe Scott Wittman is a friend of mine." An up-tempo rendition of "On the Street Where You Live" was also a crowd pleaser.



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