September 20, 2011 | Review from Indianapolis Examiner

‘Dreamy’ DeSare beguiles Cabaret audience

Tom Alvarez, Indianapolis Performing Arts Examiner A female fan was overheard remarking that Tony DeSare was “dreamy” as she exited his show Friday at the Cabaret at the Columbia Club. Her reaction summed up the effect the good-looking singer with a brilliant smile had on an audience beguiled by his music and charm.

DeSare, who is also a pianist and songwriter, performed a set consisting of standards and original material, some of which will be on his forthcoming fourth CD.

Referred to as a “baby Sinatra” in a New York Times review, DeSare also is often compared to crooners Connick and Buble. What sets him apart from the others, however, is his distinctive voice, phrasing, musicality and storytelling ability.

Nowhere is DeSare’s talent for communicating the meaning of a song more evident than during ballads, when he slows the tempo and really takes his time to languorously sing lyrics.

Advertisement Cole Porter’s “Just One of Those Things;” a melancholic, yearning-filled rendition of “My Funny Valentine;” “Prelude,” from DeSare’s “Radio Show” CD and “Baby Dream Your Dream,” from the musical “Sweet Charity,” were some of the songs performed during the first part of DeSare’s act.

DeSare also sang “Chemistry.” One of his original songs, it illustrated his ability to write a song that captures the lighthearted flavor and sound of those prevalent in the American Songbook.

Demonstrating his ability to interpret a song in ways that are completely unexpected, DeSare opened the second act with an up-tempo instrumentation of “Autumn Leaves.” Fingers flying across the keys, DeSare showed his virtuosity as a pianist.

“Phone at Home Blues,” which he introduced as an “existential crisis causing 2lst-century anxiety,” was another of DeSare’s original ditties included in his program. It was an amusing tune to those present who could identify with the frustration felt when one’s cell phone is left at home.

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Pops Conductor Jack Everly and his collaborator, producer Ty Johnson, who were present in the audience, were introduced by DeSare. Previously he performed with the ISO in two Pops concert and in a Symphony on the Prairie Concert – “Sci-Fi Spectacular,” in 2010. Paying tribute to fellow “Trekkie” Johnson, DeSare sang “Would You Like to Trek to a Star?”

DeSare, who looked like the quintessential piano man, dressed in tie, vest and shirt with cuffs rolled up, also performed “Moon River,” “That’s Life” and a wistful “Two for the Road,” prior to closing his set with Ray Charles’ “Hallelujah I Love Her So.”

When Cabaret managing and artistic director Shannon Forsell introduced DeSare prior to the second act, she quoted a critic. Essentially, that individual thinks DeSare is not only more talented than Connick and Buble but could be just as well known, were he marketed as aggressively as they. Without a doubt – this writer concurs.