Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Review - John Thomas & Company featuring Adam Berry and Ben Griessmeyer (The Waterford Tavern)

By Byrne Harrison

It's vacation time at, and what could be more relaxing than exploring the theatre scene in Provincetown? As expected in the East Coast's most vibrant arts community, there are a myriad of plays, musicals and cabaret to experience. Reviews, of course, will follow.

In the meantime, I highly recommend that people visiting P'town on Fridays and Saturdays during the summer head to the Waterford Tavern to see Adam Berry and Ben Griessmeyer perform with pianist John Thomas during his afternoon cabaret show on Captain Lavender's Deck. This talented trio performs a nice mix of songs, concentrating on the standards. Their song list is flexible, changing depending on their mood and on which of their talented friends drop by. A recent Saturday featured some of their co-stars from Candide, in which Adam and Ben are performing under John's musical direction, and showcased a few songs from the show. Friday's performance was more traditional, featuring such standards as "Blue Skies," "Get Happy," "Summertime," "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered," while working in some William Finn ("I'd Rather Be Sailing"), Alicia Keys ("If I Ain't Got You"), Jonathan Larson ("I'll Cover You"), and other current pop and Broadway artists.

Although the music is always the most important thing in a cabaret act (and frankly, Berry, Griessmeyer and Thomas have that well in hand), I'll admit that what brings me back to see Berry and Griessmeyer perform isn't just the duo's vocal abilities. The two, who are partners both personally and professionally, have such wonderful chemistry that they are a constant source of fascination. As they perform, they share glances, smiles and the occasional good natured eye-roll if something goes south. Berry's face lights up when Griessmeyer nails a particularly challenging song. Griessmeyer can be seen silently singing along with Berry at times with a big smile on his face. It's charming to see two people so happy to be performing together.

Captain Lavender's Deck is a fairly small space and the shows are well attended, so if you want to be seated during the performance, it pays to get there a little early. The Waterford Tavern features good food, strong drinks, and a charming and attractive wait-staff, so being early is never a burden.

The Waterford Inn, Cafe & Tavern
386 Commercial Street

Fridays and Saturdays, 4:30-6:30 PM.

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