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My VDAY-Eve Night Out - Barbour, Maroulis, James: Triple Threat Talent!

Last night was Valentine's Day eve. Instead of staying home and resting up for our delicious, raw-vegan, five course Pure Food and Wine Planned VDAY evening, G and I went out to James Barbour's "Love Songs" concert at Sardi's. Special guests were Morgan James and Constantine Maroulis. And as James Barbour posted on his blog, this was a "WOW!" of a show.

The Love Songs show last night was awesome. Constantine sang a cover of one of my favorite songs, Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. And Morgan James sparkled. Her voice can only be described as powerful.

One of the most important wellness tips I have for you is to get out and attend a concert, a show, a reading, a high school play, an opera, a poetry reading, a coffeehouse jazz concert-something live! There is nothing more soul-soothing than experiencing some form of art with a group of people. And there is something miraculous about the interaction between performer and audience (big or small). If you are in NYC, I recommend you go see Barbour's Love Songs show. There are only a few more dates. Tickets here. Oh, and Constantine will be starring in Rock of Ages on Broadway next month. I am definitely going to check that show out.

Click forward to read more details from the concert and my fun "Valentine's Day Eve" night out...

I became a fan of James Barbour after seeing him star as Sydney Carton in the short-lived Broadway musical A Tale of Two Cities. I saw the show three times, including closing night. After the show sadly closed, JB did a successful holiday concert show at Sardi's. To see Broadway talent up close and personal like that is an experience you can only find in NYC.

Back at Sardi's
James Barbour's concerts, Holiday and Love Songs, are both at Sardi's. Now don't get me wrong. I love the nostalgia of 'old Broadway' that Sardi's brings. It has an ambiance that is friendly, cozy and warm. Perfect for JB's personality and show style. But I probably wouldn't go there if it wasn't for these shows! So finding myself back at a Sardi's table for the third time, made me giggle. Sardi's walls are decorated with caricatures of celebrities, and it is right on 44th st across the street from where Phantom of the Opera plays. Tourists and nostalgia-of-Bway-seeking folks will love Sardi's though.

The Show
What an amazing display of talent-all packed into one show. JB did an array of old and new, known and obscure love songs. I love the selections he chooses from The Hunchback of Notre Dame show he was in. He started out the show with a whopper of a tune, his soul-shaking voice belting out through the crowd, hushing any chattering tables and knocking the sounds of clanking silverware and glasses to the very back of the room. All focus is on JB with the personal stories he tells and his friendly interaction with the adoring crowd. He always sticks in a few audience interaction songs. He did the hilarious "Muskrat Love" song and "Some Enchanted Evening" from South Pacific. He also did "On the Street Where You Live" from my fave, My Fair Lady. As an intro to "On the street.." he always tells his story about how he sang that song in high school and before he even opened his mouth, a cruel student shouted out "You suck!" Little James sang anyways and I'm sure he wowed those dumbstruck classmates.

The Special Guests
Special indeed. I was a huge fan of Constantine Maroulis back from his American Idol days. Voted off in sixth place - booo! (Sixth Place Records is what he named his private label. Nice.) So, I was intrigued to see Maroulis perform live. Wow. He is such a fun and charismatic 'rocker-with-a-soul' style performer. He had his amazing guitarist accompany him. He sang a few songs-all cool, all made me tap my toes-the true sign of a good soul-filed beat. But it was his cover of the Leonard Cohen song "Hallelujah" that left me breathless. He nailed it. Even if he did forget the words a bit....he did give us an extra verse in the end. Fabulous.

And Morgan James is a beautiful chicka with a voice and personality fit for the stage. She belts out jazzy style tunes with passion and confidence. She must have been amazing in "Hair".

After the concert G and I skipped through the chilly windy streets of NYC. Past the crowded sidewalks of Times Square, past the dimly lit fashion week tents at Bryant Park, past the line-around-the-corner to get into the Bryant Park Hotel event, and off to a yummy dinner. Fun night out indeed.

Something about a good show really centers me. It sharpens my brain and takes my thoughts off the surface level superficial thingsin life. It makes me crave a good story, a passionate voice, a transforming conversation - something that teaches you something through the event. Something that takes your spirit to a higher-sharper-brighter-bolder part of your heart.

...getting to that brighter part of your heart with someone you love.

That is what Valentine's Day means to me.

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