Sharp Theater filled to near capacity as Anne Hampton Callaway fans, Barbra Streisand supporters and music enthusiasts alike came out in droves to the Berrie Center on Saturday evening. Callaway belted out classical pop songs with a hint of doo-wop and a touch of jazz.
The two-part performance included 16 songs, including hits like “Don’t Rain On My Parade,” “Down With Love,” “The Way We Were” and “Evergreen.” Assistance from on-point pianist Ted Rosenthal, bass wizard Martin Wind and multi-tasking drummer Tim Horner took the performance to new heights.
Ruth Wallis, a Callaway fan, praised the show.
“It was a wonderful show,” Wallis said. “It had the warmth and feel of a night club.”
Callaway dazzled the eager crowd with pitch perfect singing and a charming demeanor. The songstress provided biographical information about Streisand and prepared an uncanny impression of the musical icon.
“That young, hungry, passionate Barbra inspired me to go into this business,” Callaway said.
Through every powerful ballad and soothing melody, Callaway remained light-hearted and bewitched the crowd with her humor. The warm hearted spirit within Callaway had attendees snapping to the tunes and singing along with joy.
“Terrific songs and a great voice made for a wonderful show,” Ray Ocasio, former trustee of Ramapo, said.
A professionally lit backdrop that set the performers aglow with soft pinks and inspiring blues accented the strong stage presence. The band had an equally excellent showing and was not overshadowed by Callaway in any way even though she was the headlining performer.
Callaway shared her own stories about being an up and coming singer and songwriter that kept the already enthusiastic house thoroughly entertained. A humble Callaway excitedly discussed how Streisand once asked her to write a song for her that she performed at her wedding with actor James Brolin.
“One of the best things about Barbra is that she sings songs that remind us of our dreams,” Callaway said during the performance.
The lobby buzzed following the show as throngs of people raved about the show and waited for Callaway to appear. The show’s great reception showed on the faces of all of the delighted spectators as they embraced one another in warm conversation.
“Barbra Streisand is very popular now, which helped us pick Anne Hampton Callaway as one of our performers. It is a pity, however, that more students do not attend such shows as this quality of a performance would be much more expensive elsewhere,” stated Edouard Eloi, manager of the Berrie Center.
Callaway provided a memorable showing that left a positive impact on all who attended. Excellent shows like this are not a rarity at the Berrie Center, and more will come this year.