Reviewer: Matt Forrest
Undoubtedly a great talent arrived in Salford on this sunny Sunday evening; Noah Stewart brought his So in Love tour to the Quays theatre, this was his first show for 3 years from the Quays theatre, and he wasn’t going to disappoint.
Stewart has an impressive CV, which includes Faust, Rodolfo, (La Boheme), and more recently a production of Purcell’s, The Indian Queen. The Harlem based tenor, accompanied by pianist Michael Moritz, thrilled the audience with their blend of Gospel, Opera and Broadway tunes.
Here is a singer at the peak of his powers, who wowed the audience with his incredible vocal range, doing immeasurable justice to an extensive repertoire of show tune classics. The sound engineer was given the night off tonight, there was no need for a microphone, or any fancy set design, just Stewart who let his voice do the talking, and showed just why he is one of the most talked about singers in quite some time.
Opening with a melody of songs from West Side Story, Something’s Coming, Maria, Somewhere, and Tonight, it was here that Stewart explained that show was all about being in love.
It wasn’t just Stewart’s vocals that made him so endearing. Here was a humble, witty and amiable man. Chatting freely with the audience, he regaled us with stories from his life and how he started singing Opera, referring to his old Opera class as the “Goonies”, a reference lost on some of the older audience members. Here was a performer completely at ease with his audience, clearly enjoying entertaining the assembled crowd.
Top marks as well to Michael Moritz who was no mere side kick: his skills on the piano perfectly accompanied Stewart’s vocals. He fully deserved equal billing and fully demonstrated what an accomplished pianist he is, with special mention to his beautiful rendition of Moon River.
The set, continued with a mixture of Opera and Broadway favourites, highlights included, Recondita Armonia from Tosca by Puccini, and On the Street Where You Live, from, My Fair Lady. There was even a brief unwelcome musical interruption from someone’s mobile phone (will people ever learn!)
Closing the show with a couple of Gospel numbers called Great Day and Deep River, Stewart explained that Gospel music is how he got started out, and they give him a much needed boost when he is away on tour. Closing with Be My Love, to a much deserved standing ovation, this was a show of the highest calibre and proved that no fancy gimmicks are needed when you have the voice and charm that Stewart possesses.
Reviewed on 26th April 2015