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January 13-19, 2005

JEFFREY MILLER: I GOTTA ROAM!
Danny's Skylight Room; Fri 14, Jan 26, 28

About 25 years ago at Long Island's Adelphi University, Jeffrey Miller, a promising theater singer from the Bronx, starred in the first musical by his classmate Jonathan Larson, who later created Rent. Just the title of Larson's early effort - Sacrimmoralinority? An Immoral Musical on the Moral Majority -- should have been enough to scare almost anyone away from show business. After playing lead roles in rickety local productions of such operas as The Magic Flute and Princess Ida, Miller switched to haircutting.

Now the reedy-voiced, endearingly droll tenor is back in the fire with his third recent cabaret engagement, presenting
I Gotta Roam!, a whirlwind array of travel songs.  Pouring out his heart with arms held wide, this Hebraic cutie combines the wiry physicality of a young Danny Kaye with Al Jolson's smiling-through-your-tears pathos.  Accompanied gracefully by his sidekick, pianist David Brunetti, Miller breezes through comedy both high (Dave Frishberg's "Another Song About Paris," Sondheim's "What Do We Do? We Fly!") and low (David Buskin's "Jews Don't Camp"); sings majestic ballads by Brel and Weill in their original languages; and even does a credible version of "Una furtiva lagrima," the hit aria from Donizetti's L'Elisir d'amore. Along the way, he brings out the irony of flying away from your troubles.  In one of several bittersweet asides, he quotes Horace's take on the problem with most travelers: "They change their skies, but not their souls." - James Gavin