The multi-talented Sam Harris has had quite a ride since winning Star Search in its first season to his two nights performing at 54 Below earlier this week. The singer/songwriter is sensational! He kicked the show off with a strong U2 and Sondheim medley including “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and “I’m Still Here” with his own special lyrics backed by his musical director Todd Schroeder on piano. Schroeder showed off his jazz skills with Jimi Hendrix’ “Red House Blues.”
The show continued to build with “The Wail of the Reefer Man.” Harris is a tremendous personality with a wide range, whether performing “Razzle Dazzle” with his high energy special lyrics, or “Bust Your Windows” with his upbeat sexy moves. One minute Harris was laying flat on the floor and another sitting on the piano singing “Use What You Got” from “The Life,” in which he played a villain on Broadway. “I loved playing a villain because I’m such a sap in life,” he said. Everything he did worked, and worked well.
Harris wove the show together with amusing stories that seemed to pop up organically. He even read an excerpt from his upcoming book, a collection of linear stories, called “Ham: Slices of A Life” set to be published by Simon & Schuster. The chapter, “Promises,” was a hilarious story about Liza’s “extravaganza” to an “unnamed” groom. Just so happened that his good pal, Liza, was in the audience and appeared to love it. No one laughed harder. Harris described Michael Jackson “showing his teeth just a shade lighter than his face,” Jane Russell “applying her nineteenth layer of lipstick,” Cindy Adams “standing on top of Mickey Rooney,” and Elizabeth Taylor “forgot her shoes and none of her entourage of 72 noticed.”
He shared stories about a developmental show he did with Liza when she had a broken foot and a hip replacement so they did the whole rehearsal in bed. “Show business is like being in the NFL,” Harris quipped and sang his special lyric to “Razzle Dazzle” for the “bionic” Liza.
No review can do Sam Harris’ cabaret show justice. He’s an amazing force who genuinely connects with his audience and will keep you laughing.