‘GLEE’ Stars Shine at Hollywood Performance
An Evening with Curt and Dom Brings Audience To Its Feet
By Monica Fernandez
The Coterie’s performance lounge gives off a very classy, modern air in the Twist Restaurant at the Hollywood Renaissance Hotel. Right in the heart of Hollywood, just behind the famous Kodak Theater, the hotel is the epitome of both grandeur and history as it captures the iconic feel of Hollywood life.
The small stage at the front of the room takes up just a third of the wall space of Twist, six microphones set up in front of a grand piano, dark curtains blocking out the nightlife below.
Performers Luke Edgemon, Dominic Barnes, Curt Mega, and James David zip from the green room next door through the lounge for various reasons, only highlighting the fact that this show is so low key it’s practically a jam session.
An Evening with Curt and Dom was definitely a night to remember. Whether it be the fantastic food, the wonderful people, the amazing music, or just a combination of all three, everything about this show was comfortable, relaxed, and personal. All six performers seemed incredibly comfortable on stage (as they should be; most of them have already performed in plenty of musical theater productions in addition to their work on Glee) and they continued to emphasize their humble gratefulness at the support of their fans. I was left grinning the entire night, not just because I’m quite a Warbler super-fan, but also because these people are just about as genuine and humble as anyone can be.
The show was jam-packed with a variety of song styles and choices, from the doo-wop “My Girl” to musical theater numbers from Avenue Q and The Light in Piazza, to current hits like Coldplay’s “The Scientist” and “Let Me Be Your Star” from the hit TV show Smash. The six artists (Curt Mega, Dominic Barnes, Kimberly Whalen, Lauren Chavez, Luke Edgemon, and James David, along with some support from MC Titus Makin Jr.) showcased their impeccable music ability with songs that showed off their incredible range as well as their innate ability to connect with their audience.
Key performances included James David’s rendition of “My Girl,” with Curt, Dominic, and Luke serving as background vocalists. The smooth crooning of this cool cat left the audience smiling, snapping, and singing along to the classic song.
Luke Edgemon’s cover of “There’s a Place for Us” brought down the house with his powerful vocals that took the breath away from not only the audience but his fellow performers as well. Full of soul and emotion, his performance left this reporter nearly in tears.
To say Curt Mega’s version of Coldplay’s “The Scientist” was moving would be an understatement. Introducing it as one of his favorite songs from one of his all-time favorite bands, Curt definitely did the song justice with the power, grace, and elegance of his smooth crooning style.
Dominic Barnes chose a song very close to his heart, introducing his performance with a moving story about the difficulties he faced during the Prop 8 campaign. He started off Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come” with perfect power and pitch, despite his initial insecurities that his voice might crack at the higher notes of the song. That certainly wasn’t the case, and Barnes handled the song with the grace and emotion it deserved. Eliciting woops and cheers from the audience at the power notes, this song was definitely a crowd pleaser.
Curt Mega and Kimberly Whalen’s duet from The Light in Piazza followed an adorable introduction of how the married couple first fell in love (naturally eliciting a loud “Awwww” from the smitten audience). Their vocals blended together well, showcasing both Curt and Kim’s professional vocal training. Plus, the chemistry of the couple was undeniable, and the audience, no doubt, was left sighing from both the beautiful song and the beautiful couple.
There was also a high comedic level to the show, which included a few sing-offs and one exceptional serenade by Lauren Chavez.
The big diva-off of the night was between Dominic and Luke singing “Take Me Or Leave Me” from the musical RENT. Luke’s powerhouse vocals for the first half of the song seemed to intimidate Dominic, who signaled to his friends that he should just drop out, but he fought hard during the second half, leaving it impossible to pick a clear winner. One thing, however, was perfectly clear: these two men could SING.
Curt and Dominic battled it out during their rendition of “It Takes Two,” singing it to fan and friend Nicole Wiseman as they fought for her attention and affections. The song ended with a series of vocal run battles, eliciting plenty of laughs and cheers from the audience.
The show ended on a bang, its penultimate number “Let Me Be Your Star” from NBC’s Smash, sung by Dominic and Lauren, leaving the audience once again in awe at the level of talent of these amazing performers.
And of course, you cannot forget to give credit to the night’s fantastic and talented pianist, Alexander Georgakis. He accompanied every song of the night, which I’m sure is no easy feat, and it seemed like he didn’t even break a sweat.
The show ended twenty minutes before ten (in a well-deserved standing ovation), but the performers were there long afterwards, taking the time to not only take pictures and sign autographs, but actually converse with their fans, holding sustained conversations that lasted well into the night.
The show was fantastic, but I believe what made it so magical was the people in it. Their talent knows absolutely no bounds, but it is their humbleness and genuity that sets them apart from any artist I’ve seen perform. They deserve every ounce of support they receive, and I cannot wait to see their stars shine even brighter as their careers continue to skyrocket.
Congratulations on such a successful night, and here’s to hoping for many more to come.