Marie Sassi

Through the Years

Don't Tell Mama
New York, NY
Marie Sassi has been singing for as long as she can remember — around the family piano and the campfire, in high school and college, and later with several voice teachers.  Initially a hobby, performing became an increasingly larger part of her life.  Although she was employed full time as a social worker, Sassi always managed to find time to pursue theater, responding to an inner voice that told her to go for it and avoid regret.

An attractive woman with a warm smile, she ascended the stage and launched into “Bye, Bye Blues,” a Depression-era standard brightened by Musical Director David Brunetti’s fresh arrangement.  The song was coupled with the more celebratory “Hey There, Good Times” (Cy Coleman and Michael Stewart from I Love My Wife). By the time she performed her first of four Sondheim songs, “Some People,” (music by Jule Styne from Gypsy), Sassi had connected with the audience and was ready for a ballad. “I Got Lost in His Arms” was sung soulfully, her sweetly melodic voice conveying the joyful awakening expressed in Irving Berlin’s radiant lyrics. Sassi’s repertoire embraced a number of genres.

She including “That’s Loyalty” written by Frank Loesser, a favorite composer, and Sheldon Harnick’s “The Ballad of the Shape of Things,” one of Blossom Dearie’s funniest signature songs.  Sassi has a good sense of humor which came through in tag lines such as “…he’ll yell and he’ll holler and he’ll double up his fists” (Loesser) and “…completely square is my true love’s head/He will not marry me, no, he will not marry me” (Harnick). As she did earlier, Sassi addressed other ballads with sensitivity and feeling: “If That Was Love” (Bob Merrill); “Good Thing Going” (Sondheim); and “Some Enchanted Evening” (Rodgers & Hammerstein).

With a background in dramatic theater (Agnes of God, The Real Thing, Orpheus Descending,  Shakespeare), improvisation (The Flying Monkeys), years of vocal training and an expressive singing voice, Marie Sassi is well prepared to present a wide array of music.  She appears to have taken to heart the words of James Taylor’s song “Secret O’ Life” – “…the secret of life is to enjoying the passage of time.”

Happily for those who missed her opening show, Sassi will be back with David Brunetti (piano) and Dick Sarpola (bass) at Don’t Tell Mama for two additional nights, Saturday, May 7 @ 6:00 PM and Tuesday, May 10 @ 7:00 PM.

Jerry Osterberg
Cabaret Scenes
April 25, 2011
www.cabaretscenes.org