Gabe Beyleu; A Wonderful Partner to Take A Road Trip With

It is gratifying to watch a theater company encourage and reward their “own”. Mac-Haydn Theater has made it a habit to do that in recent years. They provide an opportunity for some of their talent to shine away from the format of a traditional musical and do stand-alone concerts. Several seasons ago, Laura Helm, a Mac regular, performed her one-woman show prior to taking it to New York City’s Feinstein’s 54 below. This season, Meredith Lustig has taken over the stage for several performances of her To Sondheim With Love show currently appearing throughout the remainder of the season. Last evening however belonged to one of the Mac’s longest-standing performers. Gabe Belyeu presented his very personal journey in the song, A Call to Places.

Gabe Bellyeu. Photo by Ann Kielbasa

Belyeu has been a fixture on the Mac-Haydn stage for 20+ seasons, appearing in over 60 productions in roles that run the gambit from Albin in La CageFagin in OliverDon Quixote in Man of La Mancha to Doolittle in My Fair Lady to name but a few. A Call To Places offers none of that. What it does offer is Belyeu in a totally different light than we have ever seen him. With a few exceptions, there is a distinct lack of show tunes. We are instead presented with the likes of I’ve Been Everywhere, Walking in MemphisA Sinatra medley that included Come Fly With Me, Fly Me To The Moon, and New York New York. Gabe brings these numbers to a whole new level and interpretation. His hard-hitting vocals on New York New York play beautifully against the more mellow Fly Me To The Moon.

The show is broken into different types of travel. Traveling for vacation, work, to say good bye and for love. He exposes the very personal side of him in the stories he tells between each set. Stripping himself, at times raw, for the audience to get to know the man behind the voice. And what a voice. He is consistently on top of his game, captivating the audience that was clearly filled with his fans. He exposes himself and allows you into the psyche of who Gabe Beyleu is.

Gabe Bellyeu. Photo by Ann Kielbasa

The highlight of the evening was Journey On from ragtime shared with his backup singers, husband and wife Mac-Haydn performers, Rachel Pantazis and Andrew Burton Kelly. Each in their own right is a wonderfully entertaining performer and perhaps they might have been offered more than just a glimmer in the spotlight.

Exceptionally outstanding is Mac-Haydn has offered their entire crew to make this a first-rate fully articulated production. Directed by Producing Artistic Director John Saunders who has known and worked with Gabe for two decades on the stage and off, clearly knows how to get the very best out of his star. Eric Shorey’s Musical Direction and melting of songs together make the journey seamless. Kevin Gleason’s lighting design and Sean McGinley’s sound design round out the evening making this a fully packaged production. Mac-Haydn orchestra members, Cyndy Elliott Alex Atchley, and Hannah Burke fill out the pit and provide the perfect accompaniment to a delightful evening.

A Call To Places is a beautiful journey. It is so apparent that Gabe is ecstatic to share his journey with his audience and his audience was thrilled to go along on the trip. This production will be back two more times this summer, Saturday, September 3 at 8 and again on September 10 at 2. No need to bag a bag, Gabe Belyeu will bring along everything you’ll need for a great trip.

For more information or tickets: www.machaydntheatre.org or call 518-392-9292. Masks are required in the theatre.

Gabe Bellyeu. Photo by Ann Kielbasa

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.