01/17/05 — Review: D'Ambrosio's passion proves enthralling

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Review: D'Ambrosio's passion proves enthralling

By Winkie Lee
Published in News on January 17, 2005 1:58 PM

Before singer Franc D'Ambrosio could finish the song "Music of the Night," an audience of about 300 people was cheering.

D'Ambrosio had already performed one of the best shows brought to Goldsboro in the past 19 years.

Most famous for playing the role of the Phantom in "Phantom of the Opera" more times than any other actor, it should have come as no surprise that his performance of "The Phantom of the Opera," "Past the Point of No Return" and "Music of the Night" would be good.

But the performance went beyond that. There was so much power and passion in his delivery that it caused one to feel chills.

Occasionally, there are cheers at a concert, but this was the first performance this reviewer has seen where so many people joined in.

A standing ovation followed, as did an encore: "This is the Moment" from "Jekyll and Hyde."

Before performing the song, D'Ambrosio said the local performance, which was held at Wayne Community College Saturday night, was the first time his brother had seen or heard him perform. Shortly after beginning "This is the Moment," D'Ambrosio became a little choked up and had to pause for a couple of seconds, then continued with polish and style.

The evening was one of Broadway tunes, and D'Ambrosio was accompanied by the talented pianist and music director Chuck Larkin.

D'Ambrosio wrapped stories of his childhood, his love for Broadway and his career around the songs in an entertaining fashion.

He gave his regards to Broadway with selections from the Ziegfeld Follies, "The Three Penny Opera," "Les Miserables," "42nd Street" and many more. He saluted artists Bob Fosse and George M. Cohan. He also sang the theme song from the "Godfather" series of films, one of which -- "Godfather III" -- he appeared in.

He incorporated some choreography, but mostly it was his talent and passion that made the show shine.

D'Ambrosio's concert was the third in the Wayne Community Concerts 2004-05 season. The season will end on Feb. 11 with a performance by the Chinese Golden Dragon Acrobats at Dillard School. Information about tickets can be obtained by calling the Arts Council at 736-3300.