Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: Florida - West Coast

Nick Drivas: Love at First Sight
Venice Theatre
Review by William S. Oser | Season Schedule

Also see Bill's review of Sex with Strangers


Nick Drivas
Photo Courtesy Nick Drivas
Venice Theatre's summer Cabaret Series recently presented Nick Drivas in his cabaret show Love at First Sight, with Michelle Kasanofsky accompanying on piano. I saw Mr. Drivas in Manatee Players' Dames at Sea a few years ago and he was outstanding. Nick attended the Manatee School for the Arts and is now at USF Orlando studying theater. A few years ago he participated in Michael Feinstein's American Songbook Academy in Carmel, Indiana, and has been under Mr. Feinstein's wing.

Nick opened his show with back to back baritone belt favorites, "On the Street Where You Live" and "Old Devil Moon." His voice is a beautifully produced baritone with a really nice top extension all the way up to "F." A voice like this is perfect for Broadway leading men, especially those of an earlier era before microphones entered the picture and the singer was expected to really sing. This proved to be true when in the second act he sang the finest version of "She Loves Me" I've ever heard. For some reason none of the singers who have recorded the song have been really strong singers, but Nick stopped the show cold with this, as I am sure he did with the production he was in at school last year.

Midway through the first act, special guest Miranda Wolf was introduced for a perfect song choice, "A Little Bit in Love" (Bernstein/Comden and Green) from Wonderful Town. I would estimate that quite a few in the audience had never heard this little gem and the others hadn't heard or thought about it in quite some time. After her solo, Miranda and Nick dueted in "I Have Dreamed." Nick gave us a glimpse of his full potential with a deeply felt "Losing My Mind." The second half included a few more interesting song choices, more personal and deeply felt, including "One Song" from Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the afore mentioned "She Loves Me," and "What Is It About Her" from the Andrew Lippa The Wild Party.

Going forward, Nick should find a way to personalize his performance, with more specific patter and stories that reveal more about himself. He told a fun story about having to quickly learn "She Loves Me" in his car at the top of a parking garage, but then never told us that he did indeed get the part. Choosing songs from the core baritone/crooner repertoire should be done sparingly, as Nick has not yet found a way to put his personal stamp on them. There are thousands of fantastic songs out there—finding some that you love, ones that everyone is not singing in every show, makes the difference between someone with talent and a major artist. I have high hopes that Nick can get there.

Venice Theater presented Love at First Sight. July 22 and 23, 2017, 140 West Tampa Ave., Venice, FL. Box Office (941) 488-1115 or www.venicestage.com.


Privacy Policy