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Arts and Theater 1

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Black Tie International:
Nitya Thomas


Nitya Thomas. Photo by:  Christian Carroll

Photo by:  Christian Carroll

Nitya Thomas

By Ward Morehouse III

"Oh dreamer, leave thy dreams for joyful waking," goes the first line of the first song, "O Dreamer," better known to many as "Danny Boy," in Nitya Thomas' beautiful CD recorded under the Watchfire Music label. The traditional Irish melody has lyrics by Rose M. Turner. But you're not dreaming if you think you're hearing something akin to the best of Broadway or even the Metropolitan Opera. Miss Thomas is that good!

Other songs on this debut CD are "My Grateful Spirit Sings" with music and lyrics by Sally DeFord and an incredible new musical version of the 23rd Psalm with music composed by Nitya Thomas herself.

All three songs are produced and orchestrated by Peter Link, a Broadway composer and owner of New York's Link studio. 

"I am discovering that a large purpose in our journey in this lifetime seems to be awakening to the truth of who we really are as opposed to what the world would tell us what we are," Miss Thomas writes in the album's liner notes.

Fortunately, Miss Thomas, who was a successful financial analyst with Goldman Sachs in London, awakened to the glorious truth of her gifts as a singer/composer. Originally from Bangalore, India, Miss Thomas decided to "explore her artistic self," as Peter Link put it, and study voice. "Gratefully, Miss Thomas comes with a real 'instrument,' " Mr. Link added. "As a producer, my favorite thing about Miss Thomas is to take the information that I give her, ingest it, and quickly turn it around in a strong process."

But Miss Thomas is much more than a singer with a technically gifted voice.  Because if she were any better, music fans would be dissatisfied with most of the Broadway, cabaret and even opera performers in America today.  For Miss Thomas, like the greatest concert pianists or Broadway or opera divas, for that matter, exudes an indescribable warmth and joy no amount of technical proficiency can even approach. In her unique rendition of the 23rd Psalm Miss Thomas' irresistible warmth is as evident as her vocal range. There are very few, if any, singers who have equal portions of both.

On the inspiration for writing the music for her version of the 23rd Psalm, Miss Thomas explains, "A dear friend and I were both going through a tough time and searching for inspiration together one evening.  And we ended up discussing and reading it back to each other many times - and finding comfort in its beautiful and reassuring message. That evening I returned home and went straight to the piano, and from that place of comfort came this piece."

Earlier this year, Miss Thomas won the prestigious job of soloist of First Church of Christ, Scientist, New York City, on Central Park West and 68th Street, and one of the most historically beautiful and unique churches on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

So here is a performer with unerring precision and engaging warmth.  And this critic's grateful spirit sings, to quote a repeated line among Sally DeFord lyrics for "My Grateful Spirit Sings." 


When veteran singer Clark Warren, whose most recent performances in New York have been at the prestigious Metropolitan Room, sings "Nancy," (also known as "Nancy with the Laughing Face") one can't help but think of Frank Sinatra whose rendition was an ode to his daughter Nancy. Warren sings it with special aplomb since Sinatra's one-time musical associate, Wendell Gibbs, had a daughter, Gaile, about Nancy's age. And Gaile is Warren's wife. 


Warren, some of whose other songs include the Gershwins' "Summertime" (from the George and Ira Gershwin musical "Porgy and Bess,")  and "I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart," is someone you'll want to hear over and over again!

His upbeat and flavorful rendition "On the Sunny Side of the Street" was especially fun for me to hear since I used to know the late, great Dorothy Fields, who wrote the lyrics for the song. Miss Fields and I used to visit hospitalized war veterans and loved her sunny and loving disposition. 

Ward Morehouse III, a drama critic and contributor to is a former longtime staff correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor and Broadway columnist for The New York Post and New York Sun. 


joyce brooks, gerard mckeon.  photo by:  rose billings

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