At 82-years-old, Johnny Mathis is more active than most artists a quarter of his age, so it goes without saying that he also surpasses the elite handful who’ve managed to last 60-plus years in showbiz. In addition to keeping a steady concert calendar that includes a holiday tour backing his latest themed release “Sending You A Little Christmas” and the compilation “The Classic Christmas Album,” the crooner just released his 71st studio project “Johnny Mathis Sings the Great New American Songbook” and is gearing up for the elaborate box set “The Voice Of Romance- The Columbia Original Albums” (out December 8).
Johnny Mathis also touched on less common Yuletide tune “Toyland,” the dynamically delivered “When A Child Is Born,” the wondrous “Pure Imagination” (from “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory”) and the touching “Sending You A Little Christmas,” which was dedicated to anyone spending the season apart from their loved ones.
And for 90-minutes with comedian Brad Upton ably bringing the gap between two acts, Mathis shrugged age aside to showcase an impeccable voice, spry demeanor and sharp memory with no need for any prompts (outside of a leather bound notepad on a selection or two he rarely used). Indeed, the veteran is a real rarity these days, who alongside Tony Bennett, is one of the last in a breed of golden era standards singers and all-around interpreters.
Before he explored that non-seasonal repertoire, Christmas came early for the elegant Rosemont Theatre as a beaming Mathis greeted the sold out crowd to a sleigh bell-infused “Winter Wonderland.” Along with a glorious orchestra and his own long-standing band, the headliner continued spreading Yuletide cheer in flawless form with “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas” and many others that have characterized his illustrious career.
Of course, no show would be complete without “It’s Not For Me To Say,” “Chances Are,” “Gina,” “Misty” or “The Twelfth Of Never” and he jauntily obliged to one standing ovation after the next. Mathis also touched on less common Yuletide tune “Toyland,” the dynamically delivered “When A Child Is Born,” the wondrous “Pure Imagination” (from “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory”) and the touching “Sending You A Little Christmas,” which was dedicated to anyone spending the season apart from their loved ones.
The legend and his top-notch musicians even took the chilly Chicago suburbs to the steamy “Brazil (Aquarela do Brasil),” leading fans to pass along so many gifts and bouquets of flowers that the star had to make two overloaded trips backstage prior to the encore. Upon Mathis’ return, the charming “Merry Christmas” bid adieu with wishes of good cheer and prosperity, but also one last uplifting example that no matter what it says on someone’s birth certificate, it’s really nothing more than just a number.
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For additional information on Johnny Mathis, visit JohnnyMathis.com.
Upcoming concert highlights at the Rosemont Theatre include Cirque Musica Holiday presents “Believe” (Dec. 2); Moscow Ballet’s “Great Russian Nutcracker” (Dec. 3); 101.9 FM The Mix presents “Miracle” with Kelly Clarkson, Andy Grammer and Lights (Dec. 5); The K-Love Christmas Tour starring Steven Curtis Chapman (Dec. 8); Shopkins Live! “Shop It Up!” (Dec. 9); Mannheim Steamroller Christmas (Dec. 15) and the John Denver Christmas Show starring Chris Collins & Boulder Canyon (Dec. 16). For additional details, visit Rosemont.com/Theatre/ and Ticketmaster.com.