Still got it: Five thoughts on Boyz II Men’s Mirage residency
Sun, Mar 3, 2013 (1:57 p.m.)
Photo: Denise Truscello/WireImage/DeniseTruscello.net
1. Three of the Boyz—now definitely Men—emerge onstage in black tuxedos with sparkling lapels. Within seconds, a choreographed kick has sent a mic stand flying, but Wanya Morris recovers so quick he’s crooning at the front row before you can say “Motownphilly's back again.”
2. Twenty-one years into their career, Morris, Nathan Morris and Shawn “Slim” Stockman still have moves. (Bass singer Michael McCary left the group in 2003.) They dance and sing in front of an eight-piece band, easily working the crowd into a nostalgic frenzy. The intimacy of the Terry Fator Theatre serves them well, but the stage feels a bit tight when the three are spinning and striding in unison.
- Boyz II Men
- March 9-10, 15-17, 23-24; April 20-21, 26-28, 7:30 p.m., $40-$60.
- Terry Fator Theatre, Mirage, 792-7777.
3. Oh. My. God. They’re playing “Down on Bended Knee,” and I’m transported back to stiff-armed slow dances in my middle school gymnasium before I had braces or boobs. “We’re going to take you back to 1991,” they say. Judging by the cheers, 1991 was the best year ever.
4. After a Motown medley in gold suit jackets, the trio emerges in red Philly sweaters and baseball caps for an a capella rendition of “Yesterday” with original group member Marc Nelson. There’s an easiness to their onstage presence that shows both hard work and total comfort in the spotlight. When they thank the audience for “loving us for who we are,” it feels surprisingly genuine.
5. “I know there are some Boyz II Men babies in the house,” says Wanya Morris. “We were there, and you were nasty.” Then, the Boyz each pick up a dozen long-stemmed roses sing the first bars of “I’ll Make Love to You.” With no invitation necessary women start streaming down the aisles. I’m not normally the kind of girl who rushes the stage … but suddenly I’m there, arms raised, smile stretched across my face, looking into Wanya Morris’ eyes as he lowers the very last rose into my hand.