Marcus Dagan--- Killing You Softly
Key West THE NEWSPAPER March 25, 1994
By Valerie Ridenour
experienced something 'most unusual last night. I watched and
listened to a performer who
falls outside the norm for Key West musicians. Marcus Dagan
uses some very strange timing, often skipping bars of music or
changing phrasing of familiar Songs that causes bits to be
dropped from the mathematical system we call musk. The strange
thing is that this created absolutely no displeasure ; in
fact, it actually added to Dagan's powerful mystique. Marcus
Dagan is not a piano playing singer, he' s a cabaret act of
the highest quality. Although his keyboard playing is more
than adequate for self accompaniment, it's his voice that will
make you come back again and again.
I knew something intriguing was going on when I saw customers
waiting for' Marcus with their requests... before he even
The venue is 'Flagler's in the gorgeous Casa Marina. The white
Young Chang grand sits in an alcove close to the bar in the
gracious dining room. The set began slow and easy and
with "Someone To Watch Over Me," . begun with an almost
recitative verse followed by a very subtitle rhythm from a
digital drum machine played at an almost subliminal volume.
Marcus' interpretation sounded smoky and intimate, a great
beginning of a performance that grew in intensity with every
Dagan chooses a repertoire that
swings from Broadway to Tom Waits.
His patter is comic and charming. Marcus announced that he
would do "an unusual kind of song." "Sweet Kentucky Ham" is
exactly that, a sad road tune that seemed to be aimed directly
at me. Odd song combinations really work for Marcus, whose
Noel Coward and Tom Waits, as he says 'from the urbane to the
urban: Marcus is urbane. You feel more like you're watching a
performance from a Broadway stage than from a lounge.
New Yorker Dagan is a theater veteran, and his "That's AII I
Ask Of You" from Phantom of the Opera was mesmerizing. If I
had to make a comparison to another singer I would say Marcus
is a bit .like Neil Diamond, emotional, intimate, personal.
His crowd has its favorites like "Cocktail Time" and "Once
Upon a Time", after which a customer called out, "Oh Marcus,
you break my heart!".
I was most impressed by a Marcus Dagan original, "Five Step
Tango" which begins with "I like the atmosphere of a minor
Ask for this one. This is the best lyric I've heard in years:
A bouncy version of the classic, "The More I See You" thrilled
the very mixed crowd whose ages ranged from early twenties to
late Seventies. Marcus has a following who fill the lounge
area, and Casa food and beverage manager Tom Paine 'pays him
the ultimate compliment from the managerial side, "He holds
the crowd after dinner:' You can experience Marcus on Tuesday
and Wednesday nights beginning at eight p.m. at Fagler's or
catch him aboard the Atlantic X all the other nights. Marcus
you killed me softly!