Vanessa Williams offers a spectacular, intimate performance at 54 Below

The singer wowed the crowd with a selection of her chart-topping hits at 54 Below in New York City as part of the venue’s Diamond Series
Vanessa Williams performs with a band at 54 Below. (Photo by Derrel Jazz Johnson for rolling out)
Vanessa Williams performs with a band at 54 Below. (Photo by Derrel Jazz Johnson for rolling out)

Mariah Carey isn’t the only diva performing holiday shows in New York City. Singer, actress, and former Miss America Vanessa Williams wowed the crowd with a selection of her chart-topping hits and favorite musical selections at 54 Below in New York City, in the second of six performances in the venue’s Diamond Series.

With a four-piece band and one backup singer, Williams performed in a beautiful silver gown and took the crowd on a 90-minute musical journey with hits from her 1988 debut album The Right Stuff and her second album The Comfort Zone. Williams also performed the award-winning “Colors of the Wind” which was featured in Disney’s Pocahontas. She also performed Broadway show tunes, and the hit song “Love Is” which appeared on the soundtrack for the television show “Beverly Hills 90210.”


Williams shared a few personal anecdotes with the audience, including becoming a grandmother for the first time a year ago.

In an ode to the iconic singer, actress, and civil rights activist Lena Horne, Williams not only performed “Stormy Weather,” but also talked about performing at the renaming ceremony at the Lena Horne Theatre earlier this year.


Horne wasn’t the only icon Williams acknowledged.  She referenced the 2013 Broadway production of A Trip to Bountiful in which she co-starred with Cicely Tyson, who was in her late 80s at the time. Tyson passed nearly two years ago at the age of 96. 

The performance venue offers a three-course dinner with the show with plenty of options to suit most palates. But the main course is Williams, who doesn’t disappoint. Williams did follow the song’s instructions by performing her biggest commercial hit “Save the Best for Last” as her final song. But two standing ovations brought Williams back on stage for a few more songs. The intimate crowd included “The Equalizer’” and “Sex and the City” actor Chris Noth. 

Fitting that Williams, who first entered the public eye when she was crowned Miss America in 1983, is performing just before the 2023 Miss America will be crowned on Thursday, Dec. 15 at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut. 

As 2022 comes to a close, Williams is a great New York City option for a night in an intimate performance with a singer who has moved crowds for decades.

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