Troy Frisby is a writer and producer for Zazoom Media Group, producing entertainment and news video content for clients including AOL and MSN. Previously, he served as a digital content manager for Greater Media, writing pop culture web news and reviews for several East Coast radio stations. Troy graduated from Oakland University in Auburn Hills, MI with bachelor's degrees in journalism and English. Follow him on Twitter @troyfrisby.
'That's really niche.'
Those words from one of the night's emcees, Feinstein's/54 Below Programming Director Jennifer Ashley Tepper, were technically used in reference to Linda Lavin's propensity to play love interests for superheroes. But, really, they could've been used to describe BROADWAY BOUND: THE MUSICALS THAT NEVER CAME TO BROADWAY, which played at the aforementioned venue March 21.BWW Review: Suzanne Vega Burns Bright Singing McCullers Songs at Cafe Carlyle March 23, 2017
Suzanne Vega is not a firecracker; she's a sparkler.
In the first night of her run at Cafe Carlyle on March 15---since the previous day's show was nixed due to a rude winter storm named Stella---Vega was dazzling, but in the smallest, most personal way possible. Getting up onstage, she spoke with the calm, reassuring but controlled tone of a therapist or a meditation coach. While that may not sound like a great recipe for a stage persona, Vega's stripped-down performance bordered on hypnotic.BWW Review: Erin Markey's A RIDE ON THE IRISH CREAM Takes a Victory Lap with Album Release at Joe's Pub March 17, 2017
Like the Criminologist in ROCKY HORROR, Erin Markey is here to take you on a strange journey.
Well, technically, said journey has been going on since 2013. And, after years of working on her original musical, A RIDE ON THE IRISH CREAM, this was more of a victory lap for Markey, in the form of an album release celebration at Joe's Pub. Don't worry, though. It's still plenty strange.BWW Review: Salty Brine Brings DEAN. MAYBE FRANK. MAYBE SAMMY. to Pangea March 6, 2017
Stumbling onstage, Salty Brine was divinely off-kilter as the reincarnation of Dean Martin in DEAN. MAYBE FRANK. MAYBE SAMMY. at Pangea.
Newly returned from Vegas and looking worse for wear in the role, the performer was sporting bandages and a neck brace from a recent car crash, he later explained. For the latest in Brine's LIVING RECORD COLLECTION, in which he covers a full album in its entirety, he selected Radiohead's OK COMPUTER.
Despite channeling Rat Pack vibes in both his patter and his aesthetic, musically, he didn't stray far from Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke's Gen X nasal whine, with an added boost from Brine's trademark theatricality and a few snippets from Ol' Blue Eyes thrown in here and there. February 9, 2017
Isaac Mizrahi has a simple question to ask: Does this song make me look fat?
Any variation of that prompt is normally a strong cue to walk on eggshells, but making his Cafe Carlyle debut on January 31 with a show named for and based on that query, Mizrahi took a no-holds-barred approach to the human body and just how hilarious and, at times, revolting it can be.
After opening the show with a silky-smooth cover of 'Yes' (Kander & Ebb), the fashion designer-cum-cabaret singer dove in headfirst to his fascination of body horror and the body in general. When an audience member protested over the risque-for-the-room subject of 'vodka tamponing,' Mizrahi brushed it off with a sheepish, 'Oh boy, I have some racy stuff coming.'BWW Review: Marilyn Maye Wows BY REQUEST at the Metropolitan Room January 25, 2017
Outside of an arena, few performers can earn a minutes-long ovation without even opening their mouths. But the inimitable Marilyn Maye is certainly one of those performers. January 11, 2017
A woman of many talents, one of Sandra Bernhard's greatest gifts has been her finely-honed ability to satirize Hollywood from the inside. Luckily, her latest residency at Joe's Pub, the year-ending SANDRA MONICA BLVD: COAST TO COAST, gave her plenty of opportunities to keep sharpening that blade. January 2, 2017
'Not every drag queen can belt that high.'
Throwing out that quip early on in CHRISTMAS MOURNING at the Laurie Beechman Theatre during the December 15 show, Jinkx Monsoon isn't wrong. It's part of what makes the RUPAUL'S DRAG RACE star, otherwise known as Jerick Hoffer, a rare bird: a genuine talent, a winner, and yet someone who seems to be underestimated and underrated at every turn, even nearly four years after their winning run on the show's fifth season.BWW Interview: Justin Vivian Bond Talks THE BIPOLAR EXPRESS, Queer Role Models, and Why the Holidays Are a Nightmare December 16, 2016
Mx Justin Vivian Bond is a force of nature with more than a quarter century onstage under v's (Bond's preferred pronoun) belt.
A singular performer with an endless supply of bon mots, Bond has been celebrated with an Obie Award, a Bessie, a Tony nod, and the Ethyl Eichelberger Award, among other accolades.
Fresh off a year-long career retrospective culminating in September's THE GOLDEN AGE OF JUSTIN VIVIAN BOND, v returns to Joe's Pub on December 12 at 9:30pm with a new holiday show, THE BIPOLAR EXPRESS. Ahead of the first show, we spoke over the phone about the show, v's enduring career, and the holidays themselves.BWW Review: Lance Horne Unveils New Work (With a Little Help From His Friends) in First Show of His Residency at Joe's Pub December 3, 2016
Sitting in my seat watching Lance Horne and his many friends perform at NEW WORK NEW WORK I: EXTRAORDINARY DAYS at Joe's Pub, I couldn't help but feel like I was at a really great dinner party (if I were invited to dinner parties with some of the most talented artists in the city). The seats---and, in this case, the songs---were assigned, but the host didn't try and force conversation, and the whole affair was better for it.
The purpose of the November 21 show, the first in a year-long residency, was for the successful composer and musical director to showcase his recent work, and, for new material, Horne's songs were quite polished.BWW Review: BROADWAY LOVES BRITNEY Does It Again at Feinstein's/54 Below December 1, 2016
Because Britney Spears grew up in the spotlight, we've seen her as a singer, an actress, a girl, a woman, and everything in between. One thing we haven't seen is Britney the Broadway star, but since that seems about as likely as the second coming of Britney and Justin, it's a damn good thing BROADWAY LOVES BRITNEY exists.
On November 16, a group of Broadway performers came together at Feinstein's/54 Below for exactly what the name suggests---a deep dive into Britney's oeuvre---and, as far as Britney homages go, the show hit all quadrants, running the gamut from playful impersonations to cleverly reworked gems.BWW Review: Tori Scott Provides Post-Election Catharsis in SEEING DOUBLE at Joe's Pub November 30, 2016
Early on in Tori Scott's SEEING DOUBLE, the woman of the hour deadpanned, 'I've been in a rut since birth.'
If that's the case, we should all be so lucky. But on the subject of things that could be going better, throughout Scott's performance at Joe's Pub on November 13, the unofficial theme of the night was, 'Could this year get any worse?'
With the election still looming large, Scott took the stage, explaining she'd been looking forward to the show because she was in need of some attention, before adding, 'Then Tuesday happened and I needed group therapy.'BWW Review: In the Calm Before the Storm, Randy Rainbow Throws an ELECTION EVE PARTY at Birdland November 13, 2016
There's no easy way to talk about a performance ostensibly thrown in honor of a presidential candidate who didn't end up winning.
Let's be clear: Randy Rainbow's ELECTION EVE PARTY held on Monday, night at Birdland wasn't exactly a non-partisan event. The performers dropped more 'I'm With Her' references than at an actual Clinton rally, and the party likely could've sustained itself on Rainbow's viral parodies alone.BWW Review: Kim David Smith's MORPHIUM KABARETT Will Keep You Hanging On at Pangea November 2, 2016
With the wide-eyed innocence of a cold-blooded killer and a smile so broad the Cheshire Cat would be envious, Kim David Smith will have you in his clutches before you even realize. October 28, 2016
Joey Arias would like your attention, and he's not afraid to ask for it.
In fact, on a dozen or so occasions during his performance of JOEY ARIAS IS WITH YOU NOW at Joe's Pub on October 9---the second in his three-show residency---he straight-up demanded the crowd's attention, shouting, 'Look at me!' October 18, 2016
A good drag queen is ready for anything, and with a dash of Southern charm and a whole lot of hairspray, RuPaul's Drag Race alum Ginger Minj gave a performance at the Laurie Beechman Theatre on September 25 that was as gleefully unpolished as it was raucously funny.
Above all else, despite it being labeled an album release party, Ginger's debut album, Sweet T, actually got pushed to late October. But she didn't just roll with the punches, she seemed to delight in them, stopping at nothing to give audience members a taste of the real Ginger Minj.BWW Review: Chris Dwan Channels His Inner Child in WASTE OF SPACE at Feinstein's/54 Below September 27, 2016
At one point during WASTE OF SPACE, Chris Dwan began singing the lyric 'We're connected in our own sort of universe' again and again. That line came from an original track, 'All I Know,' co-written with Ross Baum. Making his New York City solo concert debut at Feinstein's/54 Below on September 6, Dwan did create his own sort of the universe, but the connections remained a bit unclear.BWW Review: Justin Vivian Bond Is 'Golden' in Anniversary Show at Joe's Pub September 23, 2016
If this is what the end of the GOLDEN AGE OF JUSTIN VIVIAN BOND looks like, here's hoping for an extension.
Before capping off a yearlong celebration of Bond's 25th anniversary of being a performer with a VIVification benefit, v's---Bond's preferred pronoun---GOLDEN AGE was a fever dream, full of charming anecdotes about shared psychoanalysts, spirit guides and Blythe Danner.
On the second evening of the show's four-night run earlier this month, Bond's control over the melodic rasp of v's voice was impeccable. More importantly, v displayed an unmatched talent for controlling the space v's in, owning the entire stage with little more than a gentle sway and the tap of a heel, making Bond's all-out performance look effortless.