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BWW Reviews: TODD MURRAY's Show (and CD) 'Croon' Is An Unabashed Valentine to Intimate Vocal Artistry Review BWW Reviews: TODD MURRAY's Show (and CD) 'Croon' Is An Unabashed Valentine to Intimate Vocal Artistry
by Alix Cohen - April 16, 2015

“Lover, when I'm near you . . .” sings the debonair Todd Murray this past Monday night at Birdland, mere feet away from rapt eyes into which he pours himself. He's performing the waltzy song acoustically, voice full out in opposition to lyric mood. The back of the house undoubtedly finds sound muted. “This is how you would've heard a band singer in 1925, before a new technique called 'crooning',” he tells us. “From the time I started working, they always called me a crooner.” (more...)


BWW Reviews: BOBBIE HOROWITZ's New Series at the Metropolitan Room Celebrates 'Older' Over-Achievers and Accomplished Career-Changers Review BWW Reviews: BOBBIE HOROWITZ's New Series at the Metropolitan Room Celebrates 'Older' Over-Achievers and Accomplished Career-Changers
by Billie Roe - April 15, 2015

Songwriter, performer, producer, and now activist, Bobby Horowitz, has put yet another spin on the series/variety show, with her refreshing take on the subject of 'ageism' in America. Called It's Just a Number (starting with six dates running from April to October at The Metropolitan Room), Horowitz's show theme champions the notion that age truly is just a number. Featuring a different group of cabaret's best performers for each show, the series honors a person who after the age of 50 either began a new career, resumed a career, is attempting to attain knowledge in a new field, or established a new organization with the purpose of helping people. This past Saturday afternoon, Alice Fisher, who presently serves as Director of Community Outreach in the Office of NYS Senator, Liz Krueger, was the first honoree. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Film & TV Actor GLORIA REUBEN Also Conquers Cabaret With Her Seductive CD Release Show at the Metropolitan Room Review BWW Reviews: Film & TV Actor GLORIA REUBEN Also Conquers Cabaret With Her Seductive CD Release Show at the Metropolitan Room
by Remy Block - April 15, 2015

You probably know Gloria Reuben from the 1990s TV medical drama ER (in which she played Jeanie Boulet, an HIV-positive physician assistant on the hospital's staff). Or you may know her from playing the slave Elizabeth Keckley in the Steven Spielberg movie Lincoln. Or if you are super-cultured, you may know that she played Condoleeza Rice in David Hare's play, Stuff Happens. But I bet you didn't know that in 2000, she was one of Tina Turner's back up singers or that she began playing classical piano at age 5. But you should have known that Reuben sang at the Metropolitan Room last Thursday night to celebrate the release of her forthcoming CD, Perchance to Dream. I was there, so I now know that Gloria Reuben is not only an accomplished actor, but also a refined musician and an ethereal singer. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Energetic THE FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE CD RELEASE CONCERT is Filled with Soul and Heart Review BWW Reviews: Energetic THE FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE CD RELEASE CONCERT is Filled with Soul and Heart
by David Clarke - April 14, 2015

THE FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE is a glittering example of a musical that captures and is imbued with that magic in every perfectly cast note and each keenly written lyric. Celebrating Ghostlight Records' release of the original cast recording, members of the cast and creative team came together at Joe's Pub for a spirited and rousing night of music at last night's THE FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE CD RELEASE CONCERT. (more...)


BWW Reviews: For This Cabaret Performer (and Dozens of Others), the First Annual Tribute to New York Piano Bar Legend Jerry Scott is Poignant AND Personal Review BWW Reviews: For This Cabaret Performer (and Dozens of Others), the First Annual Tribute to New York Piano Bar Legend Jerry Scott is Poignant AND Personal
by Billie Roe - April 14, 2015

It was more than fitting that the New York cabaret community should honor the late Jerry Scott last Saturday night at Parnell's--the last piano bar that Jerry played before he died in April, 2013 at 67. To honor Jerry's memory and his lifetime of achievements, three devoted friends, cabaret reviewer John Hoglund, Allan Armour, and Geri Malino produced The First Annual Jerry Scott Memorial Award Show. This yearly event will not only pay tribute to Jerry's extraordinary talent, but the award will be presented to an exceptional entertainer/performer in the Manhattan Piano Bar/Lounge/Restaurant scene. The first recipient of the aptly named “Bronze Piano” was Bobby Peaco, a well-respected member of the New York cabaret community for more than 20 years. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Male Vocalists Dozier and Torren Rule The Cabaret Roost In April . . . From Completely Opposite Ends Of The Spectrum Review BWW Reviews: Male Vocalists Dozier and Torren Rule The Cabaret Roost In April . . . From Completely Opposite Ends Of The Spectrum
by Andrew Martin - April 13, 2015

It's not exactly a secret that cabaret has for decades been a world dominated by female entertainers. Sylvia Syms, Julie Wilson, Margaret Whiting, Karen Akers, KT Sullivan, Karen Mason and myriad others have assumed the top notches of the art form. But, perhaps, men might be taking their place among the front lines and a perfect example this past week were the shows from cabaret veterans Kevin Dozier and Frank Torren. (more...)


BWW Reviews: JOSHUA WARR Converts Cabaret Crowd Into Cult of Worshiping 'Warr'-iors at 54 Below Review BWW Reviews: JOSHUA WARR Converts Cabaret Crowd Into Cult of Worshiping 'Warr'-iors at 54 Below
by Andrew Martin - April 12, 2015

It's almost inconceivable that Joshua Warr, one of the current cabaret scene's truest powerhouses since his award-nominated debut some seasons ago, is at once so young, so accomplished, so poised and confident, and so adept at bringing a true sense of artistic sensibility to the arena unseen since the glory days of such 1970s clubs as Reno Sweeney and The Grand Finale. But with his new show at 54 Below, he hits it out of the park at every turn. (more...)


BWW Reviews: With Crazily Introspective Shows, Michael Shea, Stacie Koby, and Amber Petty Bring March 'Madness' to The Duplex Review BWW Reviews: With Crazily Introspective Shows, Michael Shea, Stacie Koby, and Amber Petty Bring March 'Madness' to The Duplex
by Remy Block - April 09, 2015

While the frat boys parked their boozy asses in the bar car (aka the couch) for the long road to the NCAA's Final Four over the past few weeks, NYC's village cabaret club The Duplex offered an alternative "March Madness": Cabaret shows about being crazy. As a devotee of time on a different sort of couch, I was drawn in to three separate performances--from Michael Shea, Stacie Koby, and Amber Petty--seeking some music therapy to get me through the tail end of a long winter. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Lena Hall Rocks Café Carlyle with SIN AND SALVATION Review BWW Reviews: Lena Hall Rocks Café Carlyle with SIN AND SALVATION
by David Clarke - April 08, 2015

Fresh off of her Tony Award-winning run as Yitzhak in the Broadway revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Lena Hall makes her Cafe Carlyle debut with SIN AND SALVATION. With her rocker sensibilities, she is turning the intimate venue on its head with a show that features a fascinating blend of rock, pop, blues, and even a touch of rap. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Will Friedwald's Latest 'Clip Joint' Celebrates BILLIE HOLIDAY With a Unique Take On the Icon's Centennial Review BWW Reviews: Will Friedwald's Latest 'Clip Joint' Celebrates BILLIE HOLIDAY With a Unique Take On the Icon's Centennial
by Alix Cohen - April 08, 2015

Monday night found me back at Zeb's on the West Side for another of Will Friedwald's iconoclastic 'Clip Joints'--this one in honor of the Billie Holiday Centennial. During a year that is already producing a glut of celebratory events (given that it's also the Frank Sinatra Centennial year), leave it to the intriguing and obsessive writer/journalist/producer to come up with something different. Instead of a roster of vocalists live or on film, performing material we now think of reflexively as belonging to Lady Day, we were offered the singular piano interpretations of Lara Downes, recollections by alto saxophonist Jerry Dodgion (who at age 22 played with Holiday), and eclectic clips from television and film appearances of the artist herself. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Lucy Maunder in IRVING BERLIN: SONGS IN THE KEY OF BLACK Is A Beautiful Tribute To The Legendary Songwriter. Review BWW Reviews: Lucy Maunder in IRVING BERLIN: SONGS IN THE KEY OF BLACK Is A Beautiful Tribute To The Legendary Songwriter.
by Jade Kops - April 08, 2015

The audience at Hayes Theatre are transported to a smoky 1920's Bowery district Speakeasy with their latest cabaret offering, IRVING BERLIN: SONGS IN THE KEY OF BLACK which merges the fabulous voice of Lucy Maunder with the music of one of the greatest American songwriters. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Jane Scheckter May Miss Bobby Short, But A Lot Of Us Miss Scheckter As Well Review BWW Reviews: Jane Scheckter May Miss Bobby Short, But A Lot Of Us Miss Scheckter As Well
by Andrew Martin - April 04, 2015

With very few exceptions since the beginning of cultural history, the sweet sand passage of time marches across the vocal cords of the greatest singers of all during their time in cabaret and nightlife circles. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Patti LuPone Burns Bright in THE LADY WITH THE TORCH Encore at 54 Below Review BWW Reviews: Patti LuPone Burns Bright in THE LADY WITH THE TORCH Encore at 54 Below
by David Clarke - April 03, 2015

Patti LuPone, living Broadway legend and Two-time Tony winner, returns to 54 Below with her acclaimed solo show THE LADY WITH THE TORCH. Showcasing her breathy alto and stunning belt, Patti LuPone 'belly ache[s]' (her words) her way through an inspired evening of well-known torch songs. And once the diva takes the stage, there is simply no denying that LuPone's grace, poise, and power are pure magic. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Actor/Singer Kevin Earley Brings Uber Enjoyable ON THE RECORD to Sterling's Review BWW Reviews: Actor/Singer Kevin Earley Brings Uber Enjoyable ON THE RECORD to Sterling's
by Don Grigware - April 01, 2015

On Monday March 30 actor/singer Kevin Earley brought his show On the Record to a packed house of adoring fans at Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal in NoHo, and it proved nothing short of a triumph. Earley's tenor is no stranger to these parts, as the Chicago born spent a lot of time from 2001 onward playing supporting and lead singing roles on legitimate stages in and around Los Angeles, such as his award-winning Rutledge in 1776, Terry Conner in Side Show, as well as leads in Can-Can and No Strings. He has also appeared on Broadway in Les Miserables, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Death Takes a Holiday and A Tale of Two Cities. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Well-Strung Thrills with POPSSICAL Encore at 54 Below Review BWW Reviews: Well-Strung Thrills with POPSSICAL Encore at 54 Below
by David Clarke - March 30, 2015

New York City based string quartet Well-Strung returned to 54 Below on Friday, March 27, 2015. Performing to a sold-out house, the always charming and handsome performers delighted audiences with an encore engagement of their entertaining hit show POPssical. While reprising much of what they performed the last time I reviewed them in late October, the guys' charismatic set had a handful of new surprises. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Michael Feinstein Takes Audience Over the Rainbow with Tribute to E.Y. 'Yip' Harburg at Carnegie Hall Review BWW Reviews: Michael Feinstein Takes Audience Over the Rainbow with Tribute to E.Y. 'Yip' Harburg at Carnegie Hall
by Alix Cohen - March 27, 2015

Wednesday night, Michael Feinstein's estimable series Standard Time once again held forth in Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall, this time celebrating lyricist E.Y. “Yip” Harburg. Feinstein was joined by guest vocalists Catherine Russell, Nancy Anderson and Malcom Gets. The evening was beautifully put together with anecdotes, history, film clips, and Harburg's amusing poetry. Michael Feinstein's erudition weighs in with his meticulous treatment of The American Songbook and his suave and savory role as host. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Anika Larsen Charms at Birdland Review BWW Reviews: Anika Larsen Charms at Birdland
by David Clarke - March 25, 2015

Celebrating the release of SING YOU TO SLEEP, Anika Larsen made her solo concert debut at Birdland on Monday, March 23. Joined by her BEAUTIFUL castmates Jessie Mueller and Jarrod Spector and her XANADU castmate Kenita Miller, Larsen's set featured songs from her album and thematically appropriate solos that featured her guests' talents too. Thus, the evening was the perfect night cap to an otherwise manic Monday. (more...)


BWW Reviews: CAROLE J. BUFFORD's New Show On the World's Oldest Profession Sizzles at 54 Below Review BWW Reviews: CAROLE J. BUFFORD's New Show On the World's Oldest Profession Sizzles at 54 Below
by Alix Cohen - March 23, 2015

Just when one thinks Carole J. Bufford has thoroughly plumbed the genre for which she has so much affinity, the artist comes up with an audacious new show whose distinct focus, original format, and unblushing presentation delivers a fresh take. Heart of Gold: A Portrait of the Oldest Profession (this past Saturday night at 54 Below) offers a cavalcade of women who get paid to provide 'pleasure'--madams, streetwalkers, dancehall girls, and kept women from salty to sensuous, weary and bitter to a view from the catbird seat, enmeshed or looking back. (more...)


BWW Reviews: LAUREN STANFORD Attempts Channeling the Legendary Helen Morgan at 54 Below Review BWW Reviews: LAUREN STANFORD Attempts Channeling the Legendary Helen Morgan at 54 Below
by Alix Cohen - March 22, 2015

Lauren Stanford (who won the MetroStar Singing Competition at the Metropolitan Room in 2013) has convincingly done herself up to look like the legendary Helen Morgan in her new show, More Than You Know, which she introduced at the Laurie Beechman Theatre in late October and brought to 54 Below this past Friday night. Stanford's presentation is 2/3 singing and 1/3 biography. Research is evident; specific adds color. The use of framed photographs and several conjectured telephone calls is effective (the actress listens). Vocals don't emulate Morgan's controlled vibrato, but Stanford has sufficient musical feel for the period to make mimicry unnecessary. Her uneven contralto can add feeling to a song rather than diminishing it. There are, however, other issues. (more...)


BWW Reviews: EVERYBODY LOVES LUCY Is A Glimpse Into The Off Screen Life Of Everyone's Favorite Redhead, Lucille Ball. Review BWW Reviews: EVERYBODY LOVES LUCY Is A Glimpse Into The Off Screen Life Of Everyone's Favorite Redhead, Lucille Ball.
by Jade Kops - March 22, 2015

Elise McCann shares a brief insight into the life of Lucille Ball, behind the scenes, during the 9 year run of "I LOVE LUCY" in her one woman show EVERYBODY LOVES LUCY as she takes on the persona of the famous redhead along with an example of the show's target audience, the average American housewife. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Tim Draxl presents a moving tribute to a talent lost too soon in FREEWAY – THE CHET BAKER JOURNEY. Review BWW Reviews: Tim Draxl presents a moving tribute to a talent lost too soon in FREEWAY – THE CHET BAKER JOURNEY.
by Jade Kops - March 19, 2015

Tim Draxl returns to the Cabaret Stage and reprises his beautiful tribute FREEWAY - THE CHET BAKER JOURNEY with care and detail. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Ben Vereen's STEPPIN' OUT at 54 Below Entertains with Ease Review BWW Reviews: Ben Vereen's STEPPIN' OUT at 54 Below Entertains with Ease
by David Clarke - March 18, 2015

Simply hearing the name Ben Vereen uttered invokes the magic and allure of Broadway. From originating key roles in JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR and PIPPIN, Vereen has called the stages of Broadway home for years. Therefore, it is no surprise that he commands an audience with charm and pizzazz, easily entertaining a full house at 54 Below with his new cabaret show STEPPIN' OUT. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Tony Yazbeck's THE FLOOR ABOVE ME at 54 Below is Spellbinding Review BWW Reviews: Tony Yazbeck's THE FLOOR ABOVE ME at 54 Below is Spellbinding
by David Clarke - March 17, 2015

Tony Yazbeck returned to 54 Below with The Floor Above Me, his tap filled cabaret show. Co-written and Co-directed by Yazbeck and Howard Emanuel, it explores the charismatic performers love for dance, his road to Broadway, and his career. Yazbeck unleashes his larger-than-life charm and talent, gifting audiences with a spellbinding performance. (more...)


BWW Reviews: 54 Below Sings a Crackerjack Version of the Ahrens & Flaherty Musical 'A Man of No Importance' Review BWW Reviews: 54 Below Sings a Crackerjack Version of the Ahrens & Flaherty Musical 'A Man of No Importance'
by Alix Cohen - March 17, 2015

Based on the 1994 Albert Finney film, the musical A Man of No Importance played at New York's Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater, Lincoln Center in 2002, then earned 2003's Outer Circle Critics Award for authors Lynn Ahrens (Lyrics), Stephen Flaherty (music), and Terrance McNally (Book.) This past Sunday (for two performances), 54 Below staged a concert version of A Man of No Importance as part of their popular 54 Below Sings . . . series. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Yvonne Constantly Delights at Metropolitan Room. Vive La France! Review BWW Reviews: Yvonne Constantly Delights at Metropolitan Room. Vive La France!
by Andrew Martin - March 16, 2015

Cabaret has never suffered a dearth of French female singers. In the 1970s and 1980s and well into the 90s, Jeanne Beauvais, Baronne, and Greta were among the very masters/mistresses of the art form. Yvonne Constant has completely and utterly established herself among them. (more...)