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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...)


BWW Reviews: Jane Monheit Presents Stunning Tribute to Judy Garland Review BWW Reviews: Jane Monheit Presents Stunning Tribute to Judy Garland
by Michael L. Quintos - March 16, 2015

Any opportunity to catch two-time Grammy-nominated international jazz superstar and frequent favorite BroadwayWorld Cabaret Award-winner Jane Monheit bring her talents to a local venue outside of New York (and even nearby Los Angeles) is its own cause for celebration. That was certainly evidenced by the rapturous reception she received during her triumphant return to Orange County's Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Monheit closed out the Center's 2014-2015 Jazz series with Hello Bluebird, her jazz-centric tribute to the legendary Judy Garland. As expected, the 85-minute concert was nothing less than stunning. Let me repeat... stunning. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Diversity Reigns in Cabaret Through Sublime Shows From Barbara Malley, Robin Kradles, and Donna Hayes Review BWW Reviews: Diversity Reigns in Cabaret Through Sublime Shows From Barbara Malley, Robin Kradles, and Donna Hayes
by Billie Roe - March 12, 2015

When Cole Porter wrote, 'Anything Goes,' he could have easily been referring to New York cabaret circa the 2000-sies. One of the joys of attending and reviewing cabaret shows in the Big Apple these days is that every performing style, show theme, cultural perspective, political point of view, race, gender, and sexual preference is represented on a stage. Some cabaret purists may not agree, but the genre seems to have no boundaries in terms of what is acceptable and what is not. And as long as a show is entertaining, who cares about boundaries and strict definitions of what works in the art form? Here are reviews of three recent shows from Barbara Malley, Robin Kradles, and Donna Hayes that reflect the delicious diversity that is cabaret. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Maureen McGovern's New 54 Below Show Celebrating Her Singer/Songwriter 'Sisters' Is Overstuffed and Over-Seasoned Review BWW Reviews: Maureen McGovern's New 54 Below Show Celebrating Her Singer/Songwriter 'Sisters' Is Overstuffed and Over-Seasoned
by Alix Cohen - March 12, 2015

Emerging as a pop diva in the 1970s, Maureen McGovern has been somewhere on the scene for decades. She still has a powerful, well-honed instrument, sufficient to perform confident acapella. However, It's difficult to tell from her new 54 Below show, Sing, My Sisters, Sing! Celebrating Women Singer/Songwriters, whether the artist's range has vastly diminished or arrangements and rhythms, often unsympathetic to original tunes, are so similar as to make an otherwise diverse selection of songs homogeneous. (more...)


BWW Reviews: KATHRYN ALLEN Holds Court On Jazz Singing Great Anita O'Day at The Cutting Room Review BWW Reviews: KATHRYN ALLEN Holds Court On Jazz Singing Great Anita O'Day at The Cutting Room
by Remy Block - March 10, 2015

When Kathryn Allyn, an opera singer now turned Great American Songbook chanteuse, took the stage at The Cutting Room last Tuesday night, she was all va-va-voom in a curve-hugging Valentine red dress. She joined her crackerjack band-musical director Frank Ponzio, bassist Tom Hubbard, and drummer Vito Leszack-to perform homage to her favorite jazz and big band singer Anita O'Day, whose heyday came between the World War II era through the early 1960s. (more...)


BWW Reviews: TURNER'S TURN - A Musical Review Of Geraldine Turner's 40Years On Stage Review BWW Reviews: TURNER'S TURN - A Musical Review Of Geraldine Turner's 40Years On Stage
by Jade Kops - March 09, 2015

Geraldine Turner returns to the Sydney Cabaret Stage after a 10+ year hiatus with an insight into the musicals that made up her 40 years on stage in her latest show TURNER'S TURN. . (more...)


BWW Review: Another Take on SHANA FARR's Noel Coward/Cole Porter 'Concept' Show Proves It To Be More Than Award-Worthy Review BWW Review: Another Take on SHANA FARR's Noel Coward/Cole Porter 'Concept' Show Proves It To Be More Than Award-Worthy
by Billie Roe - March 08, 2015

In a two-reviews-in-one column critiquing shows from last March, my esteemed editor, Stephen Hanks quoted the poet Robert Browning: “A man's reach should exceed his grasp. Or what's a heaven for?” Hanks pointed out that Browning's famous line is about setting goals, striving, and ambition, all of which are commendable desires. But, alas, in this particular review he felt the two singers in question “fell short.” One of those singers was Shana Farr and the show she has been performing throughout the past year, In The Still of the Night: Music of Noel Coward and Cole Porter. So here we are a year later, immersed in the revelry of the 2015 award season celebrating excellence in cabaret, and Farr's uniquely theatrical homage to Coward and Porter has recently won her the 2015 Bistro Award for “Outstanding Concept Show.” In spite of my editor's previous reservations about this show, he was open to hearing another perspective—whether positive or negative—so off to the Laurie Beechman Theatre I ventured on the last day of February to find out for myself whether Shana's show was truly award-worthy. Sorry, oh editor of mine, but you might have missed the boat on this one. (more...)


BWW Reviews: KAREN MASON Returns To Her Cabaret Roots and Triumphs with Stunningly Nostalgic New Show at Don't Tell Mama Review BWW Reviews: KAREN MASON Returns To Her Cabaret Roots and Triumphs with Stunningly Nostalgic New Show at Don't Tell Mama
by Billie Roe - March 07, 2015

“March is Cabaret Month” in New York gives us the opportunity to examine where we are, and, most importantly, where we have come from with this most magical of all art forms--Cabaret. So how very fortunate we are to see and hear veteran Broadway actress and cabaret performer, Karen Mason return to her roots to lovingly take us down memory lane with her new show Mason at Mama's In March at Don't Tell Mama (which opened on March 1st). (more...)


BWW Reviews: Emily Padgett and Erin Davie Sing with Heart and Humor at 54 Below Review BWW Reviews: Emily Padgett and Erin Davie Sing with Heart and Humor at 54 Below
by David Clarke - March 06, 2015

Making their 54 Below debuts together, Emily Padgett and Erin Davie crafted a cabaret show that was filled with humor and heart. Singing duets and solo numbers, the lovely ladies who played Violet and Daisy Hilton in this season's Broadway revival of Side Show at the St. James Theatre skillfully entertained the dinner time crowd and left us looking forward to the next time they tread the boards on the Great White Way. (more...)


BWW Reviews: BEN RIMALOWER Is Back at The Duplex Dramatically and Humorously Dealing With the Personal Demons of His Past Review BWW Reviews: BEN RIMALOWER Is Back at The Duplex Dramatically and Humorously Dealing With the Personal Demons of His Past
by John Hoglund - March 04, 2015

Ben Rimalower just might be heading a revival of downtown theater. Following the wild success of his popular cabaret-theater piece, Patti Issues, which ran forever (and is still going strong), he's back with his latest entry into obsessive-compulsive issues, Bad With Money, running at The Duplex Cabaret Theatre through April. This is a profoundly darker work, laced with campy humor and his trademark spitfire delivery. It is more serious and thought provoking as he expounds on his neurotic spending habits and substance addictions. (more...)


BWW Reviews: ALTAR BOYZ 10th Anniversary Reunion Concert is Soul Lifting Fun Review BWW Reviews: ALTAR BOYZ 10th Anniversary Reunion Concert is Soul Lifting Fun
by David Clarke - March 02, 2015

ALTAR BOYZ opened Off-Broadway at Stage 4 of Dodger Stages on March 1, 2005. The award-winning, hit musical comedy closed after 2,032 regular performances on January 10, 2010. For two very special performances at 54 Below on March 1, 2015, actors who played the now iconic fictional Christian boy band took to the stage to celebrate the show's 10th anniversary with pizzazz, wit, and a whole lot of harmonizing. (more...)


BWW Reviews: AN EVENING WITH JESSIE & JARROD OF BEAUTIFUL at New Jersey Performing Arts Center Review BWW Reviews: AN EVENING WITH JESSIE & JARROD OF BEAUTIFUL at New Jersey Performing Arts Center
by adam cohen - March 02, 2015

Intimate evening of well chosen songs by two great singers (more...)


BWW Reviews: Steadfast Fans of Iconic BARBARA COOK Are 'On Her Side' at Lincoln Center's American Songbook Review BWW Reviews: Steadfast Fans of Iconic BARBARA COOK Are 'On Her Side' at Lincoln Center's American Songbook
by Alix Cohen - March 01, 2015

“Are You Havin' Any Fun?” the formidable Barbara Cook breezily asks in song with the intimacy of an old friend. Having had her first paid (50 cents) singing job at the age of eight, Cook looks back on a lengthy career feeling lucky. It's been weeks since she's sung due to health issues laying her low, but Cook is not, she assures us, by any means down and out. “I like to feel people are on my side and you sure sound like you are.” Throughout her show last night as part of the American Songbook series at Lincoln Center's The Appel Room, the artist performs with honesty, commitment, and the compelling interpretation for which she's well known. She asks that lights be turned up in order to see those with whom she communicates. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Jessica Vosk Thrills 54 Below in Debut NYC Solo Show I CAME FROM JERSEY FOR THIS Review BWW Reviews: Jessica Vosk Thrills 54 Below in Debut NYC Solo Show I CAME FROM JERSEY FOR THIS
by David Clarke - March 01, 2015

Playing her debut NYC solo show I Came From Jersey For This to a sold out house at 54 Below, Jessica Vosk took the intimate venue by storm. Dazzling audiences with her talent, energy, sincerity, and humor, she put up a perfectly crafted cabaret tribute to her journey from singing with her dad in the living room of their New Jersey home to landing roles on Broadway. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Amy Lynn & The Gunshow Tear the Roof Off 54 Below Review BWW Reviews: Amy Lynn & The Gunshow Tear the Roof Off 54 Below
by David Clarke - February 27, 2015

The funk soul of Motown is being modernized and reshaped by big name acts like Bruno Mars and Fitz and The Tantrums; however, no one is doing it quite like Amy Lynn & The Gunshow. Strip away the frills of a large record label, throw in a ton of sass, mix with wit and charisma, and garnish with an explosive horn section. That is the recipe for Amy Lynn & The Gunshow's style, and it leaves a whole lotta shakin' goin' on! (more...)