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BWW Reviews: With Rhythmic Enthusiasm, NINA HENNESSEY & RAY MARCHICA Host Jazzy Set at Birdland Review BWW Reviews: With Rhythmic Enthusiasm, NINA HENNESSEY & RAY MARCHICA Host Jazzy Set at Birdland
by Alix Cohen - August 03, 2015

With new Sunday evening Jazz Party host Carole J. Bufford performing elsewhere last night, the Birdland Jazz Club recruited drummer Ray Marchica and his vocalist wife Nina Hennessy (right), who rounded up some of their talented friends for an evening of vocal and instrumental jazz, new compositions, and golden standards. Marchica's band featured Sean Harkness on guitar, Tom Hubbard on bass, and Bob Quaranta on piano. Special guests included vocalist Marissa Mulder and composer/pianist Ian Herman. (more...)


BWW Reviews: THE SKIVVIES Delivers Dynamic Performance Nearly Nude at Rockwell! Review BWW Reviews: THE SKIVVIES Delivers Dynamic Performance Nearly Nude at Rockwell!
by Aimee Curameng - July 31, 2015

Last Monday, Rockwell played host to the incredibly entertaining performers The Skivvies, the duo of Lauren Molina and Nick Cearley aptly named because they perform stripped down versions of recognizable songs in their... well, skivvies. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Stellar LIZ CALLAWAY Shares and Soars with Ease at Metropolitan Room Review BWW Reviews: Stellar LIZ CALLAWAY Shares and Soars with Ease at Metropolitan Room
by Alix Cohen - July 29, 2015

Liz Callaway's For the Record show last night at The Metropolitan Room was literally the live recording of songs in preparation for her upcoming autumn CD release, The Essential Liz Callaway, 'and another recording I have up my sleeve later.' Except for a pause between numbers, choices with seemingly little cohesive rhyme or reason were so fluently bridged by amiable, explanatory patter one might've thought this was a thematic show. The eminently likeable performer made us feel we were in her living room, while never letting down professional standards. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Jacob Storms Thunders Through Metropolitan Room; Arthur Pomposello Pops Up Again With Blues/Jazz Sets at Don't Tell Mama Review BWW Reviews: Jacob Storms Thunders Through Metropolitan Room; Arthur Pomposello Pops Up Again With Blues/Jazz Sets at Don't Tell Mama
by Andrew Martin - July 28, 2015

In his new show at the Metropolitan Room, Give My Regards to Broadway (which opened on July 18), Jacob Storms wholeheartedly disproves the perception that a singer making their debut in the cabaret arena need a director or more than just a pianist to prove their greatness. Over at Don't Tell Mama, former Oak Room show producer Arthur Pomposello has re-emerged with a new regular blues supper club show. (more...)


BWW Reviews: With His Smooth, Swinging Style, MARCUS GOLDHABER Is a Resonant Delight at 54 Below Review BWW Reviews: With His Smooth, Swinging Style, MARCUS GOLDHABER Is a Resonant Delight at 54 Below
by Alix Cohen - July 27, 2015

Marcus Goldhaber wears his mantle lightly. Emulating such as Chet Baker, Hoagy Carmichael, and Fred Astaire—those artists who most often sounded nonchalant, yet polished-- the vocalist offers pared down (not simplistic) interpretations of American Songbook/jazz numbers with emotional translucence, as well as authoring his own fine contributions to the oeuvre. I dare you to distinguish those from songs originating in the 1940s and 1950s. With Free and Easy: Livin' on Swing Street at 54 Below (July 25), Goldhaber takes us on a personal walking tour of musical influence. Material is varied yet sustains a distinct style. The vocalist is unhurried (even when up-tempo), mindful of lyrics, and elegantly restrained. He seems comfortable on stage and refreshingly sincere. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Sheena Easton, Scott Coulter and THE SPY WHO LOVED ME at SF Symphony Review BWW Reviews: Sheena Easton, Scott Coulter and THE SPY WHO LOVED ME at SF Symphony
by Harmony Wheeler - July 24, 2015

Singer Scott Coulter joked that those sitting in the Terrace sections had the "view to kill" at Thursday's San Francisco Symphony concert, but truly all who attended enjoyed a "killer" evening of action-packed, sensual scores and vocals. (more...)


BWW Reviews: STACEY KENT Infuses Birdland With Sublime Sambas and Bossa Novas Review BWW Reviews: STACEY KENT Infuses Birdland With Sublime Sambas and Bossa Novas
by Alix Cohen - July 23, 2015

Watching Stacey Kent perform Portuguese music with her producer, writer, arranger, and saxophonist Jim Tomlinson (who also happens to be her husband), and her band has got to be the next best thing to actually being in Brazil. As she exhibited last night at Birdland for two shows, Kent gets this genre perhaps better than any other contemporary American performer. She performs with palpable sensitivity and infectious joie de viere. Translated songs or those written by Tomlinson with such collaborators as author Kazu Ishiguro and poet Antonio Ladeira are phrased with deep romanticism and offered with refreshingly unfussy brio. (more...)


BWW Reviews: The Touring Company of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA Raises $10,000 for BC/EFA and The Actors Fund with its Magnificent Cabaret in LA. Review BWW Reviews: The Touring Company of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA Raises $10,000 for BC/EFA and The Actors Fund with its Magnificent Cabaret in LA.
by Audrey Liebross - July 23, 2015

The touring company of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA performed a magnificent self-produced cabaret titled OSCAR UNMASKED, consisting of performances from Oscar winning songs and scores. In addition, audience members had the chance to bid on three items in a live auction. The cabaret raised about $10,000 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA) and The Actors Fund. (more...)


BWW Reviews: With His Intimate Frank Sinatra Tribute Show at the Metropolitan Room, RICHARD MALAVET Raises His Vocal Game Review BWW Reviews: With His Intimate Frank Sinatra Tribute Show at the Metropolitan Room, RICHARD MALAVET Raises His Vocal Game
by John Hoglund - July 19, 2015

Near the end of his exceptional new show, Very Good Years: The Intimate Sinatra at the Metropolitan Room, Richard Malavet recalls famed radio personality William B. Williams who once said: "Frank Sinatra is the most imitated, most listened to, most recognized voice of the 20th century." Williams did not exaggerate. Consequently, in this centennial year of Sinatra's birth, there will be many observations of the man known as "The Voice." For his tribute to Sinatra, Malavet did his homework. In this meticulously researched, respectful homage, he turns his talents to the more personalized aspects of the pop star's recording years, from 1939-1968, when musically, Sinatra became synonymous with songs of heartache and loneliness. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Revue Celebrating the Austin Cabaret Theatre at 54 Below is a Crazy Quilt of Performers in Mixed Bag of a Show Review BWW Reviews: Revue Celebrating the Austin Cabaret Theatre at 54 Below is a Crazy Quilt of Performers in Mixed Bag of a Show
by Alix Cohen - July 17, 2015

Stuart Moulton's Austin (Texas) Cabaret Theatre (may it thrive and prosper) turned 15 in tandem with his own 50th birthday. In celebration on Wednesday night, the Theatre's Artistic Director (also a performer himself) invited alumni and hopefuls to strut their stuff on the stage of 54 Below. The result was a wildly mixed bag of a show--featuring a few great vocalists and infectiously enthusiastic wannabes--which ran so exhaustively long that Moultan was able to change his clothes twice. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Gregory Nalbone Charms with Uneven THE SOUNDS OF MY HEART Review BWW Reviews: Gregory Nalbone Charms with Uneven THE SOUNDS OF MY HEART
by David Clarke - July 17, 2015

Having appeared on many of New York City's cabaret stages, Gregory Nalbone returns to the Metropolitan Room with The Sounds of My Heart. Directed by Lennie Watts and music direction by Kenneth Gartman, this show showcases Nalbone's baritone register and Pop-Broadway instrument and allows him to bare his soul as he sings some of his and our favorite tunes. (more...)


BWW Reviews: KT SULLIVAN and JEFF HARNAR Are Beguiling and Theatrical In Their Second Sondheim Songbook Show at the Laurie Beechman Review BWW Reviews: KT SULLIVAN and JEFF HARNAR Are Beguiling and Theatrical In Their Second Sondheim Songbook Show at the Laurie Beechman
by Alix Cohen - July 17, 2015

I could tell you that KT Sullivan and Jeff Harnar have done it again, but the truth is that they've done it even better. Their first foray into the Stephen Sondheim songbook last summer, Our Time, consisted of she sings, he sings--each watching the other perform then offering duets. This iteration titled Another Hundred People: Sullivan and Harnar Sing Sondheim—Act II (both at the Laurie Beechman Theatre), beautifully directed by Sondra Lee, considers both characters theatrically, not just vocally, but visually. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Texas Treasure Holland Vavra Flys Audiences to the Moon Review BWW Reviews: Texas Treasure Holland Vavra Flys Audiences to the Moon
by David Clarke - July 15, 2015

Last December, Texas treasure Holland Vavra made her 54 Below debut in Cuz We're F#cking Talented, a concert where a handful of artists showed off their skills. Last night, she made a special trip from Houston to premiere her tribute to Frank Sinatra, Holland at the Sands: My Blue Eyed Sinatra. With her own brand of lovable, quirky humor and her golden instrument, Vavra made her solo cabaret debut a delightful spectacle. (more...)


BWW Reviews: SETH SIKES Zings the Heartstrings With Judy Garland Tribute Show at 54 Below Review BWW Reviews: SETH SIKES Zings the Heartstrings With Judy Garland Tribute Show at 54 Below
by Andrew Martin - July 15, 2015

Two decades ago, cabaret was mesmerized by the sudden presence of a phenomenal male vocalist by the name of Tom Andersen, who quickly found himself not merely an overnight sensation in the clubs of New York and other major cities across the nation but throughout the globe. Part of his attraction was that, whereas most light baritones will strain and strive to hit notes in the highest register possible, to Andersen it came as naturally as simply drawing a breath; he was a theatrical tenor in the truest sense. And he may well now have an heir apparent in the form of Seth Sikes, who burst onto the scene on June 10 with a striking Judy Garland tribute show at 54 Below on what would have been the legendary lady's 93rd birthday.  (more...)


BWW Reviews: REBEKAH LOWIN Displays Her Talented New Voice In Uneven Eva Cassidy Tribute at Metropolitan Room Review BWW Reviews: REBEKAH LOWIN Displays Her Talented New Voice In Uneven Eva Cassidy Tribute at Metropolitan Room
by Alix Cohen - July 10, 2015

Rebekah Lowin is a pretty, personable young woman with a voice that, at its best, can be ethereal. A recent Columbia University grad, Lowin first made an impression on cabaret audiences in October 2013 with an appearance at the Cabaret Convention and a show at 54 Below. Her new offering at the Metropolitan Room, I Know You By Heart, is built around the songs of Eva Cassidy, who inspired Lowin's devotion when she was in the sixth grade and held steadfast for five years of repeated listening. Virtually unknown outside Washington, DC during her lifetime, Cassidy's posthumous compilation Songbird topped the charts in 1998. (Ms. Cassidy died of cancer in 1996.) Lowin looks rather like her subject and appears to have similar range, if a less mature voice. (more...)


BWW Reviews: YANNA AVIS is Again Beguiling and Enticing as She Makes Some Sensual Musical Magic at 54 Below Review BWW Reviews: YANNA AVIS is Again Beguiling and Enticing as She Makes Some Sensual Musical Magic at 54 Below
by John Hoglund - July 07, 2015

Since her cabaret debut at Eighty Eight's in 1992, Yanna Avis has played every major room in New York and has become one of the most popular international artists, with a fan base that continues to grow. With her new show at 54 Below (on June 18), Make Some Magic, Avis demonstrated why she is so unique and renowned for classy interpretations of songs from the 1930s to 1940s. Singing in German, Spanish, English and French, Avis sauntered through an hour of what she called "my cabaret," which included her old-world deconstruction of seductive songs recalling an intimate boite style made famous by legendary divas famed for erudite and sexy ditties from a world we'll never see again. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Migguel Anggelo's I, INMIGRANTE is a Dynamic Treat Review BWW Reviews: Migguel Anggelo's I, INMIGRANTE is a Dynamic Treat
by David Clarke - July 07, 2015

Recently, Migguel Anggelo returned to Joe's Pub in New York City with an encore performance of his latest concert, I, Inmigrante. Like his pervious concert, Between Dreams / Entre Sueños, the set featured music from both of Anggelo's solo albums, his electrifying energy, his brilliant vocal range, and his unique artistry. Anggelo's latest cabaret is a dynamic treat sewn together with palpable heart and rib-tickling humor. (more...)


BWW Reviews: CAROLE J. BUFFORD Takes the Helm as Hostess of Birdland's Jazz Party With Hoopla, Heat & Heart Review BWW Reviews: CAROLE J. BUFFORD Takes the Helm as Hostess of Birdland's Jazz Party With Hoopla, Heat & Heart
by Alix Cohen - July 07, 2015

On July 5, Carole J. Bufford erupted onto the stage at Birdland for her first Sunday evening as hostess of the club's weekly Jazz Party (which had been helmed most recently by Natalie Douglas and Jane Monheit). The formidable vocalist, glamorous in clingy red, was aided and abetted by a top-notch (also well dressed—Bravo!) quartet featuring Joel Frahm on sax, Ray Marchia on drums, Tom Hubbard on bass, and Musical Director Ian Herman on piano. Special guests for Bufford's inaugural session were Janelle Velasquez and Lianne Marie Dobbs. With Bufford's audacious performance, smart choices, and attention to detail, Sundays promise to be a great deal more fun in midtown Manhattan. (more...)


BWW Reviews: JEFF MACAULEY's Charming, Sophisticated Tribute to the Music of Henry Mancini Hits All the Right Notes at the Metropolitan Room Review BWW Reviews: JEFF MACAULEY's Charming, Sophisticated Tribute to the Music of Henry Mancini Hits All the Right Notes at the Metropolitan Room
by Remy Block - July 02, 2015

In Mr. Lucky, Jeff Macauley's urbane cabaret show featuring the songs of Henry Mancini, (which recently finished a three-show run at the Metropolitan Room) you learn that the famed composer came by his luck and success the old-fashioned way: single-minded purpose fueled by hard work and determination. Yet, Macauley, a former Bistro Award winner, makes telling Mancini's story look so easy. Debonair in his impeccable suit and fashionable specs, the singer uses a light touch to deliver songs he was determined to bring out of the background and into the spotlight. (more...)


BWW Reviews: EVAN STERN & STEVE ROSS Are Utterly Charming at The Player's Club In Examining Southern Influence On the Songs of Johnny Mercer Review BWW Reviews: EVAN STERN & STEVE ROSS Are Utterly Charming at The Player's Club In Examining Southern Influence On the Songs of Johnny Mercer
by Alix Cohen - July 01, 2015

Monday night at the upstairs library at The Player's Club, young actor/vocalist Evan Stern collaborated with one of cabaret's treasures, the veteran pianist/arranger/vocalist Steve Ross on a show illuminating the influence of a southern upbringing on the work of iconic songwriter and Savannah, Georgia native Johnny Mercer. The piece was beautifully put together with Stern's intermittent repartee (never dropping a musical stitch), reflecting his skills as an actor as well as a writer. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Singer WENDY A. RUSSELL Reflects On Her Life With Solid Debut Show at Don't Tell Mama Review BWW Reviews: Singer WENDY A. RUSSELL Reflects On Her Life With Solid Debut Show at Don't Tell Mama
by Billie Roe - June 28, 2015

From the moment she steps on stage and sings the entire first verse of Gloria Estefan's “Coming Out of the Dark”–-in the dark--you get the impression this is not going to be one of those usual personal journey “I've-been-everywhere-and-done-everything” kind of acts. In her debut show, Where Have I Been All My Life (June 18 and 27 at Don't Tell Mama), Wendy A. Russell vividly presents the personal metamorphosis of a post-modern woman. Quoting Woody Allen's “90% of life is just showing up,” Russell states she showed up 100% of the time and still found life lacking, which is understandable considering she was raised with the “good girl” mentality of the 1960s “Mad Men” era. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Displaying Vintage Performing Savoir Faire, DANNY BACHER Swings The Louis'--Armstrong, Prima, Jordan--at the Metropolitan Room Review BWW Reviews: Displaying Vintage Performing Savoir Faire, DANNY BACHER Swings The Louis'--Armstrong, Prima, Jordan--at the Metropolitan Room
by Alix Cohen - June 28, 2015

Danny Bacher has the performance ease of an artist who's spent twice his years on the circuit. His preternatural feel for swing delivers scrupulous control, hip, unfussy phrasing, nuanced inflection, and the kind of fluent, savory scat “wordless vocables” I haven't heard from a man in some time, certainly not one so young. His soprano saxophone and singing are so like one another in attitude and energy, Bacher epitomizes the musician whose instrument acts as solid manifestation of voice. His new CD release celebration show at the Metropolitan Room, Swing That Music (last performance of a four-show run today at 4 pm) is a jazz tribute to the three Louis: Louis Armstrong--Satchmo (1901-1971), Louis Prima--The King of Swing before Benny Goodman came along (1910-1978), and Louis Jordan--King of the Jukebox (1908-1975.) Musical numbers get along like the old friends they are, brushing shoulders, poking one another in the ribs, slapping backs. The show is well paced with next to no patter. Danny Bacher is the real deal; a musician to watch. (more...)


BWW Reviews:  Rob Mills' First Foray Into Cabaret, ROB MILLS IS 'SURPRISINGLY GOOD' Is That And So Much More. Review BWW Reviews: Rob Mills' First Foray Into Cabaret, ROB MILLS IS 'SURPRISINGLY GOOD' Is That And So Much More.
by Jade Kops - June 26, 2015

Newcomer to the Cabaret stage, Rob Mills proves that he is just as suited to the intimate genre as the big musical stages and television with his cabaret ROB MILLS IS 'SURPRISINGLY GOOD'. (more...)


BWW Reviews:  RECEPTION: THE MUSICAL goes inside the mind of the woman behind the front desk. Review BWW Reviews: RECEPTION: THE MUSICAL goes inside the mind of the woman behind the front desk.
by Jade Kops - June 26, 2015

Bethany Simons' RECEPTION: THE MUSICAL joins Hayes Theatre Co's CABARET SEASON 2015 with this one act account of her life behind the front desk at the Classical Music Academy. Blending original music and amusing anecdotes, Simons is joined by co-creator and pianist Peter de Jager in this piece of light entertainment. (more...)


BWW Reviews: CORINNA SOWERS-ADLER Holds to Her Own 'High Standards' with a Show By the Same Name at Metropolitan Room Review BWW Reviews: CORINNA SOWERS-ADLER Holds to Her Own 'High Standards' with a Show By the Same Name at Metropolitan Room
by Alix Cohen - June 22, 2015

As she wends her way towards the stage at the opening of her new show at the Metropolitan Room (performances were on June 15 and 20), Corinna Sowers Adler sings the Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein II classic “All The Things You Are” with warm, legato phrases that surround the club like a hug. Sowers Adler achieves this not only with her singing, but also the friendly and personal nature of her bridging dialogue. In High Standards, she manages to make us feel privy to an authentic self without a lot of in-jokes intended for attending friends and family. The standards to which this show's title refers are not only those evergreen numbers collected in The Great American Song Book, but also yardsticks by which we measure quality and value in life. (more...)






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