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BWW Reviews: LUCIE ARNAZ Springs Into Love In Charming Cafe Carlyle Debut Show Review BWW Reviews: LUCIE ARNAZ Springs Into Love In Charming Cafe Carlyle Debut Show
by Stephen Hanks - April 19, 2014

It took Lucie Arnaz her entire professional life to get booked for a solo nightclub/cabaret show at the Cafe Carlyle. It turned out to be worth the wait-for herself and her audiences-and her weeklong run at the stylish club (that began on April 13 and ends with shows tonight at 8:45 and 10:45) would no doubt have made her famous parents--Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz--beam with pride. Lucy might have erupted into a joyful crying jag, while Desi would have kvelled in his signature rapid-fired Spanish because when it comes to her performance on a cabaret stage, Lucie Arnaz doesn't 'got some 'splaining to do.' (more...)


BWW Reviews: THE CRAIC WITH DE STAIC Brought a Touch of Old Ireland to Adelaide Review BWW Reviews: THE CRAIC WITH DE STAIC Brought a Touch of Old Ireland to Adelaide
by Barry Lenny - April 18, 2014

The multi-award winning performer, Aindrias de Staic, flew in especially for this one night performance. (more...)


BWW Reviews: You'll Be Crazy in Love With MARIEANN MERINGOLO'S New Monthly Show at the Metropolitan Room Review BWW Reviews: You'll Be Crazy in Love With MARIEANN MERINGOLO'S New Monthly Show at the Metropolitan Room
by Stephen Hanks - April 15, 2014

As a young veteran of the New York cabaret scene and someone who rests comfortably in that performer's purgatory between celebrity and what the folks at the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs (MAC) calls “Major Artist,” Marieann Meringolo certainly doesn't need validation from a Stevie-come-lately reviewer like me. But nobody bats 1.000—in baseball, life, or cabaret—and, frankly, I didn't cheer in print for her slightly pretentious 2013 show Orchestrated, which seemed to feature a band big enough to bust through the far wall of the Metropolitan Room and arrangements that were more than a tad overblown. But in 2011, I loved her annual holiday show, In The Spirit, and had heard nothing but great things about her 2012 tribute to the music of Michael Legrand, so I was willing to consider Orchestrated a mere hiccup—depending on what she came up with next. Well, next arrived on the afternoon of Saturday, April 5 afternoon with Meringolo's new show, Crazy Love, at the Metropolitan Room. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal Celebrates 2nd Anniversary with THESE APRIL FOOLISH THINGS Review BWW Reviews: Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal Celebrates 2nd Anniversary with THESE APRIL FOOLISH THINGS
by Shari Barrett - April 07, 2014

On the first Sunday of each month, Bruce Kimmel's Kritzerland Records' presents a supper club musical cabaret at Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal in NoHo. Sunday, April 6, 2014, the group celebrated its two-year anniversary with THESE APRIL FOOLISH THINGS with not only foolish songs but ones having to do with Spring or the month of April in general. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Natalie Weiss' Personality Overshadows Vocal Talent in Houston Cabaret Review BWW Reviews: Natalie Weiss' Personality Overshadows Vocal Talent in Houston Cabaret
by David Clarke - April 05, 2014

As a YouTube sensation, many are familiar enough with Natalie Weiss' voice and face, and the largely teenage/early 20s audience last night couldn't be more enthusiastic to see her perform live. Yet, somewhere along the way, her abrasive personality overshadowed her vocal talent. (more...)


BWW Reviews: VIVIAN REED Signs, Seals and Delivers a Soulful and Powerful Performance at 54 Below Review BWW Reviews: VIVIAN REED Signs, Seals and Delivers a Soulful and Powerful Performance at 54 Below
by Stephen Hanks - April 03, 2014

In the late '70s, Vivian Reed captured a Tony Award nomination and won a Drama Desk Award for her work in the Broadway musical Bubbling Brown Sugar, and although Reed has delivered some critically-acclaimed work in the many years since (a Tony nomination for the 1992 musical The High Rollers Social and Pleasure Club and a star turn in the revue Three Mo' Divas), during the last decade she had gone and stayed away too long, mainly to take care of her ailing mother. Last November, she dipped a toe in the New York nightclub waters, producing a one-night show at 54 Below that was highly praised and offered hints of great things to come. But this past Monday night—the first of what will ultimately be a four-show run of “An Evening With Vivian Reed” (the next three dates are April 14, May 20 and June 19)—this performing powerhouse established her return in earnest. With Reed's still expressive voice tackling musical genres ranging from R & B to Jazz to Great American Songbook standards to Gospel (even a dash of Opera), her electric and passionate show was cabaret/nightclub performing as revival meeting in more ways than one. Reed is not only reviving her singing career, she is inspiring impassioned converts at the same time. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Ambitous New Cabaret Shows From SHANA FARR and JILLIAN LAURAIN Reach High But Fall Short Review BWW Reviews: Ambitous New Cabaret Shows From SHANA FARR and JILLIAN LAURAIN Reach High But Fall Short
by Stephen Hanks - March 31, 2014

'A man's reach should exceed his grasp. Or what's a heaven for?' once wrote the poet Robert Browning. The line is about setting goals, striving, and ambition, all of which can be commendable desires. But sometimes in the world of cabaret, the desire to achieve the next level or to raise one's personal bar can be an overreach and overly ambitious. Such was the case with two shows staged this past week by two accomplished singers-Shana Farr and Jillian Laurain--who over the past couple of years have garnered mucho kudos for their vocal prowess and solid shows. Nobody could fault these lovely ladies for pushing their performance envelopes, but in both cases they fell short of their goals. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Tony-Winning Superstar Patti LuPone Journeys to the OC with FAR AWAY PLACES Review BWW Reviews: Tony-Winning Superstar Patti LuPone Journeys to the OC with FAR AWAY PLACES
by Michael L. Quintos - March 27, 2014

To witness---and, yes, hear---Tony Award-winning legend Patti LuPone on a stage live-belting the bejesus out of a note (well, several notes, really) is just another not-so-subtle reminder for newbies and veterans alike why she's such a one-of-a-kind, ultra-talented star in the first place. She can, pretty much, take any piece of music and make it sound... well, effortlessly incredible. The results? Jaws dropped. Audible 'wows' echoed. Cheers were deafening and plentiful. That prowess was certainly in full-display on the evening of March 22, when LuPone came to Costa Mesa's Segerstrom Concert Hall for a one-night-only performance of her latest high-concept concert entitled FAR AWAY PLACES. (more...)


BWW Reviews: THE PRINCE AND THE SHOWTUNE: A TRIBUTE TO HAROLD PRINCE Fills the Night with Great Music Review BWW Reviews: THE PRINCE AND THE SHOWTUNE: A TRIBUTE TO HAROLD PRINCE Fills the Night with Great Music
by Shari Barrett - March 04, 2014

On the first Sunday of each month at Kritzerland at Sterling's Upstairs at The Federal, dinner cabaret nights are presented to packed houses. Due to the Oscars, this month's event was held on Monday, March 3, saluting THE PRINCE AND THE SHOWTUNE: A TRIBUTE TO HAROLD PRINCE whose career has spanned over sixty years and who, as producer and/or director is responsible for some of the greatest musical theater triumphs of all time. (more...)


BWW Reviews: THE TED & LO SHOW Review BWW Reviews: THE TED & LO SHOW
by Jena Tesse Fox - March 02, 2014

Ted Stafford and Lorinda Lisitza find plenty of humor in this dark-themed cabaret at Don't Tell Mama. (more...)


BWW Reviews: MAUDE MAGGART is a Delightfully Dreamy Enchantress at Café Carlyle Review BWW Reviews: MAUDE MAGGART is a Delightfully Dreamy Enchantress at Café Carlyle
by Stephen Hanks - March 01, 2014

This past Tuesday evening Maude Maggart, a celebrated young veteran of the cabaret scene, started her debut run at the Cafe Carlyle (which ends tonight with shows at 8:45 pm and 10:45 pm) and her new show certainly didn't disappoint, at least not in the singing department. Throughout a 16-song set, this attractive and willowy brunette from a performing family that now spans three generations was a delightfully dreamy enchantress conveying retro-romantic songs she delivered with the ethereal mezzo soprano style of an early Disney movie heroine of pre-Little Mermaid vintage, only one more worldly wise and seductive. (more...)


BWW Reviews: The Music Box Theater's MORE BROADWAY AT THE BOX - A Comical Revue of Broadway Favorites Review BWW Reviews: The Music Box Theater's MORE BROADWAY AT THE BOX - A Comical Revue of Broadway Favorites
by David Clarke - February 23, 2014

The Music Box Theater is proudly closing its third year with their latest musical revue MORE BROADWAY AT THE BOX. Rebekah Dahl, Brad Scarborough, Kristina Sullivan, Cay Taylor, and Luke Wrobel masterfully entertain Houston audiences with the inventive cabaret revue, earning copious amounts of cheers and applause. MORE BROADWAY AT THE BOX is truly everything that it was hyped up to be. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Signature Theatre's CAROLYN COLE: THE FAREWELL TOUR – Anything But Your Typical Cabaret! Review BWW Reviews: Signature Theatre's CAROLYN COLE: THE FAREWELL TOUR – Anything But Your Typical Cabaret!
by Benjamin Tomchik - February 20, 2014

Audiences were forewarned when Carolyn Cole stepped onto the stage and announced that her Farewell Tour was, "Not yo momma's cabaret" and that it was going to be a unique evening. Aside from the brief tease of Gypsy's "Let Me Entertain You," Cole's performance was an unexpected departure from the musical standards one might except from a Signature Theatre production and was a passionate tribute to the rock standards which greatly influenced her life. (more...)


BWW Reviews: ZACH Theatre Hosts Mini RENT Reunion with ADAM AND DAPHNE IN CONCERT Review BWW Reviews: ZACH Theatre Hosts Mini RENT Reunion with ADAM AND DAPHNE IN CONCERT
by Jeff Davis - February 19, 2014

In 1996, several up and coming performers made their Broadway debuts in a show that would make musical theater history. The show was Rent and two of those performers were Adam Pascal and Daphne Ruben-Vega. Some very lucky Austin area Rentheads, myself included, got a chance to see the two reunite last night as part of Zach Theatre's Top Concerts Series. (more...)


BWW Reviews: ADELAIDE FRINGE 2014: MILES AWAY Takes Us on an Unusual Trip Review BWW Reviews: ADELAIDE FRINGE 2014: MILES AWAY Takes Us on an Unusual Trip
by Barry Lenny - February 19, 2014

Renee Gentle offers a tour de force performance, switching to and fro between so many diverse characters in a high energy production. (more...)


BWW Reviews: ADELAIDE FRINGE 2014: LILI LA SCALA: SIREN Sings Bewitching Songs of The Sea Review BWW Reviews: ADELAIDE FRINGE 2014: LILI LA SCALA: SIREN Sings Bewitching Songs of The Sea
by Barry Lenny - February 19, 2014

It is Scala's strong, warm and amazingly expressive voice which steals the show (more...)


BWW Reviews: ADELAIDE FRINGE 2014: A STORM IN A D CUP Takes The Audience On An Hilarious Journey Through a Crazy Life Review BWW Reviews: ADELAIDE FRINGE 2014: A STORM IN A D CUP Takes The Audience On An Hilarious Journey Through a Crazy Life
by Barry Lenny - February 19, 2014

This show is raunchy, emotional, crazy, and hilarious. (more...)


BWW Reviews:  ADELAIDE FRINGE 2014: MY BREASTS AND ME Is a Brilliant Show Filled With Jokes, Songs, And Stories About DD Cups Review BWW Reviews: ADELAIDE FRINGE 2014: MY BREASTS AND ME Is a Brilliant Show Filled With Jokes, Songs, And Stories About DD Cups
by Barry Lenny - February 19, 2014

Palmer's wonderful humour is a mixture of the finest dad jokes and fantastically humorous, breast related observations. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Bayou City Concert Musical's CHEEK TO CHEEK: IRVING BERLIN IN THE 1930s is Spirited Entertainment Review BWW Reviews: Bayou City Concert Musical's CHEEK TO CHEEK: IRVING BERLIN IN THE 1930s is Spirited Entertainment
by David Clarke - February 08, 2014

Just as exciting as the annual summer concert presentation of a more-or-less forgotten hit musical from yesteryear are Bayou City Concert Musicals' fundraising cabaret performances. Kicking off their 2014 season, Paul Hope has programmed an evening of Irving Berlin's hit songs for the 1930s. In this set, titled CHEEK TO CHEEK: IRVING BERLIN IN THE 1930s, there are numerous favorites that left audiences tittering excitedly from the time they took their seats until the program ended. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Versatile, Talented Vocalist Tracy Lynn Olivera Celebrates CD Release at Signature Theatre Review BWW Reviews: Versatile, Talented Vocalist Tracy Lynn Olivera Celebrates CD Release at Signature Theatre
by Jennifer Perry - February 06, 2014

Versatile is one way to describe Ms. Olivera's talent. (more...)


BWW Reviews: JANE MONHEIT & CLINT HOLMES Dazzlingly Deliver the Songs of Frank Wildhorn at Cafe Carlyle Review BWW Reviews: JANE MONHEIT & CLINT HOLMES Dazzlingly Deliver the Songs of Frank Wildhorn at Cafe Carlyle
by Stephen Hanks - January 31, 2014

Before the finale of Tuesday night's Café Carlyle show celebrating the varied compositions of Frank Wildhorn, the Grammy and Tony Award-winning composer quoted his frequent collaborator, lyricist Jack Murphy, as once offering that “Great singers are a songwriter's best friends.” Even though Murphy's thought is hardly original, no words could be more true after listening to the scintillating songstress Jane Monheit and the performing powerhouse Clint Holmes deliver 16 solid songs that but wouldn't exactly be called classic examples of what passes for the late 20th century Great American Songbook. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Singer Nita Whitaker Scores Big with Love 'n Stuff at Sterling's Review BWW Reviews: Singer Nita Whitaker Scores Big with Love 'n Stuff at Sterling's
by Don Grigware - January 28, 2014

On Sunday January 26 divine singer Nita Whitaker brought her brand new show Love 'n Stuff to Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal. Looking positively stunning in a black and white pageant dress accentuated with sequins - she was Miss Louisiana in the Miss America Pageant some years ago - and displaying much more of her oh so glorious range than she has in the past, Whitaker gave an 80 minute knock out performance expertly accompanied on the piano by musical director Nelson Kole and on percussion by Walter Rodriguez. There were also a couple of exciting surprises in store for the packed house. In the audience were celebrity friends actress Jennifer Lewis and the one and only triple threat Ben Vereen, who came onstage and did a couple of unrehearsed but delicious duets with Whitaker. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Chita Rivera: A Legendary Celebration Amazes Audiences Review BWW Reviews: Chita Rivera: A Legendary Celebration Amazes Audiences
by Don Grigware - January 28, 2014

Dynamic talents, such as triple-threat Chita Rivera, rarely give up. They are having too much fun to retire. Passionate, warm, funny and forever loyal to her art, Miss Rivera has always captivated her audiences and is still very much doing so, based on her performance on Saturday January 25 at the Valley Performing Arts Center in Northridge. It was a stroll down memory lane, and a delicious one, as Rivera took the stage in Chita Rivera: A legendary Celebration with 'I've Got a Lot of Living To Do' from Bye Bye Birdie and sang, moved vibrantly with rhythm and grace and told terrific stories about Leonard Benstein, Cy Coleman, and Kander & Ebb, among others. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Joan Ryan Brings Down the House at Feinstein's at the Nikko Review BWW Reviews: Joan Ryan Brings Down the House at Feinstein's at the Nikko
by Linda Hodges - January 26, 2014

Tucked away in a corner of the Nikko Hotel is Feinstein's - a 140 seat, intimate nightclub with cozy banquettes and tables graced with crystal chandeliers and a stage on which the Steinway holds pride of place. As the 8 o'clock hour approached, smartly dressed San Franciscans along with tourists in casual wear made their way into the hotel, the buzz in the air clearly indicating that they were here to enjoy the best that San Francisco had to offer. And tonight that 'best' was powerhouse performer Joan Ryan. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Singer Blake McIver Shows a New Side to his Talent at Don't Tell Mama Review BWW Reviews: Singer Blake McIver Shows a New Side to his Talent at Don't Tell Mama
by Don Grigware - January 20, 2014

On Thursday January 16 Blake McIver showed a whole new side to his musical art when he premiered selections from his new CD at Don't Tell Mama in WeHo. Set for release in February, the CD is pop, R&B based and is a showcase for McIver's own compositions, many of which are quite poignant, some downright depressing, about his struggles in a journey to find his true self, but there is a ray of hope which permeates throughout with melodious strains of sheer ingenuous expression. What is sad doesn't necessarily come across that way, for much of the tempo is upbeat, big and riveting, like an evangelist at a revival meeting out to save your soul at the eleventh hour. You want to clap your hands, stand up and almost join in the celebration of newfound life. (more...)