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BWW Reviews: Will Friedwald's CLIP JOINT Has Become One of New York's Most Entertaining Open Secrets Review BWW Reviews: Will Friedwald's CLIP JOINT Has Become One of New York's Most Entertaining Open Secrets
by Alix Cohen - January 31, 2015

This past Thursday night, a group of die-hard music enthusiasts, vocalists, and musicians packed a private home in Chelsea for the latest iteration of Will Friedwald's Clip Joint. The monthly series, which was launched in the summer of 2013 by the Wall Street Journal columnist, night crawler, and music historian who has authored of eight books on music and popular culture, screens highly curated musical performance on film and video with every third session promoted as an “extravaganza,” additionally featuring live performers. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Postmodern Jukebox Entertains in their O.C. Debut Concert Review BWW Reviews: Postmodern Jukebox Entertains in their O.C. Debut Concert
by Michael L. Quintos - January 30, 2015

There is a very good possibility that many of you have seen or heard of the terrific musical collective known as Postmodern Jukebox across one or more of your preferred social media platforms. This group of clever and talented viral-video/YouTube sensations is the brainchild of arranger/pianist/musical genius Scott Bradlee, whose primary objective has been to repurpose contemporary radio hits and infuse them with the vintage sounds that are more likely to be found in your grandfather's old vinyl record collection. The results? Refreshingly educational, absolutely irresistible, and, most important of all, genuinely entertaining. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Celebrating Release of Her New CD, Jazzy Joanne Tatham's Birdland Debut Never Quite Soars Review BWW Reviews: Celebrating Release of Her New CD, Jazzy Joanne Tatham's Birdland Debut Never Quite Soars
by Andrew Martin - January 30, 2015

Cabaret in New York has never suffered from a dearth of impressive jazz-oriented chanteuses. These include such past and present delights as Mary Foster Conklin, Laurie Krauz, Sally Mayes, Janis Siegel, Kat Gang, and the late Claiborne Cary. It is therefore most unfortunate that Birdland, an otherwise-impeccable jazz nightspot, had to suffer the recent show of Joanne Tatham (celebrating the recent release of her CD Out of My Dreams). While Tatham drew a very good house indeed, the lady has very little business referring to what she does as 'jazz.' In fact, it's not even cabaret. What Tatham delivers is really more a sad club act that couldn't even take it's place among the bluest of blues. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Josh Canfield and Reed Kelly Charm with FROM BROADWAY TO SURVIVOR Review BWW Reviews: Josh Canfield and Reed Kelly Charm with FROM BROADWAY TO SURVIVOR
by David Clarke - January 29, 2015

For Canfield and Kelly's From Broadway to Survivor cabaret, the charming couple shared with audiences their New York experiences, love story, and their vibrant talents. This made for a fun night of Broadway showmanship that amused the collected audience. (more...)


BWW CD Reviews: Kimberly Faye Greenberg's FABULOUS FANNY: THE SONGS & STORIES OF FANNY BRICE Channels the Icon Review BWW CD Reviews: Kimberly Faye Greenberg's FABULOUS FANNY: THE SONGS & STORIES OF FANNY BRICE Channels the Icon
by David Clarke - January 28, 2015

Kimberly Faye Greenberg, again playing the legendary Fanny Brice, released FABULOUS FANNY: THE SONGS & STORIES OF FANNY BRICE last summer. With deft skill, she brings Fanny Brice back to life on the recording, allowing modern audiences a chance to enjoy a taste of the woman who inspired the hit musical FUNNY GIRL. (more...)


BWW Reviews: PAMELA LEWIS Brings Interpretive Heat To Super Cool Billy Joel Songbook Tribute at the Metropolitan Room Review BWW Reviews: PAMELA LEWIS Brings Interpretive Heat To Super Cool Billy Joel Songbook Tribute at the Metropolitan Room
by Remy Block - January 26, 2015

Pamela Lewis (a.k.a. Champagne Pam), the 2013 BroadwayWorld New York Cabaret Award winner for "Best Female Vocalist" (for her show Daddy's Little Girl), performed her new solo cabaret show, New York State of Mind: The Songs of Billy Joel, in front of a rowdy, revved-up, packed house at the Metropolitan Room on Friday and Saturday, January 16 and 17. The singer with champagne-colored streaks in her long brown hair, Lewis embodies cool. And hot. She's a brassy chick from Long Island who knows who she is and she wants to party with you. In this show, she celebrates her roots, singing the songs of another Long Islander she grew up loving, first for his tuneful pop melodies and later for his words. It's cool when a woman sings an entire show of songs written by a man, doesn't fear using the "wrong" pronouns, and puts her own spin on them by changing the feel, the tempo, and the arrangements. Pamela Lewis does all that with verve and then some in this show. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Rosemary Loar's 'STING-Chronicity' at the Metropolitan Room Theatrically Reimagines the Songs of a Pop/Rock Icon Review BWW Reviews: Rosemary Loar's 'STING-Chronicity' at the Metropolitan Room Theatrically Reimagines the Songs of a Pop/Rock Icon
by Alix Cohen - January 24, 2015

'I was at the Police Reunion Concert at Madison Square Garden in 2008 and the energy was through the roof,' says vocalist/actress/writer Rosemary Loar at the start of her new show, STING-chronicity, at the Metropolitan Room. 'We were 18,000 strong, each of us challenging ownership of this man's music.' Loar feels special rapport with the oeuvre of Sting (Gordon Sumner, who was Police's lead singer and principal songwriter from 1977-1986, before he launched an incredibly successful solo career) as represented by her earlier show and CD, the celebratory Sting, Stang, Stung (see video of the 2010 show, below). 'We're onto the same zeitgeist,' Loar recently revealed in an interview. 'We're both Catholics and some of his writing is about obsession, guilt and penance.' (more...)


BWW Reviews: SIMPLY SCOTT ALAN  is a Gorgeous Night of Lush Music Review BWW Reviews: SIMPLY SCOTT ALAN is a Gorgeous Night of Lush Music
by David Clarke - January 22, 2015

Musical theater and pop music composer Scott Alan kicked off this week with incredible gusto, retuning to New York City stages after a year and a half. Monday's Simply Scott Alan concert marked the prolific and beloved artist's 54 BELOW debut, and served as a fantastic evening of wondrous music and dazzling performances. The concert was a celebration of some his most cherished tunes and his musical Home. (more...)


BWW Reviews: NITA WHITAKER: ALL THAT MATTERS Sparkles at Sterling's Review BWW Reviews: NITA WHITAKER: ALL THAT MATTERS Sparkles at Sterling's
by Don Grigware - January 20, 2015

On Sunday evening January 18 the beautiful songstress Nita Whitaker brought her inimitable style and warmth to Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal in a new show entitled All That Matters. Backed by musical director Nelson Kole at the piano and a three-piece combo, Whitaker spoke of the value of love and sang about it via a precious collection of songs both old and new. On hand were her two daughters Elyse and Skye LaFontaine, who joined their mother in a few of her original compositions. (more...)


BWW Reviews: What's New? For Sentimental Reasons, Robyn Spangler Delivers Lush Tribute to the Linda Ronstadt-Nelson Riddle Collaboration at the Metropolitan Room Review BWW Reviews: What's New? For Sentimental Reasons, Robyn Spangler Delivers Lush Tribute to the Linda Ronstadt-Nelson Riddle Collaboration at the Metropolitan Room
by Remy Block - January 15, 2015

To borrow an analogy from Robyn Spangler, the Los Angeles-based singer (now spending more time in New York) who brought her show “Riddle, Ronstadt and Me” to the Metropolitan Room on Monday, January 12, a dress may be fine off the rack, but when tailored specifically for a particular body, it can uniquely highlight the physical assets of the woman wearing it. Likewise, the artistry of the musical arrangement comes when it wraps a familiar song around an individual's voice and style ands allow the song to be heard in a fresh, and hopefully, wonderful way. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Ben Hope and The Uptown Outfit Rock The Highline Ballroom Review BWW Reviews: Ben Hope and The Uptown Outfit Rock The Highline Ballroom
by David Clarke - January 14, 2015

The closing cast of Broadway's ONCE assembled at the gorgeous Highline Ballroom for a night of music for Fare-Thee-Well ONCE. To kick the evening off, Ben Hope and his rollicking country band The Uptown Outfit performed music from their upcoming album. Ben Hope and The Uptown Outfit rocked the audience with their twang-coated spirit. (more...)


BWW Reviews: With His 'Eyes Wide Open,' Broadway's CHEYENNE JACKSON Gets His Feet Wet in Cabaret at the Café Carlyle Review BWW Reviews: With His 'Eyes Wide Open,' Broadway's CHEYENNE JACKSON Gets His Feet Wet in Cabaret at the Café Carlyle
by Alix Cohen - January 14, 2015

The extremely personable Cheyenne Jackson landed in Cafe Carlyle last night as if on the moon. A hardscrabble, Ohio childhood and late start in the business explain the artist's astonishment at finding himself in the prestigious nightclub. While Jackson's resume includes leading roles in Broadway musicals such as All Shook Up (2004), Xanadu (2007), Damn Yankees (2008), and Finian's Rainbow (2010), he took the Carlyle stage with only one cabaret appearance under his belt so the genre is as unfamiliar to the vocalist as the venue. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Bridget Everett's Court Jester Cabaret Act at Joe's Pub is Hilarious and Pointedly Provocative Review BWW Reviews: Bridget Everett's Court Jester Cabaret Act at Joe's Pub is Hilarious and Pointedly Provocative
by Remy Block - January 14, 2015

Bridget Everett, performing a reprise of her one-woman cabaret show, Rock Bottom (at Joe's Pub for an limited run), has become the darling of the alt-cabaret scene because she occupies the clown/fool/buffoon space to the hilt, creating a hilarious and cathartic experience for those who can take it. Everett has not met a taboo she does not dare to decimate. (more...)


BWW Reviews: THE SINATRA CENTURY at 54 Below Celebrates 'Old Blue Eyes' with Swinging Flair Review BWW Reviews: THE SINATRA CENTURY at 54 Below Celebrates 'Old Blue Eyes' with Swinging Flair
by Alix Cohen - January 09, 2015

Frances Albert (Frank) Sinatra (1915-1998) was arguably one of the most important vocalists of 20th century. The Hoboken, New Jersey native began as a boy singer with big band leaders Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, became a heartthrob to bobbysoxers, a headliner in nightclubs during their heyday, and was one of the best selling recording artists of all time. Sinatra's illusively relaxed phrasing was as unique as the quality of swing he made popular. This centennial year of his birth will be filled with tributes. 'You beat the rush,' Producer/Writer/Host Scott Siegel quipped from a podium last night during the variety tribute show The Sinatra Century at 54 Below. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Broadway Veteran/Reality-TV Star RACHELLE RAK (and Friends) Takes 54 Below By Storm Review BWW Reviews: Broadway Veteran/Reality-TV Star RACHELLE RAK (and Friends) Takes 54 Below By Storm
by Andrew Martin - January 09, 2015

There's really no other way to describe Rachelle Rak other than calling her 'a living, breathing phenomenon.' Over the years she's become nationally known for her incredible work as an electricity-riddled dancer and singer on Broadway in such shows as Fosse, Cats, and Starlight Express, as well as a recent highly acclaimed turn as Sheila in A Chorus Line at Paper Mill Playhouse. She's also become instantly recognizable by legions of young theatrical hopefuls for her appearances on the reality-TV program Dance Moms and its companion series, Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition. But on top of all that she has completely conquered the world of cabaret with her show Sas With One S, which premiered at 54 Below on the evening of January 4th and will return on January 29th. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Drew Gasparini's KEEPIN' THE PARTY GOING is Electric Entertainment Review BWW Reviews: Drew Gasparini's KEEPIN' THE PARTY GOING is Electric Entertainment
by David Clarke - January 08, 2015

In a market dominated largely by living legends, the young and up-and-coming composers musical theatre have a hard time breaking into the scene. However, that's not keeping Drew Gasparini from sharing his music wherever and whenever he can. Gasparini invited fans and newcomers to his ongoing party with KEEPIN' THE PARTY GOING at 54 BELOW on Monday, January 5, 2015. (more...)


BWW Reviews: A ROCKIN' MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM is High Energy Fun Review BWW Reviews: A ROCKIN' MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM is High Energy Fun
by David Clarke - January 06, 2015

Last August, the 12.14 Foundation premiered Michael Unger and Eric Svejcar's A ROCKIN' Midsummer Night's Dream. This week, the new musical comes to New York City at 54 BELOW. With a ton of energy and some serious vocal talent, the kids involved with the 12.14 Foundation and the Broadway vetted adults bring fabulous new life to William Shakespeare's classic tale of love and fairy mischief. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Mary Testa and Michael Starobin's HAVE FAITH is Eccentric, Intellectual, and Wondrously Stimulating Review BWW Reviews: Mary Testa and Michael Starobin's HAVE FAITH is Eccentric, Intellectual, and Wondrously Stimulating
by David Clarke - January 05, 2015

Last night, I attended the thrilling opening performance of Have Faith. Entering the quaint venue, I was fairly positive that a live performance of the album would be just as electrifying, if not more so, than the recorded tracks, and I'm ecstatic to report that Mary Testa, Michael Starobin, and cellist Alisa Horn absolutely exceeded my expectations and blew me away with their superb performances. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Britain's BARB JUNGR Galvanizes 54 Below With Eclectic Set Ranging from Jacques Brel to the Bee Gees Review BWW Reviews: Britain's BARB JUNGR Galvanizes 54 Below With Eclectic Set Ranging from Jacques Brel to the Bee Gees
by Alix Cohen - January 03, 2015

"Mad About the Boy?!" The rabble-rousing thespian with get down dance moves, and elastic, back-trilled voice is going to sing Noel Coward? At 54 Below? Mea Culpa. Britain's Barb Jungr performs one of the most truthful renditions of the song perhaps any Coward purist has heard. Sure, it's prefaced by a sharp comic turn on aging, but the moment Jungr begins to confess, she's proud, eager, and though gimlet-eyed, ready to risk it all. " . . . Misery and joy, misery and joy, misery and joy," she repeats weighing probabilities in one hand, then the other. A muted, wah-wah scat sustains focus in tandem with Tracy Stark's age inappropriate, sashaying piano. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Jane Lynch Performs with Subversive Glee at the Eccles Center Review BWW Reviews: Jane Lynch Performs with Subversive Glee at the Eccles Center
by Tyler Hinton - January 02, 2015

Jane Lynch's New Year's Eve cabaret show at the Eccles Center, presented by the Park City Institute, was entertaining, subversive fun. (more...)


BWW Reviews: SANDRA BERNHARD Is Not Only #Blessed, But She's Also Authentic, Riveting, and Hilarious at Joe's Pub Review BWW Reviews: SANDRA BERNHARD Is Not Only #Blessed, But She's Also Authentic, Riveting, and Hilarious at Joe's Pub
by Remy Block - December 28, 2014

Life is fragile and that's the f***ing way it is. So states Sandra Bernhard in her new one-woman show, Sandra Bernhard is #blessed, playing two shows a night this week at Joe's Pub (culminating in a set on New Year's Eve). Her end-of-the-year residency-a tradition for the past several years now-is this always-intriguing comic performer's opportunity to reflect on the past year, and offer us her unique perception of reality. And if you like your reality served straight up with a twist, as I do, this is a show for you. (more...)


BWW Reviews: MEG FLATHER's Charming and Folksy Menu of Classic Pop Songs Mixed With Lovely Originals is Deliciously 'Anti-Cabaret' at Don't Tell Mama Review BWW Reviews: MEG FLATHER's Charming and Folksy Menu of Classic Pop Songs Mixed With Lovely Originals is Deliciously 'Anti-Cabaret' at Don't Tell Mama
by Remy Block - December 28, 2014

Remember the anti-folk scene, born in the mid-1980s, when songwriters with guitars took the stage at little clubs and sang songs that at first seemed like folk songs, but actually turned folk on it's head, trading trademark earnestness for darker, more ironic tales? Thus was created a new direction in acoustic songwriting, giving rise to such talented acts as Bongwater and Regina Spektor. I mention this because I think I may have recently witnessed the beginning of a nascent anti-cabaret movement at Don't Tell Mama with Meg Flather's new show, Meg and John. (more...)


BWW Reviews: CORTES ALEXANDER Returns to Sterling's with a Bag Full of Surprises for a SWELL NOEL Review BWW Reviews: CORTES ALEXANDER Returns to Sterling's with a Bag Full of Surprises for a SWELL NOEL
by Don Grigware - December 24, 2014

On Monday December 22 the terribly amusing song stylist Cortes Alexander presented his annual Swell Noel to an uber packed house at Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal. Alexander has such frenetic energy and charm that, and I've said this before, you just want to wrap him up. What a joyous Christmas present...and with his two glorious backup singers, the Swell Girls Melissa Bailey and Julie Gar (more...)


BWW Reviews: LIZ CALLAWAY Celebrates the Holiday Season with Warm, Spirited, and Infectiously Uplifting Show at 54 Below Review BWW Reviews: LIZ CALLAWAY Celebrates the Holiday Season with Warm, Spirited, and Infectiously Uplifting Show at 54 Below
by Alix Cohen - December 23, 2014

Tony Award nominee and Emmy Award-winning actress Liz Callaway's latest offering at 54 Below, Celebrate!, will send you into the cold night feeling better about everything. Callaway celebrates the holidays, family, and personal milestones with Disney-like buoyancy that never becomes cloying. Hallmarks of natural stage authority, vibrant vocal clarity and theatrical investment in lyrics can be counted on with this empathetic artist. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Janine Gilbert Carter Smoothly Mixes Jazz, Blues, and Gospel Vocal Styles In Solid Performance at the Metropolitan Room Review BWW Reviews: Janine Gilbert Carter Smoothly Mixes Jazz, Blues, and Gospel Vocal Styles In Solid Performance at the Metropolitan Room
by Alix Cohen - December 22, 2014

Janine Gilbert Carter and her estimable trio personify classical traditions. Jazz, Blues, and Gospel are handled with ease and authority. Nothing gets insistently loud, experimentally unmelodic, or lyrically updated. Musicians take solos in turn. Embellishment is deft, textural, and, in my opinion, thankfully within the mood parameters of each song. There's appeal in familiarity when backed by solid talent. This is head-bobbing, shoulder-swaying entertainment. (more...)