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BWW Reviews: Magos & Limón Croon to the Soul Review BWW Reviews: Magos & Limón Croon to the Soul
by David Clarke - November 25, 2014

Last week, New York based jazz duo Magos & Limon took the stage at Joe's Pub. Jazz vocalist Magos Herrera hails from Mexico City and has garnered great attention for her singing abilities. Javier Limon, who plays minimalist Flamenco on guitar, is originally from Madrid. Together the duo bridges the gap between their home countries and creates a unique and intriguing sound that lures the audience into the performance and croons to the soul. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Dynamic Dorothy Bishop Welcomes Worshipers to Her Celebrity Shrine at Metropolitan Room Review BWW Reviews: Dynamic Dorothy Bishop Welcomes Worshipers to Her Celebrity Shrine at Metropolitan Room
by Andrew Martin - November 24, 2014

Dorothy Bishop has been called everything in cabaret circles from 'singularly outstanding' to 'proof that women can be drag queens, too.' And she's proven every adjective in between when displaying her talents over the last few seasons with her Dozen Divas Show, at a variety of spaces not just on the mainland but several cruise lines. However, upon a close re-examination of her stupendous talents most recently at Metropolitan Room, this dynamite darling may well have crossed over into utter genius. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Chronicling Her Life's Turning Points In Story and Song, Ann Hampton Callaway Produces Yet Another Stunning Show at 54 Below Review BWW Reviews: Chronicling Her Life's Turning Points In Story and Song, Ann Hampton Callaway Produces Yet Another Stunning Show at 54 Below
by Alix Cohen - November 24, 2014

Last year at this time, Ann Hampton Callaway beamed love from the stage. This November, she's a newlywed. Though the musical life journey she shared last night at the opening of her new 54 Below show, Turning Points, contains a couple of dark numbers, on the whole it's celebratory. Callaway is incandescent. You'll feel it in your bones. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Young Singers Peddie, Dirksen, Block and Lowe Are No Longer Waiting to Join the Shining New Lights of Cabaret Review BWW Reviews: Young Singers Peddie, Dirksen, Block and Lowe Are No Longer Waiting to Join the Shining New Lights of Cabaret
by Billie Roe - November 22, 2014

Every year, despite a litany of warnings they come to the Big Apple with big dreams. Warnings like: “You have to pay your dues.” “It's a tough business, kid.” “How are you going to survive?” There's no such thing as an overnight success, yet still they come to be at “the top of the heap,” as Kander and Ebb so eloquently put it. The four young performers featured here haven't yet vaulted to the top of the cabaret heap, but they've certainly made their marks with excellent shows during 2014, while exhibiting the potential to get there. The spotlight is already shining on Chrysten Peddie, Angela Dirksen, Rembert Block, and Kristoffer Lowe. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Maestro Alex Rybeck and His Talented Friends Weave a Tapestry of His Songbook at 54 Below Review BWW Reviews: Maestro Alex Rybeck and His Talented Friends Weave a Tapestry of His Songbook at 54 Below
by Alix Cohen - November 18, 2014

The multi-faceted musical director/arranger/accompanist/composer Alex Rybeck flexed his talent this past Sunday night, sharing songs of every ilk with an appreciatively packed 54 Below. 'Tonight is proof positive that dreams come true, just not how you imagine. I always thought you had to have a hit song to headline an evening here…' Delivered by many of his celebrated singer friends he's worked with often (including the Callaway Sisters, Liz and Ann), entertaining selections from the writer's canon included bossa nova, ballads, musical theater numbers, pop, comic turns, seasonal songs, and 'Serenade,' a haunting piece of music the author composed for his mother which seemed like portraiture: strong, proud, thoughtful, warm, light. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Kim Grogg Takes Cabaret Crowd 'Where the Love Is' Amidst Casual Elegance at Don't Tell Mama Review BWW Reviews: Kim Grogg Takes Cabaret Crowd 'Where the Love Is' Amidst Casual Elegance at Don't Tell Mama
by Andrew Martin - November 17, 2014

One single most-telling elements of multi-award-nominated cabaret chanteuse Kim Grogg, and her latest show Go Where the Love Is (which makes further appearances at Don't Tell Mama, 343 West 46th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues on Tuesday, November 18th and Friday, December 5th at 7:00 PM, as well as Sunday, December 7th at 5:30 PM), is that she along with band and technical crew manage to create a seamlessly-fine line between casual presentation and sophisticated elegance; this show easily could have taken its place among the acts at the now-legendary downtown clubs Reno Sweeney and The Bottom Line in the 1970s. As if that wasn't enough, Grogg manages to spin a glorious yarn on the hazards of love and dating, and does so with absolutely top-notch song selections. (more...)


BWW Review: For Those Who Say They Want a REVOLUTION, the Political, Passionate, and Patriotic Derow-France Duo Show at the Duplex Is One To See Tonight Review BWW Review: For Those Who Say They Want a REVOLUTION, the Political, Passionate, and Patriotic Derow-France Duo Show at the Duplex Is One To See Tonight
by Billie Roe - November 11, 2014

Based on the promotion of their new duo show, Revolution (a four-show run that ends at the Duplex tonight at 6:30), you might have gotten the impression that Dawn Derow and Kathleen France would be engaging in a zany bit of fluff poking fun at American military politics in a Bob Hope USO Show kinda way. But while there is definitely some frivolity and even some biting satire along the way, the women also convey a serious sense of patriotism and reverence for those who have fought and died in America's many wars. In fact, a portion of the audience cover charge is being donated to the Wounded Warrior Project (www.woundedwarriourproject.org). (more...)


BWW Reviews: Sultry Jazz Singer Lyn Stanley Does Release Party of POTIONS in Style Review BWW Reviews: Sultry Jazz Singer Lyn Stanley Does Release Party of POTIONS in Style
by Don Grigware - November 10, 2014

On Saturday November 8 at Upstairs at Vitello's in Studio City, international jazz vocalist Lyn Stanley presented a CD release party to celebrate her new recording Potions (from the 50s). Onstage with her were sensational musicians tenor-saxophonist Terry Harrington, pianist Mike Lang, bassist Mike Valerio and drummer Joe La Barbera. The 80-minute set was an evening to remember, a jazz lover's dream come true. (more...)


BWW Reviews: 'Man About Cabaret' Eric Michael Gillett Conveys the Essence of Noel Coward in Charming Show at the Laurie Beechman Review BWW Reviews: 'Man About Cabaret' Eric Michael Gillett Conveys the Essence of Noel Coward in Charming Show at the Laurie Beechman
by Billie Roe - November 06, 2014

The expression “Man About Town”--commonly defined as a socially active, sophisticated man devoted to the pursuit of pleasure by frequenting fashionable nightclubs, theaters, and restaurants--might perfectly describe the persona of Sir Noel Coward. Known for his acerbic wit, flamboyance, and savoir-faire, Sir Noel is an icon in theatrical history as a celebrated playwright, composer, director, actor, and singer. Could there be a better subject to explore during an evening of cabaret? In his recent run of five shows at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, Man About Town: The Wit and Wisdom of Noel Coward, veteran singer/actor/director Eric Michael Gillett proved he was more than up to the task of paying tribute to the legendary Coward. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Kritzerland Salutes JERRY HERMAN Review BWW Reviews: Kritzerland Salutes JERRY HERMAN
by Don Grigware - November 04, 2014

On Sunday November 2, Kritzerland presented its 51st show Put on Your Sunday Clothes, The Songs of Jerry Herman at Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal with special guest star Karen Morrow. No surprise that this was an uplifting, thoroughly enjoyable evening of song, for as host Bruce Kimmel stated up front, 'No one brings optimism to Broadway like Jerry Herman.' Fabulous Tom Griep served as musical director at the piano with super songsters David Engel, Valerie Perri, Damon Kirsche, Shannon Warne, Chelsea Emma Franko and 14 year-old Sami Staitman as well as the aforementioned queen of singers Karen Morrow. Singing doesn't get any better than this! (more...)


BWW Reviews: RAIN COLLAZO Sings Like Cabaret Royalty in Her Pulsating PRINCE Tribute Show at Don't Tell Mama Review BWW Reviews: RAIN COLLAZO Sings Like Cabaret Royalty in Her Pulsating PRINCE Tribute Show at Don't Tell Mama
by Billie Roe - November 03, 2014

It was the 1980's. The time of ray bans, head bands, and the start of cable television, where music videos on MTV would skyrocket to stardom future pop icons Madonna, Michael Jackson, and, of course, The Artist Formerly Known as . . . Prince. Celebrated early on for his sexually charged lyrics and for experimentally combining various genres of music (funk, R&B, new wave to pop and pop rock), Prince was and still is a one-man musical revolution. He has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best selling artists of all time. For a cabaret performer to take on Prince's challenging discography is not only ambitious, it's extremely BOLD. It would require a singer to have amazing vocal flexibility and power, smoldering sensuality, and strong emotional connections to the lyrics. Rain Collazo displayed all those qualities--and more--in her performance this past Saturday night at Don't Tell Mama. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Faith Prince Charms Kennedy Center Audience in Solo Cabaret Review BWW Reviews: Faith Prince Charms Kennedy Center Audience in Solo Cabaret
by Jennifer Perry - November 03, 2014

Polished and engaging, this cabaret proved one to remember. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Britain's Barb Jungr Makes Stirring Political Statements Through the Songs of Bob Dylan & Leonard Cohen in Intense, Compelling Show at 59E59 Review BWW Reviews: Britain's Barb Jungr Makes Stirring Political Statements Through the Songs of Bob Dylan & Leonard Cohen in Intense, Compelling Show at 59E59
by Stephen Hanks - November 01, 2014

Any visit by celebrated chanteuse Barb Jungr to a New York cabaret stage or theatre is a cause for jubilation. Slightly less than a year since she rocked 59E59 with her week long run of Dancing In the Dark, Jungr was back on that stage with a new show based on her recently released, highly-acclaimed CD, Hard Rain: The Songs of Bob Dylan & Leonard Cohen. But where Dancing In the Dark was Jungr's introspective take on some classic pop songs (including some Dylan and Cohen), her Hard Rain set is truly dark and Jungr doesn't apologize for that. In fact, often during this collection of songs written by two of pop music's foremost dark poets of the soul (with stirring arrangements by Jungr and her CD Producer Simon Wallace), Jungr readily admits the set is depressing because her intent was to focus on Dylan and Cohen songs that were at once powerful, personal, political, philosophical, and often prophetic. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Well-Strung's POPSSICAL is Astoundingly Vibrant Review BWW Reviews: Well-Strung's POPSSICAL is Astoundingly Vibrant
by David Clarke - October 29, 2014

Well-Strung is impressing audiences with their brilliant mash-ups of classical hits and modern pop standards. Touring their latest show POPSSICAL, Well-Strung visited New York City's 54 BELOW last night and left the assembled audience both awestruck and invigorated. Their pulled from the pages of a magazine looks, winning personalities, wonderful voices, and incredible instrumental skills easily dazzle and delight for their entire set. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Natalie Arneson's MAMA DRAMA is Charming Review BWW Reviews: Natalie Arneson's MAMA DRAMA is Charming
by David Clarke - October 28, 2014

Natalie Arneson and her husband, without securing jobs before landing in the city that never sleeps, packed their bags in the middle of the Great Recession and embarked on the Texas to Empire State journey. The duo came with the soul purpose of allowing Natalie Arneson to chase her dreams and audition for Broadway musicals. Now, in her charming one-woman, solo cabaret, MAMA DRAMA, Natalie Arneson shares her story, her struggles, and her talent. (more...)


BWW Reviews: RICK STARR SCHOLARSHIP CABARET CONCERT a Big Winner Review BWW Reviews: RICK STARR SCHOLARSHIP CABARET CONCERT a Big Winner
by Don Grigware - October 28, 2014

On Sunday October 26, Clifford Bell presented the first Rick Starr Scholarship Fund Benefit Concert, entitled Starr Bucks, at Upstairs at Vitello's in Studio City. The beloved Starr, who passed away about a year ago, worked at Hollywood Sheet Music and served the Los Angeles musical theatre community in a most unusual, endearing way. Not only did he assist singers over the years to find unpublished songs for their various club acts and cabaret performances, but would go out of his way to find material for them depending on their individual preferences...and would call each and every customer on his or her birthday every year, just to wish them a Happy Birthday. A rare and delightful human being! Starr was remembered fondly with anecdotes by the three cabaret stars of the evening Mary Jo Mundy, Todd Murray and Shawn Ryan. Affable virtuoso pianist/singer Michael Sobie served as accompanist/musical director throughout the 90 minute set. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Carole J. Bufford's New Show 'Boulevard of Broken Dreams' Is a One-Night Tour de Force at 54 Below Review BWW Reviews: Carole J. Bufford's New Show 'Boulevard of Broken Dreams' Is a One-Night Tour de Force at 54 Below
by Stephen Hanks - October 26, 2014

Having written extensively about skyrocketing-to-stardom singer Carole J. Bufford over the past three years (a January/February cover story for Cabaret Scenes Magazine, and rave reviews of her past three major show runs (here, here, and here), I felt as if I had exhausted my entire repertoire of descriptive metaphors and superlatives in assessing her stirring cabaret performances. Even though she's still but a babe in cabaret years, and has a long, successful career ahead of her, I wasn't planning to review any more of her shows because, well, there didn't seem to be anything more to say. But, dammit, every time I try to get out, Carole J. Bufford pulls me back in. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Amanda McBroom and George Ball Are Thoroughly Enchanting During Their Enchanted Show at 54 Below Review BWW Reviews: Amanda McBroom and George Ball Are Thoroughly Enchanting During Their Enchanted Show at 54 Below
by Stephen Hanks - October 19, 2014

New York cabaret audiences have for years been blessed with extremely entertaining performing marrieds like John Pizzarelli and Jessica Molasky, Eric Comstock and Barbara Fasano, and Michael Garin and Mardie Millett. But after experiencing the thoroughly enchanting October 8 performance from Amanda McBroom and her husband George Ball at 54 Below (there was a second performance on October 14), it's difficult to imagine a cabaret couple more compelling. In short, the Balls were having a ball and, ultimately, so did their audience. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Singer JOHN LLOYD YOUNG Brings An Evening for Friends to Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal Review BWW Reviews: Singer JOHN LLOYD YOUNG Brings An Evening for Friends to Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal
by Don Grigware - October 15, 2014

Actor/singer John Lloyd Young, best known for his Tony-winning portrayal of Frankie Valli in the original Broadway Jersey Boys and for his performance in the 2014 film, has performed three cabaret concerts at the Cafe Carlisle in New York since 2013. He felt it was high time to bring the act home to California, and so on Monday October 13 and Tuesday October 14, Young, backed by a dynamite five-piece band, presented An Evening for Friends at Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal. It was a sold-out engagement with screaming fans who had flown in from all over the world. It was my first time experiencing the talent of this young artist, and hopefully not my last. If you have never heard his angelic tenor voice that glides smoothly and effortlessly into high-octave falsetto, you are missing a rare treat. He has a one.of.a.kind style that sets him apart from every male singer on the music scene today with a quiet, personable charisma and stellar stage presence that keep you hanging on to every note, every phrase. At the end of the 60-minute set, he left us wanting more; true artist that he is, Young knows when it is time to finish. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Tony Winner Brian Stokes Mitchell Enchants with SIMPLY BROADWAY Concert Review BWW Reviews: Tony Winner Brian Stokes Mitchell Enchants with SIMPLY BROADWAY Concert
by Michael L. Quintos - October 14, 2014

For 90 solid minutes, Tony Award-winning Broadway icon Brian Stokes Mitchell---under the guise of a showtunes-centric cabaret concert themed around his most recent studio album Simply Broadway---provided his enthralled Costa Mesa audience a virtual master class in musical theater performance. Not only did he sing every selection beautifully (as expected), he performed the heck out of each song with electric, palpable passion. Instead of merely parking himself in front of a mic, the seasoned pro of film, television and the Broadway stage chose to actually disappear into each song's character with purposeful yet effortless ease. It's not difficult to be awed by Mitchell. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Rising Star Maxine Linehan Again Displays Her Beautiful Voice Through Beautiful Songs at the Metropolitan Room Review BWW Reviews: Rising Star Maxine Linehan Again Displays Her Beautiful Voice Through Beautiful Songs at the Metropolitan Room
by Stephen Hanks - October 11, 2014

Every year, there are a couple of young performers who seem to skyrocket up the cabaret charts and one of this season's emerging stars is Maxine Linehan. She came to the States from Ireland just a dozen years ago, performed her debut cabaret show in 2006, and then three years later staged a Petula Clark tribute. In the five years since, Linehan acted in Off-Broadway plays and appeared in the national tour of South Pacific, but has spent much of this period raising 4-year-old Rebecca and 21-month old Gabriel with songwriter/musician husband Andrew Koss. But with the help of nightlife impresario Scott Siegel, Linehan is definitely making up for lost time on the cabaret front. This spring, she staged performances of her autobiographical show An American Journey at Terminus Recording Studios for a recent CD release. Now, less than five months later, Linehan is in mid-run of a new show, Beautiful Songs, at the Metropolitan Room. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Kritzerland Releases AND THE WORLD GOES ROUND Review BWW Reviews: Kritzerland Releases AND THE WORLD GOES ROUND
by Don Grigware - October 10, 2014

With the arrival of a two-disc studio recording of the complete Kander & Ebb score of And The World Goes Round from Kritzerland Records, there's reason to shout and sing out loud.Starring powerhouse vocalists Brent Barrett, Jason Graae, Christiane Noll, Kristin Towers-Rowles, Kyra DaCosta and musical director Joshua Eli Kranz, the discs offer more than two hours of simply sensational music. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Migguel Anggelo's Thrills Audiences with BETWEEN DREAMS/ENTRE SUEÑOS Concert Review BWW Reviews: Migguel Anggelo's Thrills Audiences with BETWEEN DREAMS/ENTRE SUEÑOS Concert
by David Clarke - September 25, 2014

In support of his upcoming album, LA CASA AZUL, Migguel Anggelo took the stage at Joe's Pub last night to share his BETWEEN DREAMS/ENTRE SUEÑOS concert with audiences. The Venezuelan-born singer brings boundless energy and larger-than-life, charismatic performances to the stage. In concert, he thrills audiences with his bold voice, winning smile, swiveling hips, and radiant charm. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Valerie Perri Makes Cabaret Debut with David Burnham in TOGETHER AGAIN FOR THE FIRST TIME Review BWW Reviews: Valerie Perri Makes Cabaret Debut with David Burnham in TOGETHER AGAIN FOR THE FIRST TIME
by Don Grigware - September 23, 2014

Actors/singers David Burnham and Valerie Perri were critically acclaimed costars of Musical Theatre West's (MTW) Sunset Boulevard last season, but they have never sung together in cabaret until now. Together Again For the First Time premiered at Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal on Sunday September 21, and with the opening number 'It's a Grand Night for Broadway' to the strains of 'Its a Grand Night for Singing', no finer words could appraise the evening. Accompanied on the piano and at various points in song by superior musical director Mark Vogel the trio knocked it out of the park. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Allison Brush Makes Cabaret Debut at Upstair's at Vitello's Review BWW Reviews: Allison Brush Makes Cabaret Debut at Upstair's at Vitello's
by Don Grigware - September 16, 2014

Actress/lawyer Allison Brush made her very well-received cabaret debut at Upstairs at Vitello's Sunday September 14 with her show entitled For This You Went to Law School? Once an actress/singer, Brush, discouraged by rejection like many, left the profession and studied law, passing the bar exam on her first try. Now after many successful years as a lawyer, in which she claims she was miserable, she is returning to show biz, something she has sorely missed. In fact, participating in weekly sessions of Open Mic at the Gardenia and studying with songstress/master teacher Karen Morrow - law by day and singing at night - singing became her therapy. (more...)


 
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