BWW Reviews: Disney Channel's Reba Buhr a Hit at Sterling's Upstairs at Vitello's
On Sunday evening March 18 petite, lovely Reba Buhrmade her long awaited cabaret debut at Sterling's Upstairs at Vitello's with Will He Like Me? A Loves Story. Miss Buhr was one of the top five runners up of LA's Next Great Stage Star 2011 and is currently the host of Disney 365 on the Disney Channel. She also plays several roles at the Disneyland Resort including Jasmine in Aladdin! A Musical Spectacular.
In her cabaret Buhr traced all the boyfriends she has had at the tender age of 24, including those that got away and broke her heart. She has a cute personality with a quick, sharp mind which enables her to come up with some pretty funny one-line retorts that she threw out quite abundantly during the 50-minute set, skillfully guided by musical director James Lent at the piano. Matthew Ballestero and Liza Baron-Ginsburg were on hand as special guest stars in the program.
Highlights of the evening included: a rousing "I Get a Kick Out of You" from Anything Goes, followed by the sweet, gentle "Will He Like Me?" from She Loves Me. Showing great versatility Buhr shifted gears to perform the gutsy "Get Out and Stay Out" Dolly Parton's ode to female independance from 9 to 5: The Musical. There was also the beautiful "Till There Was You" from The Music Man, and, on the comedic side, "The Text Message Song" and as encore Michael Mitnick's eclectically engaging "Darryl Is a Boy and He Lives in My Closet". Matthew Ballestero - such a wonderful singer - dueted with Buhr on the unexpectedly silly "We're Just Friends" and Ballestero and Liza Baron-Ginsburg joined with her to present the gorgeous "The I Love You Song" from The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.
Buhr is a capable performer with a delightful singing voice and great personality, but like most who are new to cabaret she needs to adapt that charm and intelligence to suit the night club scene. With more experience, she will definitely accomplish this, but for now she continues her work with the Disney Channel, considering herself "so lucky" to be able at this young age to work professionally at what she really loves to do. I wish her all the best!
On an interesting double note, Buhr's marked the 401st performance at Sterling's Upstairs at Vitello's, which opened in June, 2006. This also marks the last performance for Sterling's Upstairs at the Vitello's venue, as Sterling's will open on April 1 in its all new room Sterling's Upstairs at The Federal on Lankershim Blvd in NoHo.