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Alix Cohen - Page 3

Alix Cohen

Alix Cohen’s writing began with poetry, segued into lyrics then took a commercial detour. She now authors pieces about culture/the arts including reviews and features. A diehard proponent of cabaret, she’s also a theater aficionado; a voting member of Drama Desk, of The Drama League and of The NY Press Club in addition to MAC. Currently Alix additionally writes for Cabaret Scenes, Theater Pizzazz, and Woman Around Town. Pieces have also been published by The New York Post, The National Observer’s Playground Magazine, and Pasadena Magazine. Alix is the recipient of six New York Press Club Awards.



BWW Review: Ageless Chanteuse Liliane Montevecchi Defines Joie de Vivre With Valentine's Show at Feinstein's/54 Below
February 12, 2016

The indomitable Liliane Montevecchi revived her 25-year-old cabaret show Thursday night at Feinstein's/54 Below with verve, style, and the expansive flirting of a lifelong femme fatale. This time it's aptly titled Be My Valentine. Few can ad lib with so much beguiling heat. As the Cliff Notes of her extraordinary life are now familiar to most fans, this audience is here to experience the infectious joy of live performance.

BWW Review: As Dynamic As Ever, BEN VEREEN Again Lights Up Feinstein's/54 Below With Unabashed Optimism
January 27, 2016

Attending a Ben Vereen show these days is like worshipping at the altar of Happy. As he displayed once again on Monday's opening night of his latest run at Feinstein's/ 54 Below, the veteran entertainer exudes palpable pleasure at being on stage while repeatedly expressing gratitude to his audience. Performance is deeply sincere. Vereen seems possessed by spirit. When not singing, eyes often closed, his body echoes the sinuous (Bob Fosse) movement that helped established his early reputation.

BWW Review: Veteran Jazz Vocalist Mary Foster Conklin's New CD PHOTOGRAPHS Offers Her Interpretive Stamp On Classic Songs
January 23, 2016

With her new CD release Photographs, veteran New York jazz and cabaret singer Mary Foster Conklin puts her own stamp on the material, which is part interpretation and part the limited range of her often smoky alto. Accompanying musicians—led by John diMartino on piano--are top notch with especially deft use of brass.

BWW Review: Molly Ryan's 'Cheeky' Tribute to Mae West Is a Frisky Revelation at the Metropolitan Room
January 16, 2016

How much do most of us know about Brooklyn's own Mary Jane 'Mae' West (1893-1980) other than that she was an iconic sex symbol who had a wicked sense of humor? It's common knowledge she acted and sang, but are you aware she was a playwright and screenwriter? Did you know she didn't make her first film until the age of 39 and never drank alcohol? Jazz vocalist Molly Ryan has done her homework, presenting a smart, multifaceted woman who was, outside her carefully constructed persona, "the epitome of modesty." Though narrative needs to be edited, her show Come Up and See Me Sometime at the Metropolitan Room (which completed a three-show run this past Wednesday night) is an excellent mix of history and anecdote making a case for increased appreciation of the subject.

BWW Review: Karen Oberlin Presents Captivating Revival Of Frank Loesser Tribute Show As One Of 'Cabaret's Greatest Hits' at Metropolitan Room
January 15, 2016

Karen Oberlin's original performance of Heart & Soul: The Songs of Frank Loesser in 2010 (Loesser's Centennial celebration year) at The Algonquin Hotel's legendary Oak Room earned her a MAC Award nomination for “Best Major Artist” (as well as an award for the Live CD) and sterling reviews. Hence, the show's inclusion in Producer Stephen Hanks' monthly Metropolitan Room series, New York Cabaret's Greatest Hits (which launched last August and runs through 2016). Oberlin's captivating performance Wednesday evening showcased not only her acknowledged prowess with plumy ballads, but also her flair for comedy and an aptitude that handles nuanced jazz with seamless transitions. The vocalist was joined by her original collaborators, Musical Director Jon Weber on piano and Sean Smith on bass, while the show was directed by the piece's original helmsman, Eric Michael Gillett.

BWW Review: Feinstein's/54 Below Ebulliently Sings Cole Porter's KISS ME KATE
January 10, 2016

Thursday night at Feinstein's/54 Below, Scott Siegel--the busiest cabaret show producer in town--hosted a tribute to Cole Porter's classic musical, Kiss Me Kate, as part of the 2015 BroadwayWorld Award-nominated 54 Below Sings . . . series. With Siegel at the lectern filling in plot, Musical Director Ross Patterson on piano, and contributions by The Broadway By the Year Chorus, the evening was vivacious and fun.

BWW Review: KAT GANG and Her Jazz Trio Bring Classy Cool To The Plaza
December 31, 2015

Lo and behold, The Plaza Hotel once again has music. Located up a flight of stairs where once the legendary Persian Room stood, The Rose Club is a comfortable two tiered bar and lounge with a varied menu and specialty cocktails. Service is excellent. This all but unknown refuge is a good place to meet for a drink or snack and decompress in pleasant, upscale surroundings. Wednesday nights, the excellent Kat Gang and her trio--Matthew Fries on keyboard, Phil Palombi on bass, Tim Bulkley on drums--hold forth during three sets from 8:30-11:30 pm. Though drinks are hotel priced, there is NO cover making this good value.

BWW Review: Marlene VerPlanck Returns To Jazz at Kitano With Charm and Seasoned Skill
December 28, 2015

Marlene VerPlanck always makes one feel as the gathering's in her own living room. On the night after Christmas, with expert colleagues Jon Weber (piano) and Jay Leonhart (bass), the vocalist offers a mix of classic and new material at the intimate Jazz at Kitano. VerPlanck, who released her first album in 1955 when she was just 21 and sang with the Tommy Dorsey band, continues to put her own subtle stamp on phrasing without disrespecting melody or lyric. She swings without stress and communicates without acting.

BWW Review: NORM LEWIS' Swingin' Christmas Show Strives For Hominess At Feinstein's 54 Below
December 23, 2015

With a song list comprised partially of holiday numbers, partially of high points in his Broadway career having nothing to do with Christmas, and partially of--I don't know, how would you categorize “Fever” in this context?--Norm Lewis is making his debut at Feinstein's/54 Below this week (9:30 shows continue tonight and tomorrow night) in a show called 'Norm Lewis Wishes You a Swingin' Christmas,' directed by veteran Broadway actor/singer/dancer Richard Jay-Alexander.

BWW Review: In Terrific and Festive Show, MICHAEL FEINSTEIN Is Better Than Ever At The Club Now Bearing His Name
December 22, 2015

Thirty years ago, championed by Liza Minnelli (Ira Gershwin's goddaughter), young Michael Feinstein debuted at the iconic Oak Room of The Algonquin Hotel. I was there, having been escorted by an older, more sophisticated friend. As I recall, Feinstein was alone at the piano; thoroughly engaging, telling stories of his time as Ira Gershwin's assistant, even then, peppering the show with lesser-known songs. This past Sunday, this standard bearer of The American Songbook began a run (through December 30) in partnership with the New York club now bearing his name, Feinstein's/54 Below (“The only place I have to sleep with myself to get the job,” he quipped). Though he's performed in the city since the 2012 closing of his room at Loew's Regency Hotel, the artist no longer had a place to call home in New York. This has happily been rectified.

BWW Review: Whether Jazzy or Bluesy, Catherine Russell & Her Sextet Offer Audiences Enthralling Performances of Iconic Music at Birdland
December 16, 2015

“If they wrote'm like that today,” Catherine Russell sighs after a particularly saucy number during her show last night at Birdland, “I wouldn't have to go back 90 years.” A Russell show is like actually being there then--primarily from the early 1900s through the 1940s. Which is not to say the artist sacrifices her own, original phrasing for imitation, but rather that feelings evoked by stylish arrangements and spot-on attitude transport us. She offers her audiences vivid authenticity, musical backbone.

BWW Review: Tribute to The Muppets Master Jim Henson at Urban Stages Is Again Charming But Suffers From Inconsistent Performances
December 12, 2015

Last year during their annual Winter Rhythms Festival, Urban Stages presented a Jim Henson tribute show called The Lovers, The Dreamers, and Jim, and decided to bring it back again this season (presented last night) by "popular demand." Conceived, hosted, and authored by besotted fan, actor/singer Adam B. Shapiro, the well written, if top heavy script, takes us from the origins of Sesame Street, The Muppets, and Fraggle Rock through Henson's fantasy film work. Movie clips and stills refresh sentimental memories as a cavalcade of exceptional songs are performed.

BWW Review: Barbara Fasano Is Busy Being Glorious During Show Celebrating Her New CD Release at Birdland
December 12, 2015

Birdland was abuzz this past Thursday night in celebration of Barbara Fasano's fresh-off-the-press CD, Busy Being Free. Industry types table-hopped among civilians--they know a good thing when they hear it--as anticipation swelled. Gift wrapped in tapestry blue, Fasano was accompanied by three of the six excellent musicians on her recording: Musical Director/Pianist/Arranger John di Martino, with Boris Koslov on bass, and Vince Cherico on drums.

BWW Review: Urban Stages Winter Rhythms Show Celebrating Famous Duets Is Widely Varied and Entertaining
December 7, 2015

Described as “An Afternoon of Famous Duets,” Saturday's Urban Stages Winter Rhythms presentation (Day Four of the 11-day, 20-show festival) was unexpectedly sweeping in its approach, covering duos that sang pop, folk, jazz, Great American Songbook, and musical theater tunes. With veteran cabaret singer Sue Matsuki serving as producer and host, and Musical Director Gregory Toroian on piano, the show encompassed both the predictable and the surprising and was a genuine pleasure.

BWW Review: Ann Hampton Callaway Gracefully Celebrates Fellow Female Songwriters in Her Annual Thanksgiving Week Show at Feinstein's/54 Below
November 24, 2015

Ann Hampton Callaway's new Thanksgiving week show at Feinstein's/54 Below (what has become an annual holiday appearance), Feminine Persuasion, celebrates women songwriters who excel at the craft, one of the few creative sectors where men have not held them back. Covering the waterfront, her selection includes, in part, Peggy Lee, whom she calls “the first singer/songwriter” (perhaps the first highly visible and successful one), Carolyn Lee “a secretary who didn't know how to take dictation,” “optimistic” Dorothy Fields--the first woman to win an Oscar for a song--and baby boomers Carole King and Joni Mitchell, and current pop star, Adele. “These women were/are trailblazers who broke through with their own voices.”

BWW Review: Conjuring Cabaret's Heyday, Andrea Marcovicci Warmly Shares Some of Her Favorite Songs at Feinstein's/54 Below
November 21, 2015

These are timeless: Manners, elegance, wit, sincerity, lively intelligence; the ability to make it feel as if a vocalist inhabits a lyric, and as if she/he sees and is singing to you. Andrea Marcovicci, who brightened the heyday of stylish cabaret, remains undiminished in these qualities. Those who shone when the city was filled with sophisticated boites/clubs, and all fine hotels had cabaret rooms, tend to make the rest of the world look shabbier today.

BWW Review: Steve Ross and His Orchestra Bring Stylish RHYTHM AND ROMANCE to Birdland and Steal Hearts
November 18, 2015

Attending a Steve Ross show is often akin to time travel. The audience is transported back to eras when urbanity and dash were watchwords, when interpretation meant being as true to the period as the meaning of lyrics. The classy Mr. Ross, known primarily for iconoclastic solo performance, appeared at Birdland Monday night with a zealous 11-piece band helmed by long time confederate Brian Cassier. The joint was jumpin'.

BWW Review: Barb Jungr & John McDaniel 'Come Together' To Perform Iconic Beatles Songs With Eloquence, Sincerity, and Freshness at Feinstein's/54 Below
October 29, 2015

Barb Jungr has us in the first 60 seconds, literally reaching out, locking eyes with her audience as she agitates across the stage at Feinstein's/54 Below. Locomotion seems organic, spontaneous. The arm without the microphone shoots up because it must; fingers snap, hips shift--it's a Frug! I was alone, I took a ride, I didn't know what I would find there . . . we're caught in a story, in the intensity of the artist's complete focus. Suddenly one realizes the number is familiar--it's “Got To Get You Into My Life,” the first of an evening's worth of iconic Beatles songs (in a show called Come Together) on which many of us cut our teeth, part of the very fiber of a collective past.

BWW Review: Married Broadway Stars Jarrod Spector & Kelli Barrett Rock the Roof Off Feinstein's/54 Below with Celebration of MUSIC's GREATEST MARRIAGES
October 22, 2015

The first thought one has when powerhouse performers Jarrod Spector and Kelli Barrett unleash their voices is that they should be married. Style, control, and range are unusually balanced for a duet show; the artists feel palpably simpatico. They even look like a “set.” In fact, still flush with romance, Spector and Barrett are coming up on their first anniversary. The married duo performed a clever idea for an evening of song, This is Dedicated: Music's Greatest Marriages,that opened Tuesday night for a four-show run at Feinstein's/54 Below.

BWW Review: The Mabel Mercer Foundation's 26th Annual Cabaret Convention Comes Home to Town Hall, Night Four, October 16
October 17, 2015

The final night of this year's estimable Cabaret Convention, What I Did for Love/Taking a Chance on Love, hosted by Klea Blackhurst, saluted composer/songwriter Vernon Duke in Act I and composer/conductor Marvin Hamlisch during Act II. It was a curious pairing, indeed.