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Alix Cohen - Page 4

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.




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LAST 365 DAYS

BWW Review: The Mabel Mercer Foundation's 26th Annual Cabaret Convention Comes Home to Town Hall, Night Three, October 15
October 17, 2015

For the third night of this year's Cabaret Convention at Town Hall, the uber-enthusiastic Karen Mason hosted Life Is a Cabaret (Directed by Barry Kleinbort) in celebration of long time collaborators, composer John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb. Introduced to each other by their mutual music publisher in 1962, the team's first Broadway show was 1965's Flora the Red Menace in which Liza Minnelli made her Broadway debut and with which the three began a long association. Their last together (Kander is alive and hopefully writing), was 2015's The Visit starring Chita Rivera, a production Ebb (who died in 2004) unfortunately didn't live to see. Kander and Ebb's best known musicals are Cabaret and Chicago, both of which seem to run forever on popular appeal, but they wrote many others, a wide selection of which were represented at Thursday night's show.

BWW Review: The Mabel Mercer Foundation's 26th Annual Cabaret Convention Comes Home to Town Hall, Night Two, October 14
October 17, 2015

On the second night of this year's 26th Annual Cabaret Convention, Jeff Harnar and Andrea Marcovicci hosted A Sentimental Journey: World War II Songs, inspired by Marcovicci's memorable Oak Room at The Algonquin show, I'll Be Seeing You--Love Songs of World War II. (The CD is highly recommended.) As always with this pair's Convention contribution, the show was a treat in part because of its singular glamour. Much of our audience was exceptionally familiar with and nostalgic about these songs. A few had to be politely quieted for singing along, more than a few took each other's hands. It seems I've heard that song before . . . the co-hosts begin, warming the room.

BWW Review: The Mabel Mercer Foundation's 26th Annual Cabaret Convention Comes Home to Town Hall, Opening Night, October 13
October 17, 2015

In October 1989, four years after he founded The Mable Mercer Foundation, cabaret publicist and promoter Donald Smith launched the first Cabaret Convention at New York's Town Hall. The now four-day event eventually moved to Lincoln Center's Rose Hall, but due to renovations this year at the more uptown revue, this year's 26th Annual Convention was back at its old West 43rd Street stomping grounds. Since Donald Smith died in March 2012, the Mercer Foundation's Artistic Director and de-facto Convention Producer has been cabaret star KT Sullivan, and for Monday night's opening show she greeted the audience, in measured tempo, with the infectious enthusiasm of Cole Porter (“Another Opening, Another Show”) and Irving Berlin (“There's No Business Like Show Business”). Sullivan provided an effective, entertaining onramp to an evening that featured experienced American and European artists from cabaret and theater and relative cabaret newbies who've recently made a mark on the scene.

BWW Review: In New Don't Tell Mama Show, Lennie Watts' SHAMELESS Auditioning For Musical Theater Roles Is Solid But Doesn't Completely Score
October 14, 2015

Monday night was the third performance of a four-show Don't Tell Mama run of Watts' new show Shameless (the next one is on 10/19), directed by Richard Sabellico, who hired Watts for his first theater role after seeing him perform in cabaret. How, I wondered, would Lennie Watts follow his ballsy, 2013 MAC award-winning show, Bloody Bloody Lennie Watts!? Apparently by offering another rambunctious, personal evening, this one straddling the worlds of cabaret and theater. Self-described as "the most shameless, self aggrandizing show cabaret has ever seen" (a moot point) and "an extended audition" (not moot), the piece is custom tailored and beautifully put together, but ultimately achieves mixed results. 

BWW Review: UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL With the Quietly Dazzling Amanda McBroom at Feinstein's/54 Below
October 2, 2015

Writer/vocalist Amanda McBroom is something of a wonder. The artist manages to be both lyrical and plain spoken, urbane and universal, polished and genuine, vulnerable and gutsy. Her sharply etched songs illuminate our hearts and minds like artful x-ray. Performance is intimate. McBroom's current show at Feinstein's/54 Below, Up Close and Personal, treats us to material exhumed in an attempt to apply feng shui to her music studio; some rarely heard, a few with the ink barely dry, and a familiar anthem.

BWW Review: In Birdland Return, Anita Gillette's Songs & Anecdotes Are Charming & Delightful in SO, AS I WAS SAYING . . .
September 30, 2015

Ninety percent of the way into her ebullient show last night at Birdland, So, As I Was Saying, Anita Gillette quotes a 1977 review of her performance in Neil Simon's Chapter Two that stated the warmth she exudes could melt glaciers. (The artist wasn't bragging, but was referring to her then difficulty in finding any glaciers, i.e., men to melt.) The description applies today. A packed audience comprised both of devoted civilian fans and theatrical luminaries cheered on the latest iteration of Gillette's dramatized life. Once again directed by Barry Kleinbort with musically directed by Paul Greenwood (who also appealingly sings duets), with Ritt Henn on bass and John Redsecker on drums, the show is as sincere and bubbly as the lady herself.

BWW Review: The Revelatory Cy Walter Centennial Celebration Is Immensely Entertaining at The Cutting Room
September 29, 2015

Sunday night, Mark Walter topped off a year of Herculean accomplishment in preserving his father's legacy with a concert at the Cutting Room that went off like fireworks. Somewhere, composer /lyricist/arranger/pianist Cy Walter (right in Lloyd Diaz photo), was beaming. In 2015, Mark completed his father's discography filed with The Library of Congress, created a spanking new website, established The Cy Walter Foundation, and put out a two CD package of pre-1950's music with Harbinger Records. The Sunday concert, with expert Musical Direction by the inimitable Tedd Firth, was an opportunity not only to salute a multifaceted talent, but also for many, including Mark (photo below left), to hear songs that haven't been performed for 60 or 70 years.

BWW Review: 2014 MetroStar Winner Kristoffer Lowe Offers a Wowza Musical Exploration Of Composer Harry Warren at Metropolitan Room
September 24, 2015

Actor/vocalist Kristoffer Lowe has recently racked up an impressive array of awards, including the Metropolitan Room's 2014 MetroStar, the 2015 Bistro Award for Special Achievement, and the 2015 Male Debut MAC Award for his 2014 show, Waiting For the Light to Shine. Even after such kudos, however, he's been flying somewhat under the radar. His new show, You're Getting to Be a Habit With Me, which opened at the Metropolitan Room Tuesday night (a four-show run was his reward for winning the MetroStar), spotlighted the songs of composer Harry Warren, who was often called "the invisible man." With his stellar performance, Lowe should by all rights achieve his own well-deserved notoriety. The beautifully put together show displays versatile interpretive gifts, emotional translucence, and well-calibrated vocals.

BWW Review: Brian Stokes Mitchell's Café Carlyle Debut is a Treat for the Ear, Eye and Heart
September 16, 2015

What qualities define a leading man? Charisma, soul-searching masculinity, and a deep, lustrous voice--once upon a time, we had entertainers who possessed them all. With his Cafe Carlyle debut show that opened last night, Plays With Music--following his Tony-Award winning Broadway performances, 12 years on the road in concert, a couple of recent, all too brief New York theatrical turns, and television work--Brian Stokes Mitchell proves that few such leading men exist. Soon it may be like finding unicorns.

BWW Review: Ann Hampton Callaway Sings the Lyrics of William Schermerhorn on New Christmas CD
September 3, 2015

The collaboration between Ann Hampton Callaway and lyricist William Schermerhorn on the new holiday season CD called The Hope of Christmas is, alas, unsuccessful. Though Schermerhorn's lyrics can be pleasing, some worthy of considerable play, the over-produced collection burdens them with music that evokes not a moment of holiday feeling. There's swing, mute-horn jazz, samba, and a bit of New Orleans. Melodies are neither light, nor spiritual or celebratory.

BWW Review: Mark Nadler Launches New York Cabaret's Greatest Hits Series at Metropolitan Room In Tempestuous, Hilarious, Whip-Smart Style
August 29, 2015

Back in January, BroadwayWorld's lead cabaret reviewer Stephen Hanks announced he was giving up critiquing shows to start his own company, Cabaret Life Productions, through which he would publicize, promote, and help book cabaret performers, and also produce cabaret shows. Hanks' first major production out of the box is a monthly series at the Metropolitan Room called New York Cabaret's Greatest Hits, that features talented artists recreating award-winning or highly-praised shows we wish we'd seen--a really good idea. Hanks' series launched Wednesday night with Mark Nadler's award-winning 2003 show Tschaikowsky (And Other Russians). The Metropolitan Room was filled to the gills and abuzz with anticipation, as most of the audience was only familiar with the show's second-hand praise and/or the CD version of Nadler's performance.

BWW Review: Swinging Catherine Russell is Sultry and Sublime at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola
August 15, 2015

Catherine Russell levels the playing field. With a connoisseur's passion for primarily 1930s-40s music, preternatural comprehension, and protean musical talent, this artist personifies the enduring relevance of vintage numbers with a freshness that makes the material feel immediate. Russell is never less than fully committed and infectiously entertaining. Thursday night at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola (Jazz at Lincoln Center), with city lights twinkling as a backdrop, she and her blue-chip band (Music Director Matt Munisteri on guitar; Mark Shane on piano, Mark McLean on percussion, and Tal Ronan on bass) played Russell's show Sultry Summer Swing to two sold-out houses of faithful and burgeoning fans.

BWW Reviews: With Rhythmic Enthusiasm, NINA HENNESSEY & RAY MARCHICA Host Jazzy Set at Birdland
August 3, 2015

With new Sunday evening Jazz Party host Carole J. Bufford performing elsewhere last night, the Birdland Jazz Club recruited drummer Ray Marchica and his vocalist wife Nina Hennessy (right), who rounded up some of their talented friends for an evening of vocal and instrumental jazz, new compositions, and golden standards. Marchica's band featured Sean Harkness on guitar, Tom Hubbard on bass, and Bob Quaranta on piano. Special guests included vocalist Marissa Mulder and composer/pianist Ian Herman.

BWW Reviews: Stellar LIZ CALLAWAY Shares and Soars with Ease at Metropolitan Room
July 29, 2015

Liz Callaway's For the Record show last night at The Metropolitan Room was literally the live recording of songs in preparation for her upcoming autumn CD release, The Essential Liz Callaway, 'and another recording I have up my sleeve later.' Except for a pause between numbers, choices with seemingly little cohesive rhyme or reason were so fluently bridged by amiable, explanatory patter one might've thought this was a thematic show. The eminently likeable performer made us feel we were in her living room, while never letting down professional standards.

BWW Reviews: With His Smooth, Swinging Style, MARCUS GOLDHABER Is a Resonant Delight at 54 Below
July 27, 2015

Marcus Goldhaber wears his mantle lightly. Emulating such as Chet Baker, Hoagy Carmichael, and Fred Astaire—those artists who most often sounded nonchalant, yet polished-- the vocalist offers pared down (not simplistic) interpretations of American Songbook/jazz numbers with emotional translucence, as well as authoring his own fine contributions to the oeuvre. I dare you to distinguish those from songs originating in the 1940s and 1950s. With Free and Easy: Livin' on Swing Street at 54 Below (July 25), Goldhaber takes us on a personal walking tour of musical influence. Material is varied yet sustains a distinct style. The vocalist is unhurried (even when up-tempo), mindful of lyrics, and elegantly restrained. He seems comfortable on stage and refreshingly sincere.

BWW Reviews: STACEY KENT Infuses Birdland With Sublime Sambas and Bossa Novas
July 23, 2015

Watching Stacey Kent perform Portuguese music with her producer, writer, arranger, and saxophonist Jim Tomlinson (who also happens to be her husband), and her band has got to be the next best thing to actually being in Brazil. As she exhibited last night at Birdland for two shows, Kent gets this genre perhaps better than any other contemporary American performer. She performs with palpable sensitivity and infectious joie de viere. Translated songs or those written by Tomlinson with such collaborators as author Kazu Ishiguro and poet Antonio Ladeira are phrased with deep romanticism and offered with refreshingly unfussy brio.

BWW Reviews: Revue Celebrating the Austin Cabaret Theatre at 54 Below is a Crazy Quilt of Performers in Mixed Bag of a Show
July 17, 2015

Stuart Moulton's Austin (Texas) Cabaret Theatre (may it thrive and prosper) turned 15 in tandem with his own 50th birthday. In celebration on Wednesday night, the Theatre's Artistic Director (also a performer himself) invited alumni and hopefuls to strut their stuff on the stage of 54 Below. The result was a wildly mixed bag of a show--featuring a few great vocalists and infectiously enthusiastic wannabes--which ran so exhaustively long that Moultan was able to change his clothes twice.

BWW Reviews: KT SULLIVAN and JEFF HARNAR Are Beguiling and Theatrical In Their Second Sondheim Songbook Show at the Laurie Beechman
July 17, 2015

I could tell you that KT Sullivan and Jeff Harnar have done it again, but the truth is that they've done it even better. Their first foray into the Stephen Sondheim songbook last summer, Our Time, consisted of she sings, he sings--each watching the other perform then offering duets. This iteration titled Another Hundred People: Sullivan and Harnar Sing Sondheim—Act II (both at the Laurie Beechman Theatre), beautifully directed by Sondra Lee, considers both characters theatrically, not just vocally, but visually.

BWW Reviews: REBEKAH LOWIN Displays Her Talented New Voice In Uneven Eva Cassidy Tribute at Metropolitan Room
July 10, 2015

Rebekah Lowin is a pretty, personable young woman with a voice that, at its best, can be ethereal. A recent Columbia University grad, Lowin first made an impression on cabaret audiences in October 2013 with an appearance at the Cabaret Convention and a show at 54 Below. Her new offering at the Metropolitan Room, I Know You By Heart, is built around the songs of Eva Cassidy, who inspired Lowin's devotion when she was in the sixth grade and held steadfast for five years of repeated listening. Virtually unknown outside Washington, DC during her lifetime, Cassidy's posthumous compilation Songbird topped the charts in 1998. (Ms. Cassidy died of cancer in 1996.) Lowin looks rather like her subject and appears to have similar range, if a less mature voice.

BWW Reviews: CAROLE J. BUFFORD Takes the Helm as Hostess of Birdland's Jazz Party With Hoopla, Heat & Heart
July 7, 2015

On July 5, Carole J. Bufford erupted onto the stage at Birdland for her first Sunday evening as hostess of the club's weekly Jazz Party (which had been helmed most recently by Natalie Douglas and Jane Monheit). The formidable vocalist, glamorous in clingy red, was aided and abetted by a top-notch (also well dressed—Bravo!) quartet featuring Joel Frahm on sax, Ray Marchia on drums, Tom Hubbard on bass, and Musical Director Ian Herman on piano. Special guests for Bufford's inaugural session were Janelle Velasquez and Lianne Marie Dobbs. With Bufford's audacious performance, smart choices, and attention to detail, Sundays promise to be a great deal more fun in midtown Manhattan.