Rob Lester

Rob Lester

Rob Lester, native New Yorker, has been covering entertainment for more than 15 years for various outlets and has recently returned to Broadway World writing staff.  His involvement in cabaret has also led to involvement with the genre's awards as a voting judge and, pre-pandemic, he helped to curate the Artists In Partnership (AIP) Cabaret Festival. As far as musical theatre, he loves attending, researching, reviewing, directing, writing songs and scripts, as well as being a dramaturg.  He also worked with author Deb Berman on her book for kids about what happens before birth called "9 Months in The Play Womb: The Inside Story." He personally hails from the womb of a mother who loves the Great American Songbook and its singers, instilling that appreciation in him.






MOST POPULAR ARTICLES

Review: DIANNE REEVES: LOVESTRUCK Is Spreading Love at Jazz At Lincoln Center
Review: DIANNE REEVES: LOVESTRUCK Is Spreading Love at Jazz At Lincoln Center
February 19, 2024

Dianne Reeves remains a force of nature and versatile jazz performer, as shown in her annual Valentine's Week appearance in NYC at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Read all about the show that's all about love and peace.

Review: JIM CARUSO'S CAST PARTY Open Mic at Birdland Means Much Mirth and Music for Mondays
Review: JIM CARUSO'S CAST PARTY Open Mic at Birdland Means Much Mirth and Music for Mondays
February 7, 2024

Wondering what JIM CARUSO'S CAST PARTY at Birdland is like? It's the open mic montage of Broadway, cabaret, etc., etc., etc. etc. etc. etc. Every Monday at 9:30 at Birdland, variety is the spice of life, continuing a years-long tradition. Read all about it.

Review: THE LINEUP Brings Variety and a Vivacious Volcanic Hostess at Birdland
Review: THE LINEUP Brings Variety and a Vivacious Volcanic Hostess at Birdland
February 4, 2024

'Maybe Tuesday will be my good news day' rhymed Ira Gershwin in 'The Man I Love.' Tuesdays bring multiple performers, Mosher & mayhem to Birdland, but that's not news. It's been a regular feature for a while now. A little bit of everything and a lot of zing from the hostess comes along on Tuesdays and Birdland.

Feature: Monthly 'Birthday' Salute. We cheer influential cabaret artist MABEL MERCER, born in February 1900.
Feature: Monthly 'Birthday' Salute. We cheer influential cabaret artist MABEL MERCER, born in February 1900.
February 3, 2024

The art of classic cabaret – personalized, intimate singing that brings out the lyric was epitomized by this influential, elegant performer. Although this year marks 40 years since her passing, she is still spoken of in reverential tones. She's the choice as honoree for someone born in February...Mabel Mercer.

Review: Nicolas King Celebrates WINTER IN NEW YORK (and more) at Chelsea Table + Stage
Review: Nicolas King Celebrates WINTER IN NEW YORK (and more) at Chelsea Table + Stage
February 3, 2024

Springing into action for a winter-themed show at Chelsea Table + Stage, that ball of energy with a romantic crooning side is named Nicolas King. He loves New York, N.Y. (Start spreading the news.)

Review: A Set with JOHN PIZZARELLI TRIO Is a Pleasure (As Usual) at Birdland
Review: A Set with JOHN PIZZARELLI TRIO Is a Pleasure (As Usual) at Birdland
February 2, 2024

Catching guitarist/singer John Pizzarelli and his two bandmates at Birdland, where they’ve settled in with two shows a night through February 3rd, will satisfy the expectations of longtime fans, but bring some surprises, too.

Review: JOIE BIANCO IS ON FIRE & THE BRYCE EDWARDS FRIVOLITY HOUR Is Hot Entertainment at Birdland
Review: JOIE BIANCO IS ON FIRE & THE BRYCE EDWARDS FRIVOLITY HOUR Is Hot Entertainment at Birdland
January 31, 2024

Although still in their early 20s, Joie Bianco and Bryce Edwards handle their material with the ease and know-how of performers who’ve been around the block many more times. And their comfort level with repertoire from many decades ago is quite something to behold. 

Review: BABY, IT'S COLD OUTSIDE Renews Warm Memories of Frank Loesser's Songs at Dizzy's Club
Review: BABY, IT'S COLD OUTSIDE Renews Warm Memories of Frank Loesser's Songs at Dizzy's Club
January 27, 2024

Frank Loesser's songs from Broadway and the movies jumped with jazz at Dizzy's with four musicians, three singers, and one savvy host. 'If I Were a Bell,' I'd ring out the news.

Review: ALYSHA UMPHRESS & JEFF BLUMENKRANTZ Shine Brightly at The Green Room 42
Review: ALYSHA UMPHRESS & JEFF BLUMENKRANTZ Shine Brightly at The Green Room 42
January 24, 2024

Alysha Umphress and Jeff Blumenkrantz have collaborated over the years, chums whose voices complement each other (“It’s ‘Friendship,’ just a perfect blendship” to quote a Cole Porter number.) The room was quite full on a very cold night and the show was full of talent and splendid material, presented with polish and panache.

OUR BORN-THIS-MONTH FEATURE FOR JANUARY SALUTES... GUESS WHO!
OUR BORN-THIS-MONTH FEATURE FOR JANUARY SALUTES... GUESS WHO!
January 7, 2024

Every month, we take a moment to honor someone among those having a birthday that month who has made a real mark in the entertainment world .  January's birthday salute goes to a sensation on the stages of theatres and cabaret. With a click, you can see who it is and then see how much you know about their by taking our multiple-choice quiz.

Review: LYRICS & LYRICISTS Shows Celebrate Songwriting ....at 92NY
Review: LYRICS & LYRICISTS Shows Celebrate Songwriting ....at 92NY
December 24, 2023

It's a Tale of Two Stevies in December concerts uptown when two men are celebrated in the series that began in 1970 when Stevie Wonder was 20 and already had been recording for about 7 years and Stephen Sondheim had 'Company' debut on Broadway.

Reviews: Miss Mayes and Much More Music in Manhattan
Reviews: Miss Mayes and Much More Music in Manhattan
December 18, 2023

There's all kinds of music to check out in Manhattan -- Here's a sampling of the first in a series of Sally Mayes at Green Room 42, the return of the wonderfully wacky Lounge-O-Leer guys at Pangea, Karen Mack & Elliot Roth in Pangea's actual lounge, and some Hanukkah songs

Review: TWO PIANOS: WHO COULD ASK FOR ANYTHING MORE? Satisfies Big Time at Carnegie Hall
Review: TWO PIANOS: WHO COULD ASK FOR ANYTHING MORE? Satisfies Big Time at Carnegie Hall
December 17, 2023

There were grand pianos (2), there were Gershwin songs (many), it was gratifying....there were good spirits gracing Carnegie Hall when Michael Feinstein, Jacques-Yves Thibaudet, and Joshua Henry entertained.

Reviews: Catching Up on Shows Is a Whirlwind .... at Urban Stages & 54 Below
Reviews: Catching Up on Shows Is a Whirlwind .... at Urban Stages & 54 Below
December 12, 2023

Dear Santa: Thanks for the gifts called music in NYC, letting us 'wrap' our ears around a touch of Oklahoma-bred sense and sensibility, lots of holiday cheer, and musical theatre projects that have a connection to a famous hotel ....all part of a week in the winter wonderland of Manhattan's live presentations.

Review: BROADWAY BOUND Is Always Bound to Please Fans of Musicals at 54 Below
Review: BROADWAY BOUND Is Always Bound to Please Fans of Musicals at 54 Below
December 10, 2023

Read about what you missed at 54 Below: It's about the shows that missed getting to Broadway. But wait --- that doesn't mean they were missing worthy songs.

Review: NIGHTS AT THE ALGONQUIN Opens Winter Rhythms Series with Class & Fun & Memories
Review: NIGHTS AT THE ALGONQUIN Opens Winter Rhythms Series with Class & Fun & Memories
December 8, 2023

It's all about music and memories and variety with different shows every day or night on West 30th Street for Urban Stages, with the opening program a good harbinger of more good entertainment to come.

 Our Monthly 'Birthday' Salute Goes to....
Our Monthly 'Birthday' Salute Goes to....
December 6, 2023

Born one long ago December, this music star of stars has had a lasting impact all these years. Follow the clues about other notables born in this month and figure out who gets this month's birthday applause.

Review: 50 KEY STAGE MUSICALS --THE CONCERTS Takes A Final Bow At 54 Below
Review: 50 KEY STAGE MUSICALS --THE CONCERTS Takes A Final Bow At 54 Below
November 27, 2023

Let's take note of some very notable Broadway musicals remembered by some notable Broadway performers in a notable concert series. It was a feast of fond memories to be remembered.

Review: Singer SHEILA JORDAN Shimmers (With a Little Sass) at Birdland
Review: Singer SHEILA JORDAN Shimmers (With a Little Sass) at Birdland
November 25, 2023

Jazz veteran Sheila Jordan, full of joy, was a joy to behold, owning the stage and the hearts of her fans in another memorable night at Birdland Theater.

Review: MY KIND OF BROADWAY And THE FRIENDS OF ALEC WILDER Illuminate the Variety at 54 Below
Review: MY KIND OF BROADWAY And THE FRIENDS OF ALEC WILDER Illuminate the Variety at 54 Below
November 13, 2023

What did our critic think of MY KIND OF BROADWAY & THE FRIENDS OF ALEC WILDER at 54 Below? Like night and day, the nightclub's shows are different enough to brighten your night and make your day.



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