Victoria Ordin is a writer based in West Los Angeles and Manhattan. Raised in L.A. around film and television, she developed an early appreciation for Broadway and cabaret from her parents, but particularly her father, whose musical passions ranged from classical to opera to Big Band. After studying English at Yale, Victoria earned her Masters at UCSB and completed coursework for the Ph.D. For the past four years, she has written a bicoastal memoir and culture blog called Victorian Chick Redux. Her work has also appeared in The Weekly Standard, Huffington Post, and Cabaret Scenes. She has just written her first review for the Los Angeles Review of Books and is currently co-authoring a book about finding love through air travel.
A longtime member of the Grammy-nominated a cappella band, the Bobs, LA-based composer/vocalist Amy Engelhardt delivered a riotously funny hour of song at Don't Tell Mama on what she conceded was a “shvitzy” Sunday in June (the 19th to be exact). Three o'clock on Father's Day may not be the best slot for a gig, but the Berklee College of Music-trained musician (and 2011 MAC Dottie Burman Award-winner for songwriting) brought her signature wit and warmth to what felt as much like an intimate gathering in her living room as a formal cabaret performance. Engelhardt's show, My Own Devices, featured material from her first album, “Not Gonna Be Pretty,” as well as material to appear on her upcoming second CD release.BWW Review: Dazzling 'Diva' VIVIAN REED Is Awe-Inspiring On STANDARDS & MORE at the Metropolitan Room June 1, 2016
The fourth time was the charm for Minda Larsen, winner of the 2015 MetroStar Competition: “I have an MFA in opera,” she joked during the debut of her show, My Southern Song, at the Metropolitan Room on May 21, “So it took four tries in six years to win that competition.” The remark is typical of the self-deprecating humor of the versatile singer from Jacksonville, FL, who spent time in Georgia and went to school in South Carolina. Itching all her life to get out of the South, now she longs to get back. Her new show (a four-date run that is her award for winning the MetroStar) captures that longing with love, laughter, and an occasional tear.BWW Review: Bullying Survivor LISA JASON Sings Her Story 'Beautifully' at the Laurie Beechman May 16, 2016
The spirit of jazz legends Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald (with a little Tito Puente) was palpable in the Milton Berle room at New York's Friars Club on April 25 for the second-annual production of Triple Threats. Broadway veterans (including Duke's granddaughter, Mercedes Ellington, who also co-produced the show) joined some of America's most accomplished jazz musicians to celebrate the April birthdays of the music greats and to honor those performers who sing, dance, and act at the highest levels.BWW Review: Renovated RAINBOW ROOM at 30 Rock Provides a Sumptuous Feast for the Senses and An Unforgettable Experience May 3, 2016
During a 2014 private tour of the massive Rainbow Room renovation still underway before its early October opening that year, architect Michael Gabellini famously told guests, “The idea is to burnish history, to polish and move it into the present day, with an eye on the future.” Undertaken in 2010 after years of decline under the Cipriani family's disastrous rule, the project was more than even a dramatic facelift.BWW Review: Long-Legged LYNDA CARTER is a 'Wonder' As a Singer in Jazz at Lincoln Center Concert May 1, 2016
The twilight view of Central Park in all its springtime lushness set a perfect mood for Lynda Carter's show Long Legged Woman last Saturday night (April 23) at the Appel Room, which ran for two nights as part of the Jazz at Lincoln Center series. With her all-star Nashville crew, whose members have between them played on hundreds of albums (including dozens of gold records), the star best known for her iconic TV portrayal of 'Wonder Woman' performed an ambitious set covering six musical genres: pop, rock, country, Texas swing, jazz, and blues.BWW Review: 2015 BWW Award Nominee RAQUEL CION'S Riveting, Intensely Personal Tribute to 'Visionary' David Bowie Rocks The Slipper Room April 28, 2016
'In his world, I find myself,' Raquel Cion pronounces with almost oracular force in her one-woman show, Me & Mr. Jones: My Intimate Relationship with David Bowie (performed on April 21 at The Slipper Room on the Lower East Side). The Connecticut-raised performer and director received a 2015 Broadway World nomination for 'Best Musical Comedy or Alt Cabaret Show' for her brave and intensely personal exploration of the musical legend through whose work she plots the arc of her life over a 35-year period.BWW Review: Anna Bergman Celebrates the Love Songs of Richard Rodgers at Enjoyable Gala to Benefit The Actor's Temple March 29, 2016
On the evening of March 21, veteran vocalist and stage actress Anna Bergman presented a program called Falling In Love With Love, featuring the romantic songs of Richard Rodgers to support the Actors' Temple (339 West 47th Street) at its 3rd Annual Fundraising Gala, one year shy of Congregation Ezrath Israel's centennial (that's the official name of the synagogue). Prior to Bergman's show (produced by recently elected Temple Board President Carol Ostrow), Rabbi Jill Hausman and outgoing Temple Board President Robert Reicher, both of whom received awards, gave warm and funny speeches, making eminently clear why the Actors' Temple is known as “the Cool Shul.”BWW Review: 2016 Bistro Award Winner Sharon McNight Sets Out to Offend Almost Everyone and Mostly Succeeds at The Duplex March 22, 2016
Having recently added a 2016 Bistro Award for “Commanding Cabaret Artistry” to her list of accolades (including a Tony nomination and Theater World Award for her 1989 Broadway debut in Starmites), Sharon McNight belted and growled her way through Songs to Offend Almost Everyone at the second of her two shows at the Duplex (March 10). If Mae West and George Carlin had by some miracle produced a daughter and Elaine Stritch was the child's nanny, she would have grown up sounding like McNight.BWW Review: Because He Can, Shawn Moninger Presents Cabaret Filled with Humor, Heart and Spirituality at the Metropolitan Room March 4, 2016
Jeff Macauley loves Dinah Shore. That's usually the case when a cabaret performer devotes an entire show to a star's body of work. But there's affection and admiration, and then there's all-encompassing passion and adoration that informs the performer's every note, lyric, and anecdote, and thereby imparts that love to us (whether or not we were previously fans). By that standard, MWAH! The Dinah Shore Show, Macauley's 1998 Backstage Bistro Award Winner for 'Outstanding Theme Show' (revived last Saturday night as part of Stephen Hanks' monthly New York Cabaret's Greatest Hits series at the Metropolitan Room--is one of the most successful shows of its kind I've seen.BWW Review: After a Slow Start, Former JERSEY BOYS Star John Lloyd Young's New Café Carlyle Show Builds to An Enjoyable Crescendo February 11, 2016
Performing at the Cafe Carlyle for his fourth time, John Lloyd Young sashayed to the stage on his Tuesday opening night wearing leather and aviator glasses, and with the swagger one would expect from the performer who originated the role of Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys in 2005 (Young became the only American actor to win the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Theater World Awards for a Broadway debut). Fresh off performances at the Kennedy Center, the White House, and Clint Eastwood's humble California abode-and of course his role in the Eastwood directed film adaptation of the improbable Broadway hit-Young combined familiar material from the 1960s with original songs written with his multi-talented musical director, Tommy Faragher (Glee) in his new show, Yours Truly.