Rena Strober at Don't Tell Mama - A Solo Act Worth Catching...

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I’m always nervous when I go see a friend perform, because I’ve never been good at lying, so if it’s not good – it can get messy. That said, I’m happy to without hesitation put in the 'highly recommended department,' the solo debut of the fabulous Rena Strober at Don't Tell Mama. Yes, that Rena Strober, who was caught in the middle of that “little incident” at Rao's last year.  

That's a subject she touches on throughout the evening, in “Spaghetti and Matzoh Balls” which covers the journey of her adult life, and explains how a nice, Jewish girl discovers she has a little Italian inside her as well. Rena's got a talent that's part Sarah Brightman, part Madeline Kahn, and the rest wonderfully all her own.

The show featured a variety of music, cleverly opening with the theme from the Godfather presented in Italian and Yiddish, which set the tone for the rest of the evening. Continuing with a mix of songs from Irving Berlin, Lerner & Loew, Billy Joel and a slew of other songwriters, it was all eaten up a very enthusiastic audience obviously enjoying a delightful performer on stage. Making it truly a family affair, the concert was directed by her brother, Dean Strober, whose staging fit the ups and downs of the piece perfectly. 

If you’re looking for a good hours entertainment with lots of laughs, and the occasional tearjerker from one of today’s bright young talents, I’d recommend putting this one on your “to see” list. With all the crappy cabaret-type performances out there, I always breathe a sigh of relief after seeing one of the good ones. She’ll be repeating on Wednesday, October 6th and 13th at 6:30pm, October 17th at 5:30 pm and October 20th at 6:30 pm at Don’t Tell Mama. For reservations call: 212-757-0788.

Posted on October 01, 2004 - by

Reader Feedback - 1 Reply

I'll have to catch this
by dry2olives @ 10/01/04, 12:25:15 PM

As an Italian Jew I suppose this is required for me.

Comden and Green wrote a list of things to say when a friend gives a bad performance. Stuff like "You were never better!" and "Wow, you did it again!"

About the Author: The 2001 Syracuse University graduate (School of Information Studies) is also the owner of Wisdom Digital Media, an award-winning leading design company for entertainment and technology web sites. In his previous life, he held an executive position for the world's leading publisher of technology magazines, web sites and conferences and, as a result, was named among the "Top thirty magazine industry executives under the age of 30" by FOLIO Magazine. Robert Diamond founded in 2003, which has now become the largest theatre web site in the world. He also serves as the site's Editor-in-Chief, covering Broadway and beyond, with specific local coverage for 100 cities in the United States, 35 countries worldwide and 15 other related areas of entertainment - including dance, opera, fashion, concerts, comedy, films, television and more. In May of 2014, the site was awarded a 2014 Award for Excellence in Theatre Arts Education by the prestigious Theatre Museum. Diamond got his start in the entertainment field, accidentally, when he created the 'official web site' (while in college) for Michael Crawford, the popular actor and original Tony and Olivier Award-winning star of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. (He still blames Crawford - and credits him - for anything that goes particularly right or wrong during an average day.) As a respected member of the Broadway and theatre community, Diamond also served as Lead Producer for a series of sold-out shows using the 'brand' for a set of 'Standing Ovations' concerts, which also branched out into titles that included Holiday Shows and even more specific concerts like 'From Stage to Screen and Back Again' in tandem with publishers and movie studios. All proceeds were in turn donated to Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS, the industry's leader in aid for performers in need. Robert lives in Manhattan with his wife and two dogs, growing the business and getting little sleep. In addition, you can usually find him in a theatre many nights a week. Robert's very popular blog, 'The Broadway Pulse' appears daily on and he also wrote weekly about theatre for the USA Network's Character Approved blog. In December of 2011, Diamond was one of 5 Syracuse University Alumni, all having achieved success in the world of start-ups, business growth and venture capital, participating on a panel addressing young alumni who are currently pursuing their dreams of running their own business and experiencing the day to day challenges of a startup. It is part of the university's new Student Accelerator Program, for which Rob was recommended by Syracuse University's i-School. In late 2012, Wisdom Digital Media announced the official spinoff and launch of 10 new entertainment web sites including,,,,,,,, and In January of 2013,, devoted to home entertainment, mobile technologies and social media launched as well, followed by and in April of 2013. In July of 2013, launched as a portal to the complete family of entertainment and lifestyle offerings. In 2014, returned to the concert stage, with a series of benefit concerts featuring Broadway's brightest stars. A new partnership with Rock-it Science Records will record and release these special evenings, with proceeds benefiting various charities.

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