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Review: Artemisia LeFay Brings Us Another Visitation From GHOSTS OF WEIMAR PAST at Birdland Theater

Germany’s 20’s REALLY Roared & Here’s Why…

Review: Artemisia LeFay Brings Us Another Visitation From GHOSTS OF WEIMAR PAST at Birdland Theater

Heigh-Ho Friends & "Family"! Bobby Patrick your RAINBOW Reviewer here. Putting the silent T in CABARET to bring you all the T...

...And that T this week was an extra one in the German performance style known as Weimar Kabarett; a speci-ality of Artemisia LeFay who conjured up her GHOSTS OF WEIMAR PAST at ... NOW WAIT JUST A RAINBOW MINUTE!! Where has Bobby read those words before?!?! Oh, that's right, those fab words started our fab review of Ms. LeFay's WEIMAR GHOSTS last spring, "so what is going on, Bobby?" we hear you ask. Not being one to repeat my rainbows, I was a little taken aback by an email from LeFay herself asking me to return and re-review what had already been reviewed HERE. Dubious we were of this as we had given the show a "qualified" rave - "qualified" meaning, "We loved your show... but we have notes." Ms. LeFay gave every assurance that her Ghosts had undergone a total exorcism from what we had seen in June of 2021. After some self-thought and discussion with our wonderful editor, the marvelous Mister Mosher, it was decided to take a second look at GHOSTS OF WEIMAR PAST, this time in the Birdland Theatre on Monday night, and see if artsy Artemisia had, indeed, taken our notes. It is with great pleasure that we can report that those little comments about, "...cute, halting, sometimes befuddled, ... spoken patter blunts the ... confidence that is the Weimar ... style." have indeed been stomped into oblivion by her black patten leather pump with the employment of entirely NEW script, some new songs, and a totally new production concept.

Review: Artemisia LeFay Brings Us Another Visitation From GHOSTS OF WEIMAR PAST at Birdland Theater Review: Artemisia LeFay Brings Us Another Visitation From GHOSTS OF WEIMAR PAST at Birdland Theater

Gone is any Ted-Talk history lesson patter to set up and knock down each number on her setlist - replaced by a story concept that will serve as the evening's flow. Gone are her 2 original musicians - replaced by 3 ladies all got up in period drag making up her Orchestra of the Depraved. Gone is Artemisia LeFay herself - replaced by a new mistress of ceremonies Karmilla Vepp, Kabarett Chanteuse. With smokey, overstated women of the night makeup by Glitter Macabre, and co-director support from Sam Bash, we the patrons of a lowlife watering hole somewhere near the Landwehr Canal (presumably) were there to hear and see the late-night denizens of the stage sing, play, and make dark innuendos about life, sex, gay-sex, and all the things that made the party before the Nazi party ... well, a party. This time around Artemisia, in the guise of Karmilla, shares her stage evenly with her musicians, all of whom have terrific singing voices, professional instrumental finesse, and real acting chops. CiCi Vagari - of France, Accordionist (played by Mary Spencer Knapp), Henrietta "Henri" Nussbaum, Pianist - of New York (played by Hannah Mount), and Johanna Baal, Violinist - of Germany (played by Tiffany Weiss) all got terrific moments vocally, with their instruments, and in telling their amusing and sometimes affecting stories at the mic. Each actress had a character and each character had a story that was explored in spoken word, song and even poetry with Vagari/Knapp's chilling reading of SUICIDE to the violin strains of Beethoven's MOONLIGHT SONATA. Highlights from the other ladies included Baal/Weiss's VIOLIN SONATA #2 (OBSESSION) by Ysaÿe and the very Brooklynese "Henri" Nussbaum/Mount's JUST A GIGOLO. But the star of the night with her powerful and imminently versatile vocals was our naughtyReview: Artemisia LeFay Brings Us Another Visitation From GHOSTS OF WEIMAR PAST at Birdland Theater hostess. Her range and her ability to alter her vocal production to fit the various songs styles of Spoliansky, Holländer, and Weill bode tremendous things for the future of young Artemisia LeFay, including more successful time travel to Germany of the 1920s. The only "notes" this rainbow reviewer would offer as this show evolves is some tightening up of the onstage banter which tended to run out of improv steam at times. Also, Lefay and Baal's faux lesbian attraction number, WENN DIE BESTE FREUNDIN, was just too much faux and not enough fire. Further, we would encourage the creatives to make space for more true audience reparte as being naughty with the crowd is the Weimar way dahlings. All things we feel sure will be corrected as deeper dives into character and motivations are explored by these gifted actors. Finally, a word must be said about the show's finale. In 2021, Artemisia had one anachronistic number on her setlist, Kander & Ebb's I DON'T CARE MUCH - a song in the Weimar tradition, but written for the very American musical, CABARET - with a C. this time around her one modern contribution to her show was a song by LeFay herself. The hard-driving WASTED GIRL sent the house home wanting more and this writer wondering if this terrific tune might do well as the show's opener.

Review: Artemisia LeFay Brings Us Another Visitation From GHOSTS OF WEIMAR PAST at Birdland Theater

Review: Artemisia LeFay Brings Us Another Visitation From GHOSTS OF WEIMAR PAST at Birdland Theater

In any case, Artemisia LeFay's GHOSTS OF WEIMAR PAST has been redesigned and given a whole new coat of very dark paint that was more than a delight, it was delicious and so, with this round's Bobby notes in mind, (For we do think she's got something here) we can't give this one anything less than a hearty...

4 ½ Out Of 5 Rainbows

Keep up with Artemisia LeFay on her socials...

Check out her Insta: HERE

Look Up Her YouTubes: HERE

And Followe On Ye Olde FaceBooke: HERE

All Photos By Yours Truly, Bobby Patrick

Review: Artemisia LeFay Brings Us Another Visitation From GHOSTS OF WEIMAR PAST at Birdland Theater Review: Artemisia LeFay Brings Us Another Visitation From GHOSTS OF WEIMAR PAST at Birdland Theater Review: Artemisia LeFay Brings Us Another Visitation From GHOSTS OF WEIMAR PAST at Birdland Theater Review: Artemisia LeFay Brings Us Another Visitation From GHOSTS OF WEIMAR PAST at Birdland Theater Review: Artemisia LeFay Brings Us Another Visitation From GHOSTS OF WEIMAR PAST at Birdland Theater Review: Artemisia LeFay Brings Us Another Visitation From GHOSTS OF WEIMAR PAST at Birdland Theater Review: Artemisia LeFay Brings Us Another Visitation From GHOSTS OF WEIMAR PAST at Birdland Theater


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From This Author - Bobby Patrick