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BWW Feature: Bobby's Best of 2021 - Cabarets, Clubs, and Concerts

Thank you to the Academy, our agents, and Bobby.

BWW Feature: Bobby's Best of 2021 - Cabarets, Clubs, and Concerts

Heigh-Ho, My Merry Rainbow Tribe! Bobby Patrick, your RAINBOW Reviewer here. Putting the silent T in cabareT to bring you all the T! - End Of Year Edition

So, my little millenniallambs, as we bid a F...ond farewell to the past 2 years - really - the time has come for a 2021 year-end retro of some of the Best Of Bobby. At first, we thought that meant the best of our brilliantly written reviews of the year, but no - said Bobby's boss, the lovely Stephen Mosher, as he went on to explain that the focus would be on the performers, not their colorful rainbow reviews... (sniff) - mmmmOK, let's talk about other people then... In thinking back over 2021 and the shows we have seen since the clubs mercifully and carefully re-opened, there have been so many terrific performances that it actually was a painful narrowing down process. What follows is a "no particular order" lineup, broken up and shoved into randomly selected categories that have no real meaning other than to give these meanderings a kind of structure... Each of the shows mentioned below stood out this year, in a year of people working hard to get back to work and who all deserve praise for doing so. With all that and a whole lot more in mind, here is the Best of Bobby - 2021 Edition:

GROUP SHOWS

Alexandra Silber: I WISH: THE ROLES THAT COULD HAVE BEEN at Feinstein's/54 Below (CLICK HERE)

The Return of this F/54B staple was one of the most welcome early entries in the club reawakening era of 2021. La Silber herself alone is a great show, as she is Uber Talented and HILARIOUS, but add to her a group of Broadway's luminaries all taking on parts they WISH they could play, be it across age, gender, or socio-ethnic barriers, and this blended cast takes a blended view of famous roles, putting them in a blender to make some of the best cabaret hotcakes you could imagine. BRAVO, BRAVA, AND BRAVIS Ms. Silber to you and all your friends. BWW Feature: Bobby's Best of 2021 - Cabarets, Clubs, and Concerts

Scott Coulter and Friends: FROM DOLLY PARTON TO DAVID BOWIE At Feinstein's/54 Below (CLICK HERE)

Another return from pre-pandemic days was this excellent group gathering all produced, directed, and even featuring the MWAHVELOUS Scott Coulter. Like Alexandra Silber, Scott's chops mean he can perform with the best of the best, and while focusing his SPOT ON ENTERTAINMENT show on his cast-mates, props must be given to the captain of this ship on all fronts, including his own solos. For this post-pandemic re-opening of F/54B, Scott brought a roster of his incredible usual suspects to give a retrospective of the last 7 years of SPOT ON ENTERTAINMENT with from Dolly Parton to David Bowie.BWW Feature: Bobby's Best of 2021 - Cabarets, Clubs, and Concerts

STARS GIVING STAR TURNS

GET HAPPY: Michael Feinstein CELEBRATES THE Judy Garland CENTENNIAL At Feinstein's/54 Below (CLICK HERE)

When the Master takes the stage, it is an event worth writing about. When that Master of the craft is saluting the unquestioned legend of the profession for her 100th birthday, after a lifetime of expertise on the subject of Judy Garland, then (as the saying goes) attention must be paid. Michael Feinstein lives and breathes music from page to stage in all its historical context, and he applied that knowledge to making a show that would appeal to young and not-so-young with his own legendary vocals, bringing to life each era in which Judy lived, lifting her up and making sure there was most definitely another brick in that yellow road of remembrance. Truly Part 1 & 2 of this show were two of the best of the season. (CLICK HERE To Read Stephen Mosher's review of pt. 2)BWW Feature: Bobby's Best of 2021 - Cabarets, Clubs, and Concerts

Kathleen Turner: FINDING MY VOICE At Town Hall (CLICK HERE)

When a true child of the theatre takes a side trip to be a bona fide movie star, it is sometimes difficult for them to get back to the stage where they belong. Fortunately, Ms. Turner always kept one foot backstage, returning again and again after doing time on the lot and banking her checks in Hollywood. Oscar & Tony-nominated, with a speaking instrument that some say beats Bacall, this time she brought forth her newly refined singing prowess in a show that told us as much about being ourselves as it did the story of her life.BWW Feature: Bobby's Best of 2021 - Cabarets, Clubs, and Concerts

DRAG/NON-BINARY/QUEER

Mason Alexander Park: Mason Alexander Park's THE PANSY CRAZE at Chelsea Table + Stage (CLICK HERE)

Mason Alexander Park lives out loud as a proud gender non-conforming/non-binary person and performer. Making their androgyny their meal ticket in shows like HEDWIG, CABARET, & ROCKEY HORROR, MAP loves living in the past to show us our future with cabarets that highlight Weimar Berlin or America's Pansy Craze of the '20s-'30s. This show was a definite high point in this year's cabaret offerings, and it introduced little Bobby to the FAB space that is Chelsea Table + Stage.BWW Feature: Bobby's Best of 2021 - Cabarets, Clubs, and Concerts

Jackie Cox's JACKIEVISION: THE TOUR At The Green Room 42 (CLICK HERE)

Jackie Cox is a drag star no doubt. Emerging as one of the more memorable contestants from Ru Paul's Drag Race, this Queen used her television addiction as the seeds and blossoms in a show that was as hilarious as it was well put together. Sometimes performing her own spoof lyrics to familiar numbers and other times belting the songs as intended, with power and panache, Jakie moved from the 1950s to the modern-day, stopping off in each era to make fantastic costume changes and a hilarious mishmash out of the television wasteland. BWW Feature: Bobby's Best of 2021 - Cabarets, Clubs, and Concerts

BROADWAY CABARET

Kristolyn Lloyd: CONFESSIONS OF A TOKEN BLACK GIRL At Feinstein's/54 Below (CLICK HERE)

This show introduced yours truly to the words, music, voice, and out-loud life of DEAR EVAN HANSEN's Kristolyn Lloyd, and what an introduction it was. How this singing, acting, tiny titan from Texas escaped our view until now is a mystery, but miss her anymore we shall NOT. An acting, singing veteran of our New York stages since being made one of the HEATHERS in 2014 KL uses her cabaret to take aim at Broadway's tokenism and push us ever forward into the times that are a-changin. Thank you Kristolyn!BWW Feature: Bobby's Best of 2021 - Cabarets, Clubs, and Concerts

Bianca Marroquin: WHERE YOU ARE At The Green Room 42 (CLICK HERE)

The Constant State Of Dance and Constant State Of Joy this explosion brought to The Green Room 42 was an electrifying ride that again introduced little Bobby to a heretofore unknown talent but that will be no more heretofore anymore. In short, we loved Ms. Marroquin and her show that covered the highlights of a happy and continuously employed life as a working actor.BWW Feature: Bobby's Best of 2021 - Cabarets, Clubs, and Concerts

CABARET ALL-STARS

Sidney Myer At Pangea (CLICK HERE)

Pangea is a bar-restaurant that also offers luminaries of the Cabaret world to entertain. Sidney Myer, being one of those luminaries, has a varied, nay even storied, career as a singer, director, booster/cheerleader/member of the audience, and of course talent booker - a position he has held at the legendary Don't Tell Mama for who knows how many years. To know Sidney is to love him - ask anyone. When Sidney performs, though, there is magic in the air because his one-of-a-kind style, one-of-a-kind voice, and one-of-a-kind... well, Sidneyness brings a one-of-a-kind electricity to the room.BWW Feature: Bobby's Best of 2021 - Cabarets, Clubs, and Concerts

Leanne Borghesi In BORGHESI'S BACK! At Don't Tell Mama (CLICK HERE)

"Where The Hell Has She Been?" Is the question everyone was asking about Leanne Borghesi... right after asking, "Who the hell IS Leanne Borghesi?" Well, with her new show, BORGHESI'S BACK! Leanne (an out and proud L in the LGBTIA+ community) took no prisoners and left no question as to who she is and how she got to Don't Tell Mama's stage, post-quarantine. Just in time for gay pride, Borghesi hit the stage and took her audience on a wild, cross-country ride in her 2nd (or 3rd) hand Winnebago, where the dynamo weaved the tale of how she spent her pandemic, desperately seeking an audience. BWW Feature: Bobby's Best of 2021 - Cabarets, Clubs, and Concerts

BIG VOICES BIG ROOMS

ORFEH: OR & MORE At Feinstein's/54 Below (CLICK HERE)

The more you hear the more you want from Broadway's knock-out punch with the one name: Orfeh! With this show at F/54B, the lady showed her soul was sold to Rock & Roll. Though comparisons are a cop-out, especially with such an original performer as Orfeh, one really does understand why she was tapped to sing the role of Joplin herself in the Off-Broadway run of LOVE, JANIS a few years back. Her electric stage presence and tough girl command of the space evoked a "Joplin-in-concert" tone, as well as a room of folks who all spent the night chair dancing.BWW Feature: Bobby's Best of 2021 - Cabarets, Clubs, and Concerts

Carole J. Bufford: POETS AND PICKERS at Birdland (CLICK HERE)

To say that Carole J. Bufford has style, my dahlings, is akin to saying the Pacific has water. She has oceans of style mixed with the stage presence, musical skill, and vocal pipes to bring it all together in a truly remarkable ginger package. With her POETS AND PICKERS show, Bufford was, as the saying goes, BOFFO at Birdland. On the topic of the lady's acting, it must be said that intensity layered with a strong sense of theatricality is the place where CJB lives and this always makes her fascinating to watch as well as hear.BWW Feature: Bobby's Best of 2021 - Cabarets, Clubs, and Concerts

HONORABLE MENTIONS THAT MUST BE MADE

This is not a cop-out list, oh no; while these 3 ladies deserve to be the best of anybody's cabaret experiences here in Gotham, they also landed (SPOILER ALERT!) on my dear ol' boss's list and so rather than guild HIS Lilly, I will just suggest you come back to BWW on New Year's Eve and catch Stephen Mosher's best of wrap-up, as we always seem to agree on everything. BUT do check out these ladies online and read Bobby's stellar reviews because we are always worth a read ;)

Laura Benanti: THE DIAMOND SERIES At Feinstein's/54 Below (CLICK HERE)

BWW Feature: Bobby's Best of 2021 - Cabarets, Clubs, and Concerts

J.L. Perkel In BUTTERFLY: "THE FAREWELL CONCERT" At The Triad (CLICK HERE)

BWW Feature: Bobby's Best of 2021 - Cabarets, Clubs, and Concerts

Amy Beth Williams: A BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY At Don't Tell Mama (CLICK HERE)

BWW Feature: Bobby's Best of 2021 - Cabarets, Clubs, and Concerts

Photo Of Sidney Myer By Albie Mitchell

Photo Of Ms. Turner By Jeremy Daniel


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