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BWW Review: Jack Bartholet Woos & Wows To Ooos & Ahhs With His UNUSUALLY GRAND IDEAS At Pangea

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Should We All Get Our Dosage Adjusted?

BWW Review: Jack Bartholet Woos & Wows To Ooos & Ahhs With His UNUSUALLY GRAND IDEAS At Pangea

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

So my dahlings, Thursday night found us back at the lovely Lower East Village eatery, Pangea, to take in, and take on, the UNUSUALLY GRAND IDEAS of the angelic-faced, Jack Bartholet. Bobby defines cabaret as (n) A wilful force of artistic expression, and Jack, for those who have not yet experienced him, is a cabaret force to be reckoned with. From the moment he entered at the back of the house with a high squeal to his peeps, a full face of makeup, with the nails, and in a lovely green silk blouse and neck bow, unable as he was to wait to get to the stage to begin singing WHERE OR WHEN, the room knew to strap in and get ready to ride a big flaming gay rollercoaster. With his high bright trumpet-like tenor that seems to have no limit in the upper registers, Jack belts out his setlist moving from Broadway/American Songbook power ballads to Rock & Roll numbers like EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED with total ease. One can tell from the joy emanating from the stage that Bartholet lives to have an audience and he, more than anything, wants that audience to live with him in his songs. His heart, his outlook, and his story, though are just as important to the experience as his music. You see my lambkins, UNUSUALLY GRAND IDEAS is more than Barhtolet's show title, it is one of the printed warnings on the label of the Welbutrin he began taking in the past year to regulate his customary depression and help him find his happy place. Another recent boon to Bartholet's brain came in the door in the form of his pooch, Pobey, for whom he sang the bouncy Nellie McKay composition - THE DOG SONG making clear that his meds, his man, and his canine all came together to get him on to the high road.

BWW Review: Jack Bartholet Woos & Wows To Ooos & Ahhs With His UNUSUALLY GRAND IDEAS At Pangea

As with many of the shows coming down the cabaret pike in 2021, UNUSUALLY GRAND IDEAS is Jack's performance therapy. Cabaret is meant to be a deeply personal experience between the people on stage and the people out there in the dark, which is why our performers who veer into song and story work tell their own stories as a means to put structure to their show as well as their own lives. Painters must paint and writers must write and in the very same sense singers must sing and actors must act and for almost all performers it has been the better part of two years since live concerts with live audiences have been possible. That's a lifetime if you are one of the sufferers of this grand addiction. Being very open about the things that tore him down, picked him back up, and carried him to places of respite like his fire island share, Jack weaves funny, poignant, and serious stories (and music) into his journey - even picking up a pill bottle to use as a maraca on The Avett Brothers HEAD FULL OF DOUBT. Though he leans a little too heavily on reading his script off a music stand early on, giving into a slightly strident rhythm, as the show progresses he does this less and he does not use his binder to read lyrics as he sings, as evidenced by the 3 miner memory fluffs he so charmingly suffered during his hour and fifteen-minute set. Like a real pro, he simply waited for the music to tell him where he was or for his music director, Yasuhiko Fukuoka, to give him a gentle prompt, and off he went. These are the tiny errors that make cabaret art, and his crowd loved BWW Review: Jack Bartholet Woos & Wows To Ooos & Ahhs With His UNUSUALLY GRAND IDEAS At Pangea him even more for the imperfections. You see, my dearlings, along with a voice for the ages, Jack has charm and charisma to spare, and whether the song is a woeful paean to gay love and loss like BALLAD OF THE SAD YOUNG MEN or its immediate follow-up, Ann Hampton Callaway's TV theme song, THE NANNY NAMED FRAN, Bartholet is telling us the story of coping. How does one cope in our changing world with so many unthought-of curveballs coming straight for our heads? This segment of the setlist deserves a bit of a mention and praise for Jack & his "team". For SAD YOUNG MEN, Director, Travis Greisler, guides his star expertly, having Bartholet sit well back from his mic so that his voice is only barely amplified for this mournful ballad, while Music Director, Yasuhiko Fukuoka has only the gifted Sean Harkness and his guitar accompany Jack's emotion-filled vocals. This acoustic rendition left the room breathless and, within that moment before applause broke the silence, a lone voice in the house was heard to utter, "Beautiful." Then, immediately brightening the mood came Nany Fran's Theme with Simon Fishburn's drums joining the fray. Here Jack gave the room the permission to shake it off and get back to the fun telling his crowd that TV comedy is one of his depression coping mechanisms.

BWW Review: Jack Bartholet Woos & Wows To Ooos & Ahhs With His UNUSUALLY GRAND IDEAS At Pangea

With these juxtaposed moments, Jack's GRAND IDEAS turned to Fire Island where he told of his experiences at the reemerging dance parties and what it meant to be a part of that gay community in extended celebration. To his credit, Bartholet owned the fact that he and most of the participants spend their time on the dance floor in various altered states, but for a majority of circuit party goers, drug use does not equate to addiction. Many find themselves on those dance floors with their psychedelics amongst their tribe all participating on different levels but with a single goal - communion. Whatever one may think of such parties, the ability to feel your tribe in a deep and significant way can lift one's spirit to an almost beatific state that lingers after the party and its effects have dissipated. This was, at least Mr. B's experience and as he shared more and more of that time through his remaining songs, a clear picture came into focus of a young man taking time to take stock and deal with his imbalances. A highlight from Jack's setlist was Rufus Wainwright's blistering ballad, GAY MESSIAH where the graphic language and hauntingly beautiful melody in Jack's pitch-perfect voice offered up a kind of molten gold. In all, Jack Bartholet brought truth in beauty and gave his audience a real look inside the artist's soul in fun and fascinating ways, and so, deducting one point for script reading, we give UNUSUALLY GRAND IDEAS...

4 Out Of 5 Rainbows

For Tickets to UNUSUALLY GRAND IDEAS Friday, December 10: CLICK HERE

To Check Out Pangea And Their Excellent Menu: CLICK HERE

For Jack's Link Tree: CLICK HERE

Check out all of Jack's Musicians Below

Yasuhiko Fukuoka MD/Piano - CLICK HERE

Simon Fishburn Drums - CLICK HERE

Sean Harkness Guitar - CLICK HERE

Travis Greisler Director - CLICK HERE

All Photos By Yours Truly, Bobby Patrick

BWW Review: Jack Bartholet Woos & Wows To Ooos & Ahhs With His UNUSUALLY GRAND IDEAS At Pangea

BWW Review: Jack Bartholet Woos & Wows To Ooos & Ahhs With His UNUSUALLY GRAND IDEAS At Pangea BWW Review: Jack Bartholet Woos & Wows To Ooos & Ahhs With His UNUSUALLY GRAND IDEAS At Pangea BWW Review: Jack Bartholet Woos & Wows To Ooos & Ahhs With His UNUSUALLY GRAND IDEAS At Pangea BWW Review: Jack Bartholet Woos & Wows To Ooos & Ahhs With His UNUSUALLY GRAND IDEAS At Pangea BWW Review: Jack Bartholet Woos & Wows To Ooos & Ahhs With His UNUSUALLY GRAND IDEAS At Pangea


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