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BWW Review: SHAKINA NAYFACK Makes It Through In WHATEVER GETS YOU THROUGH IT at Feinstein's/54 Below

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A great song-fest meets a fab queer-fest creating a rock out-fest for our gay pride-fest!

BWW Review: SHAKINA NAYFACK Makes It Through In WHATEVER GETS YOU THROUGH IT at Feinstein's/54 Below

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

Well DAHLINGS, if you read Bobby (and we certainly hope you read Bobby) you know how much we love it when a great song-fest meets a fab queer-fest creating a rock out-fest for our gay pride-fest, and in Shakina Nayfack: WHATEVER GETS YOU THROUGH IT, the lady was festing all over the stage. At Thursday night's 9:45 performance, this tattooed warrior princess presented a program of her self penned tone poems to kick off the re-opening of Feinstein's/54 Below. Slowly but surely our clubs are moving OFF-line and going back to FORMING lines outside their doors for all of us hungry, nay starved, for live entertainment - the kind that really only happens in our little ol' New York, and Shakina's show as the RE-opening act for F/54B (just in time for Pride) was the right choice for all of us. Once we were seated, my beautiful non-binary companion looked about and said, "Look at all these beautiful queer people. I have not been in a queer crowd in a while and this feels so right... so wonderful". As with her previous solo cabarets, One Woman Show, Post-Op, and Manifest Pussy, the lady revels in vulnerability, both hers and ours, using her deeply personal compositions and past experiences to take no quarter with her honest appraisals of life, dreams, roads not taken, and songs not sung... until now.BWW Review: SHAKINA NAYFACK Makes It Through In WHATEVER GETS YOU THROUGH IT at Feinstein's/54 Below

Speaking of which me dears, for the first half of her presentation, Shakina revives songs from her unreleased EP, fittingly titled Ice House Revival - each song's lyrics by the lady with music by her and that darling Christopher Webb. Owing to extreme bullying she experienced as a sixth-grade boy, Nayfack ceased her piano lessons altogether, so her songwriting process now is to write her poetry and then receive tunes, or ideas for tunes, from the universe on a download straight into her head. She then takes these musical and written notes to Webb who translates all into singable songs. Placing these gems in the very capable, multi-talented hands of music director/arranger Jacob Yates, who has assembled an equally capable band made up of Mike Rosengarten, Winston Roy, and Elena Bonomo, Shakina and her tribe support each other down the yellow brick road of each musical journey... and then there is this night's secret weapon. Dueting throughout the evening with the magical Lauren Marcus, whose own solo piece premiered at F/54B the following night, La Nayfack proceeded to let loose tunes to uplift and devastate, sometimes all at once. "Bright Turn" with its folky 70's Jim Croce feel was a highlight of the Nayfack & Marcus duets and a stand-out for the first act, in this rainbow boy's humble O.

BWW Review: SHAKINA NAYFACK Makes It Through In WHATEVER GETS YOU THROUGH IT at Feinstein's/54 Below To the delight of the crowd, Shakina revealed she had been providing lyrics for a musical adaptation of Ed Graczyk's play, Come Back to the Five & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean and these songs would comprise her second half. Written with composer, Dan G. Sells, each of the twanging Texas tunes were meaningful and fraught with female empowerment. Especially moving was the story-song "Survival", an anthem for Five & Dime's trans character, Joanne, that had the feel of 70's Cher who (interesting fact) starred in both the Broadway and film versions of Five & Dime, just not playing Joanne. Now, remembering that it's been more than a year since anyone has gotten to perform live anywhere, I will absolutely forgive Shakina's slight tendency, at times, to land on the sharp side of her notes, but while the lady's vocals may waver just a touch, her storytelling never does, and each song from this new musical does exactly what it was supposed to do: make the audience want to see the whole dang show. One hopes that this one will come to town and make a home for itself so everyone can get the chance to experience this new work for the musical stage. A musical based on a play?!? I may faint? If Bobby has to bring a touch of rain with his rainbow here, it's that Nayfack's talking us through Five & Dime, settingBWW Review: SHAKINA NAYFACK Makes It Through In WHATEVER GETS YOU THROUGH IT at Feinstein's/54 Below up each number with plot points and character intros before singing a song, started to feel a bit long and at 1:25 a judicious cut of 1 song from the first half and one from the second would not go amiss, but that's splitting hairs. Finally, as an encore, our lady of song deviated from her own music to sing and play some "Foolish Games" by Jewel. Causing an audible response from the audience, Music Director Yates picked up a cello and yielded the piano bench to Nayfack, whose touching story of how she had left the piano behind back in the 6th grade still resonated in the room. It was a beautiful cherry to place on the cake that was this evening of live performance.

Shakina Nayfack: WHATEVER GETS YOU THROUGH IT re-opening F/54B was really as fab a pride celebration as we could wish for and we hope that the lady will find her way back onto the club's calendar soon as Bobby gives this one...

A Solid 4 Out Of 5 Rainbows.

Shakina Has A WebbySite: HERE

Stalk Her Insta: HERE

Grab Her By The Twitters: HERE

Look Up Her YouTubes: HERE

And Followe On Ye Olde FaceBooke: HERE

All photos but l'il ol' me, Bobby Patrick

BWW Review: SHAKINA NAYFACK Makes It Through In WHATEVER GETS YOU THROUGH IT at Feinstein's/54 Below BWW Review: SHAKINA NAYFACK Makes It Through In WHATEVER GETS YOU THROUGH IT at Feinstein's/54 Below BWW Review: SHAKINA NAYFACK Makes It Through In WHATEVER GETS YOU THROUGH IT at Feinstein's/54 Below BWW Review: SHAKINA NAYFACK Makes It Through In WHATEVER GETS YOU THROUGH IT at Feinstein's/54 Below BWW Review: SHAKINA NAYFACK Makes It Through In WHATEVER GETS YOU THROUGH IT at Feinstein's/54 Below BWW Review: SHAKINA NAYFACK Makes It Through In WHATEVER GETS YOU THROUGH IT at Feinstein's/54 Below


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