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BWW Review: (STILL A)LIVE FROM SHAPIRO HALL: PART 4: WHAT THE HELL, IT'S CHRISTMAS

From The Team of Shapiro & Hall

BWW Review: (STILL A)LIVE FROM SHAPIRO HALL: PART 4: WHAT THE HELL, IT'S CHRISTMAS

Janice Hall and Adam B. Shapiro Bring Some Cheer For The New Year With their (Still A)Live From Shapiro Hall: Part 4: WHAT THE HELL, IT'S CHRISTMAS

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

Well my darlings 2020 has wrapped up and I think we all agree we had a terrible decade this past year. But on the positive side, one of the many online offerings that sprouted from RONA's garden during our quarantine ordeal is a YouTube show created by Off-Broadway's adorable Jewish, Queerish, cuddly, furry teddy bear, Adam B. Shapiro and his opera trained, cabaret committed roomie, Janice Hall. Stuck together with nowhere to go for months, this gifted odd couple decided to build a virtual barn and put on a show from their apartment (where they committedly have been holed up going nowhere fast together), complete with projected backgrounds, makeshift costumes, make up, music and webcams for broadcasting. Not holding back on the stigma of home produced online entertainment they have called their show; (Still A)Live From Shapiro Hall and for 3 episodes this mismatched pair made up of a big, belty boy late of the Yiddish Fiddler and an opera STAR turned cabaret maven and theatre actress, have sung, joked and jibed there way onto Shapiro's YouTubes and entertained hundreds of their fellow shut-ins. This week they offered fans and followers Part 4: WHAT THE HELL, IT'S CHRISTMAS a holiday extravaganza that put to work all the skills these two have been working out with parts 1-3. Their song list goes from spiritual to hysterical at the drop of a dreidel. Hall kicks off the Christmas side of the show beautifully trilling in her fine legit mezzo some old English/Irish carols that then segue into Shapiro's rendition of Chanukah, Oh Chanukah mashed up with the novelty number Remember That We Suffered (with Zoomed in gal pals, Stacie Perlman and Jackie Hoffman). This sets up what is the show's greatest charm; watching fine entertainers making their efforts all about all of us by making it all about themselves and how one makes sweet lemonade out of sour apples.

And how sweet it is... Shapiro, a bundle of joyous talent who has worked hard climbing up the New York musical theatre ladder, and then, in a plot twist worthy of a Sondheim lyric, lands Off-Broadway in the triumphant, Joel Grey directed, all Yiddish, Fiddler On The Roof. In days gone by The Yiddish Theatre here in New York scored many hits and stars that one can read about in our musical stage history, but those days seemed to have passed us by until 2018 when our usual crop of British imports made way for Yiddish bottle dancers. Janice Hall, conversely, is a lovely erudite mighty mite who's credits on opera stages both domestic and international are pretty much everything a mezzo could yodel about and more. Over the last several years, though, Hall has retooled and redefined herself by finding nonmusical acting roles in the theatre as well as alternate vocal productions that have allowed her to reach into the great American Songbook, perform in small venue clubs and basically prove she is as much a diva of cabaret as she is of opera. So take these two disparate talents add gin (and a pandemic) and stir and what you get is some truly lovely entertainment to start your New Year off right. Yes, Bobby knows Christmas has passed, but this show from Shapiro Hall takes into account the entirety of the holidays and their aftermath. Their really funny 12 Days Of Christmas Returns comedy sketch utilizing guest stars; Steve Bucino, Kirsten Day, Freddy & Jay Freeman, Gretchen Reinhagen (& Sassy), the Venerable Cabaretist Lennie Watts and Drag Mamma Reverend Yolanda brings chuckles and eye rolls a-plenty. Hall even shows off her marvelous mezzo by fulfilling a request from Shapiro to sing a saucy Habanera from Carmen that gives way halfway through the aria to an even saucier rhumba beat. In return, character belter Adam B. gifts Hall his rendition of Adelaide's Lament from Guys & Dolls with super fun visuals that this writer will not spoil here. And speaking of visuals, the entire production as conceived by these two is directed and edited by Shapiro, and one must stop and applaud his accomplishment with this homemade entertainment. The video is a tight 40 minutes of non-stop festivity and beautiful visuals with smooth transitions that take you from one moment to the next all with color and light and snowy scenes that make one sigh. What more could anyone ask? Well, one might ask for a few rainbows and so we must oblige by recommending you take out 40 minutes here in your brand new shiny 2021 and dial up (Still A)Live From Shapiro Hall: Part 4: WHAT THE HELL, IT'S CHRISTMAS because Bobby gives this one a solid:

4 Out Of 5 Rainbows! (Merry & A Happy To You All My Darlings)

(Still A)Live From Shapiro Hall: Part 4: WHAT THE HELL, IT'S CHRISTMAS is on the YouTubes: HERE

Shapiro Has A Tweeter: HERE

And Hall's Webby is: HERE



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From This Author Bobby Patrick