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CABARET REVIEW: JONATHAN FRANK-- SOME KIND OF MUSIC

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It's very difficult for me, Dear Reader, to try and write a Fair and Balanced review of a new cabaret show when all I want to do is hop up and down and shout "SEE THIS!! SEE THIS!! GO GO GO!! NOW!!" But true critics are not allowed to hop up and down and shout (are you listening, Mr. Simon?), so rather than dragging you all down to the Duplex myself (really, I would if I could), I shall simply list six of the reasons why you should run down there to see the incomprable Jonathan Frank in Some Kind of Music.

1. Jonathan's voice. Strong and clear, it conveys emotion effortlessly, moving from ironic hilarity (Shanna Carlson and Ken Mckenzie's "Why Do We Do It?") to heartbreaking power (Tim DiPasqua's "Maybe You Didn't Hear Me," perhaps one of the most poignant songs in recent memory). Jonathan doesn't try to spice up the song with any unnecessary tricks or gimmicks- he doesn't need to.

A good singer can make the song work by simply singing it, and Jonathan is far more than a good singer. He works honestly with the music and the lyrics, and the heart of the song shines through.

2. The humor. Quite a few of Jonathan's selections range from amusing to laugh-out-loud funny. Karen Benedetto's "Swing," about the dedication of the least-appreciated troopers on Broadway, goes from giggle-worthy to hysterical as Jonathan performs some thinly-veiled Fosse-esque choreography. An ode to everyone's favourite caffeinated beverage ("Coffee," by Tracy Stark) is sexy and seductive, but the amusement in Jonathan's voice adds a layer of playfulness to the song, and makes all the difference.

3. The pathos. The more somber songs become heartbreaking when Jonathan throws his heart and soul into them. The above-mentioned "Maybe You Didn't Hear Me," about a romantic moment going terribly wrong, was particularly memorable, and even the sardonic songs have true pain beneath the mocking bite.

4. The guest stars. Last Wednesday's was Barbara Fasano, who sang the brassiest, sassiest, and sexiest "Home Sweet Heaven" imaginable, and followed it up with a beautiful and gentle "In The Still of the Night." Next week's guest will be Jenna Robinson.

5. The band. Dick Gallagher on piano and Ritt Henn on bass create a warm, inviting sound that perfectly complements the mood of each song. And they even sing in one of the numbers.

6. The atmosphere. The Duplex's Storefront Theatre is a lovely mixture of elegance and informality, letting the audience relax but feel classy at the same time. It suit's Jonathan's style of singing perfectly- comfortable and inviting, but full of grace and style.

Some Kind of Music has one more performance on November 19th at 9:00 PM. The Duplex is at 61 Christopher Street, off of 7th Avenue. Visit www.JonathanFrank.com for more information, and call 212-255-5438 for reservations. Don't miss this wonderful show. Jonathan Frank is an amazing talent, and this presentation of his abilities is simply delightful.


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From This Author Jena Tesse Fox

Jena Tesse Fox is a lifelong theatre addict who has worked as an actress, a singer, a playwright, a director, a lyricist, a librettist, and (read more...)