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Review: AN EVENING WITH ORFEH & ANDY KARL Leaves Chelsea Table + Stage Audience Crazy From Heart

Review: AN EVENING WITH ORFEH & ANDY KARL Leaves Chelsea Table + Stage Audience Crazy From Heart

Mister and Missus Karl cordially invite you to get down.

It was hateful hot out last night in New York City. One minute Alexa said the temperature was at eighty-nine, the next minute it was ninety-one, and then it was eighty-nine again. Hateful hot. But it wasn't hot in Chelsea... at least, not at the Chelsea Table + Stage nightclub on 26th Street. The new club and concert venue that opened last September has been building up a clientele that enjoys its chic and sleek setting, the fine cuisine, and the artfully articulated musical lineup of entertainment playing the room. With a slant into rock and roll, jazz and popular music, Chelsea Table + Stage has featured occasional appearances by artists from the Broadway and cabaret scene, artists with an edge like Mason Alexander Park and Daisy Jopling who fit with ease into the upscale vibe of the Fashion District, and last night Chelsea Table + Stage was all rock and all soul as one of the edgiest, sexiest, grooviest club acts originating out of Broadway made their Chelsea Table + Stage debut.

Review: AN EVENING WITH ORFEH & ANDY KARL Leaves Chelsea Table + Stage Audience Crazy From Heart

Entering the venue, the first thought this lifelong show queen and gay male had was for the staircase. What an entrance. Patrons not planning on arriving on time should prepare for a Dolly Levi entrance that will have all eyes in the club taking in every move as, step by step, one descends into the Chelsea Table + Stage splendor. The climate of the room isn't the only thing that's chill, for lustrous hues of colorful lighting highlight stylish decor as simple but elegantly costumed servers glide through the space like skaters on ice, seeing to the needs of the guests. The scent of sweet cocktails, savory meals, and pricey perfumes fill the air as the room buzzes with excitement and social intercourse, friends laughing, and animated conversation. From that first step onto that seductive staircase, the Chelsea Table + Stage ambiance is enough to make one forget the sweltering heat of the summer, the minutiae of the day, and the deafening noise of the state of the world. Last night, this was, indeed, the coolest place in Manhattan.

And that's even before the headliners hit the stage, the coolest couple in show business and the hottest rock and rollers ever to gaze lovingly at one another over the sound of an electric guitar.

Orfeh and Andy were in the house.

Review: AN EVENING WITH ORFEH & ANDY KARL Leaves Chelsea Table + Stage Audience Crazy From Heart

Specifically titled AN EVENING WITH ORFEH AND ANDY KARL, the program starring the dual Tony Award nominees is one of the slickest, most professional, well-rehearsed, and enjoyable shows to be made available to any audience member from one coast to the other, on either side of the ocean, on land, sea, or even (were it possible) in the air. Anyone who has ever had to make excuses for an artist they loved for presenting a show that has been under-rehearsed will appreciate the scrupulous care that the entire Orfeh and Andy team puts into their shows: there is not one wasted or superfluous moment in an Orfeh and Andy concert - even when ad-libbing, even in spontaneity, the twosome knows each other's rhythms and thought patterns so well that the flow of the show remains steadfast, Review: AN EVENING WITH ORFEH & ANDY KARL Leaves Chelsea Table + Stage Audience Crazy From Heart uninterrupted and totally en pointe. After making a huge hit with their show Legally Bound at Lincoln Center, The Karls have been extremely popular on the concert circuit, and it is patently clear, the respect they have for their audience, for the fans who attend every single show to the point that Orfeh can spot them in the house, even with the lights in her eyes, and chat with them from the stage. The duo puts everything they've got into their show, so as to give to the people who place such faith in them to provide the happiness they have come to expect at an Orfeh and Andy Karl show, and that is precisely what happened last night. Mr. and Mrs. Karl came, they sang, they flirted, they conquered, and everyone left happy.

There can be no disputing the quality of musical entertainment at an Orfeh and Andy show. There is no other voice like Orfeh's, anywhere in the world, and there is sometimes shocking versatility in his ability, as Andy slides sideways from Rock and Roll Broadway like Bryan Adams' Pretty Woman score to authentic radio Rock and Roll like Prince (the low notes actually rattle the floor). With an undeterred mission to have their audience almost desperate to stand up and dance, Orfeh and Andy storm the stage at the very beginning of the evening and tear it up with unimpeachable musical performances made all the better by one of the best bands in the business, including their longtime backup singers Tim Kodres and Nikki Kimbrough, each of whom The Karls insist have mind-blowing solos, in every single show, which says a lot about who Andy and Orfeh are as people. Theirs is a rock concert, from start to finish, but Orfeh and Andy are more than just rock stars, on the Review: AN EVENING WITH ORFEH & ANDY KARL Leaves Chelsea Table + Stage Audience Crazy From Heart stage and in life, they are actors who are there to tell stories, and they are a couple that is unabashedly in love. Indeed, this cool, groovy, hot, funky, sexy couple whose club act is akin to being on a club dance floor under the influence of a boutique party drug is actually that dirtiest of dirty words: they are cute. They are, in fact, nerds. They aren't nerds like my husband, the Doctor Who nerd, and they aren't nerds like my friend Ellen, the French nerd, or my friend Brady, the Oz nerd, or even me, the musical theater nerd. Orfeh and Andy are lovebird nerds. They are lovenerds. Even as they raise the roof with the likes of some raucous Janis Joplin, Orfeh's funky Paula Abdul arrangement, and Andy's stunning "Yesterday/Time After Time/Shallow" medley, there is the overpowering sensation of watching two people in love be in love. Observe the proud and protective way Andy watches Orfeh while joining Nikki and Tim to do backup on "If I Can't Have You" or note how Or leans into him after an onstage kiss at the end of the show. There is much teasing and playful banter about his attire and his dad jokes but it is very much a part of the Orfeh and Andy shorthand - it's not a part of the act, it's a part of the life, a part of their life that has made it into the act, which is one of the reasons the act is so good. It's authentic to who they are: playful and funny, sexy and sassy, lovely and loving - and not just with each other. They are so in love with their work, with the music, with their band, with their audience - their love of this profession and this life informs every moment they are in the room with the audience, and that feeds their desire, their need, their intent to make the eighty minutes they spend on the stage the best eighty minutes that anyone in the room has all week.

And last night, it was.

And that is the coolest thing ever.

The out-of-this-world Orfeh and Andy Karl band is:

Damien Bassman on drums

Colin Dean on bass

Micah Burgess on guitar

Steve Jamail Musical Directing from behind the piano

Nikki Kimbrough and Tim Kodres on vocals

Find other great shows to see on the Chelsea Table + Stage website HERE.

Visit the Orfeh website HERE and THIS is the Andy Karl website.

Review: AN EVENING WITH ORFEH & ANDY KARL Leaves Chelsea Table + Stage Audience Crazy From Heart Review: AN EVENING WITH ORFEH & ANDY KARL Leaves Chelsea Table + Stage Audience Crazy From Heart Review: AN EVENING WITH ORFEH & ANDY KARL Leaves Chelsea Table + Stage Audience Crazy From Heart Review: AN EVENING WITH ORFEH & ANDY KARL Leaves Chelsea Table + Stage Audience Crazy From Heart Review: AN EVENING WITH ORFEH & ANDY KARL Leaves Chelsea Table + Stage Audience Crazy From Heart

Review: AN EVENING WITH ORFEH & ANDY KARL Leaves Chelsea Table + Stage Audience Crazy From Heart Photos by Stephen Mosher

Visit the Stephen Mosher website HERE.


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