Review: ARI AXELROD'S ALBUM RELEASE CONCERT at Chelsea Table + Stage Showcases Show Business Excellence

Cabaret great Ari Axelrod releases debut album with outstanding outing at Chelsea Table.

By: Dec. 01, 2022
Review: ARI AXELROD'S ALBUM RELEASE CONCERT at Chelsea Table + Stage Showcases Show Business Excellence
Enter Your Email to Unlock This Article

Plus, get the best of BroadwayWorld delivered to your inbox, and unlimited access to our editorial content across the globe.




Existing user? Just click login.

Cabaret artist Ari Axelrod has just released his first-ever album, a disc titled Ari Axelrod LIVE AT BIRDLAND, and, like most singers releasing an album, Mr. Axelrod threw himself a launch party this week. Because of scheduling conflicts, Mr. Axelrod launched the recording, not at Birdland, but at Chelsea Table + Stage, but he could have thrown this party in a parking lot, an empty warehouse, or an open field under the stars and the people would have come. More and more, as the Axelrod mystique gets out into the world, the people are coming. They want to see what it's all about, they want to hear the phenomenon about which everyone is talking, they want the whole Ari Axelrod experience.

And that is exactly what they got.

Review: ARI AXELROD'S ALBUM RELEASE CONCERT at Chelsea Table + Stage Showcases Show Business Excellence

Working alongside the magnificent Lawrence Yurman at the piano, Mr. Axelrod presented a version of his award-winning show ARI'S ARIAS (the act that was recorded on June 30th) to his audience on Monday night, an audience that was generously populated by celebrities from the worlds of cabaret and Broadway. For ninety minutes Axelrod placed on display every shred of evidence needed to back up his growing fame as a storyteller, including the Bistro Award that was bestowed upon him in a Review: ARI AXELROD'S ALBUM RELEASE CONCERT at Chelsea Table + Stage Showcases Show Business Excellence season during which he played this show only one time. The result of Axelrod's efforts was a room full of people cheering, tearing up, and, repeatedly, saying "Wow." From a seat front and center, this writer observed these three responses from nearby tables consistently throughout the program, especially after performances of "My Funny Valentine," "Bring Him Home," "Cool," and "If I Were A Rich Man" that completely reinvented the classic compositions. Speaking factually, everything Axelrod did during his musical cabaret effectively reinvented the material because Ari is not content to do that which was done before he arrived. Ari has an almost savant-esque ability to survey the lay of a song and pick a path that no artist has ever discovered before, making his voyage of discovery into each composition a world of wonder for the audience.

Then he adds his own story.

Review: ARI AXELROD'S ALBUM RELEASE CONCERT at Chelsea Table + Stage Showcases Show Business Excellence

Ari Axelrod doesn't need to apply his personal tale to each song because he knows a wealth of historical facts about the catalogue, about the creators, and about the creation, and he speaks of these histories with reverence and dedication, with levity and love, so it never sounds like a history lesson when he goes off on tengents concerning Lorenz Hart or Leonard Bernstein. It is a pleasure to listen to the tales that he tells of the famous or the humbles who have touched his life... but it's Review: ARI AXELROD'S ALBUM RELEASE CONCERT at Chelsea Table + Stage Showcases Show Business Excellence better when the histories are the ones informed by him. Ari could talk about the rules that are in place when riding in his car, he could go on about his dog Leo, or he could share the most valuable lessons learned from the most important moments in his life (like a brush with a brain tumor) and the result would be reward, rich and resplendent. Or he could just jump into a number without prologue, just to see how many people in the crowd sigh when they hear the words, "I met a man without a dollar to his name..." and they did sigh. This was a night of emotions, from the most joyful to the most painful (but painful in the best way), for Ari Axelrod and for his rapt and grateful audience. It was even a night of emotions for Leo, who paid a visit to the stage during a performance of "Not While I'm Around" awash with contentment to be in Ari's arms with his paw cradling the scar from the brain surgery. Whether the moment belongs to the pooch, to the patrons, to his Judaism, or to exquisitely arranged and orchestrated songs by Sondheim, Finn, or Cahn & Styne, Ari Axelrod is in that moment, bringing to it a life seemingly fresh and new, even in its familiarity. The performance was, from start to finish, from tip to tail, a perfect night of excellence and entertainment, of honesty and humanity, of creativity and connection. For there could not possibly have been a single person who went home after Ari Axelrod's Album Release Concert that didn't feel like a family member, each of them sated, each of them fulfilled, and each of them proud of their boy.

That Axelrod Boy... he's just checking off those boxes. And he is doing it beautifully, impressively, and in the way that is best suited to him: his way.

Ari Axelrod LIVE AT BIRDLAND is currently available on all digital platforms and at the Ari Axelrod website HERE.

Find great shows to see at Chelsea Table + Stage HERE.

Photos by Stephen Mosher; Visit the Stephen Mosher website HERE.

Review: ARI AXELROD'S ALBUM RELEASE CONCERT at Chelsea Table + Stage Showcases Show Business Excellence

Review: ARI AXELROD'S ALBUM RELEASE CONCERT at Chelsea Table + Stage Showcases Show Business Excellence

Review: ARI AXELROD'S ALBUM RELEASE CONCERT at Chelsea Table + Stage Showcases Show Business Excellence

Review: ARI AXELROD'S ALBUM RELEASE CONCERT at Chelsea Table + Stage Showcases Show Business Excellence Review: ARI AXELROD'S ALBUM RELEASE CONCERT at Chelsea Table + Stage Showcases Show Business Excellence Review: ARI AXELROD'S ALBUM RELEASE CONCERT at Chelsea Table + Stage Showcases Show Business Excellence

Review: ARI AXELROD'S ALBUM RELEASE CONCERT at Chelsea Table + Stage Showcases Show Business Excellence

Review: ARI AXELROD'S ALBUM RELEASE CONCERT at Chelsea Table + Stage Showcases Show Business Excellence

Review: ARI AXELROD'S ALBUM RELEASE CONCERT at Chelsea Table + Stage Showcases Show Business Excellence

Review: ARI AXELROD'S ALBUM RELEASE CONCERT at Chelsea Table + Stage Showcases Show Business Excellence

Review: ARI AXELROD'S ALBUM RELEASE CONCERT at Chelsea Table + Stage Showcases Show Business Excellence

Review: ARI AXELROD'S ALBUM RELEASE CONCERT at Chelsea Table + Stage Showcases Show Business Excellence

Review: ARI AXELROD'S ALBUM RELEASE CONCERT at Chelsea Table + Stage Showcases Show Business Excellence

Review: ARI AXELROD'S ALBUM RELEASE CONCERT at Chelsea Table + Stage Showcases Show Business Excellence Review: ARI AXELROD'S ALBUM RELEASE CONCERT at Chelsea Table + Stage Showcases Show Business Excellence

Review: ARI AXELROD'S ALBUM RELEASE CONCERT at Chelsea Table + Stage Showcases Show Business Excellence

Review: ARI AXELROD'S ALBUM RELEASE CONCERT at Chelsea Table + Stage Showcases Show Business Excellence

Review: ARI AXELROD'S ALBUM RELEASE CONCERT at Chelsea Table + Stage Showcases Show Business Excellence Review: ARI AXELROD'S ALBUM RELEASE CONCERT at Chelsea Table + Stage Showcases Show Business Excellence

Review: ARI AXELROD'S ALBUM RELEASE CONCERT at Chelsea Table + Stage Showcases Show Business Excellence

Review: ARI AXELROD'S ALBUM RELEASE CONCERT at Chelsea Table + Stage Showcases Show Business Excellence

Review: ARI AXELROD'S ALBUM RELEASE CONCERT at Chelsea Table + Stage Showcases Show Business Excellence

Review: ARI AXELROD'S ALBUM RELEASE CONCERT at Chelsea Table + Stage Showcases Show Business Excellence

Review: ARI AXELROD'S ALBUM RELEASE CONCERT at Chelsea Table + Stage Showcases Show Business Excellence

Review: ARI AXELROD'S ALBUM RELEASE CONCERT at Chelsea Table + Stage Showcases Show Business Excellence

Review: ARI AXELROD'S ALBUM RELEASE CONCERT at Chelsea Table + Stage Showcases Show Business Excellence Review: ARI AXELROD'S ALBUM RELEASE CONCERT at Chelsea Table + Stage Showcases Show Business Excellence

Review: ARI AXELROD'S ALBUM RELEASE CONCERT at Chelsea Table + Stage Showcases Show Business Excellence



Videos