Review: CRISTIN MILIOTI An Oasis Of Coolness At Joe's Pub

Great actress, Grammy winner, and the coolest chick singer ever finally back on the music stage.

By: Nov. 28, 2023
Review: CRISTIN MILIOTI An Oasis Of Coolness At Joe's Pub

Singing actress Cristin Milioti has been playing some shows over at Joe’s Pub recently, and it’s a good thing, too.  The star of film, television, and Broadway has been doing a lot of acting in recent years, but the ‘singing’ part of her artistic nature is important, too, and the Joe’s Pub crowds have been missing her.  This was her return to the nightclub stage in a solo show after being off since 2019, which is a travesty.  When this writer uses that descriptive - singing actress - it is a truly and sincerely felt way of honoring both of Ms. Milioti’s gifts as a storyteller.  And when it comes to her nightclub career, there is no better place for her to flourish than the stage of Joe’s Pub.  The OG “Girl” from Broadway’s ONCE is a musical storyteller of such unique gifts that she fits, like a glove, the edgy downtown aesthetic of the venue, and on November 19th, the at-capacity house could not get enough of her.   

Review: CRISTIN MILIOTI An Oasis Of Coolness At Joe's Pub

Extremely blessed by the gods of the gift of gab, the hilarious Militoti opened her concert with some informal words about these last few “casual, chill years” and the music that helped her get through it, music like the vast juxtapositions that are Taylor Swift (“Anti-Hero”) and Fiona Apple (“I Want You To Love Me), her two opening numbers.  But in that monologue between those numbers, Milioti perfectly set the tone for the evening, displaying for her audience the laid-back non-sequitur, simultaneously random yet connected nature of her setlist, her verbiage, and her outlook, even going so far as to confess that she had forgotten all of her cool jewelry at home, having to come out on the stage in plain, unadorned, black pants and white tank top.  But if an unadorned Cristin Milioti is the real Cristin Milioti, then, may she never wear a ring or a bracelet again, for the woman who kept the rapt Joe’s Pub audience firmly in the palm of her hand for sixty-five ambrosial minutes is the storyteller we want.

Review: CRISTIN MILIOTI An Oasis Of Coolness At Joe's Pub

Backed by a killer band, Ms. Milioti dove deep into songs like “The Gold”  and “Moon Song” (both evening highlights, interestingly sung back-to-back) using an ethereal voice worthy of a rock and roll singing siren from magical realism stories by Francesca Lia Block, with occasional vocalises that rang through the room like Circe songs, powerful and hypnotic.  The vocal quality of the night was a great reminder that Cristin Militoti isn’t just an actress, isn’t just a singer, she is a very good singer, one who should be singing all the time.  And the acting?   Well, that came into play, too.  Cristin Milioti has an incredible knack for getting to the emotional center of each musical monologue that she presents, and when you have the blessing of the visual that is this great American actress to go along with the glory of that one-of-a-kind voice, it cannot be any wonder that Joe’s Pub always has an open door for her, and so few empty seats in her audience.  She is truly one of the most interesting performers working in cabaret and concert today.  And speaking of interesting - the setlist was sublime, ranging from Phoebe Bridgers to Kacey Musgraves with a little Righteous Brothers thrown in (you’ve never heard an “Unchained Melody” like Milioti’s), and not one but two songs by the oh-so-groovy band boygenius, and, like a cherry on the top of a great sundae, Cristin’s off-the-cuff comments on “sad girl music” and John Prine (comments that were aborted when her train of thought derailed) was comedy gold.

Review: CRISTIN MILIOTI An Oasis Of Coolness At Joe's Pub

Aside from the musical storytelling, there is the little matter of the actual storytelling.  Cristin Milioti is a monologuist.  Each tangential talk that she gave during her concert was a few minutes of heaven with a woman possessing of natural wit, whimsy, and way with words.  Particularly memorable was a fifteen-minute-long anecdote about a nightmare audition that she did for a dream role that would have put her in the film version of a Broadway musical that is her North Star.  Any girl who got the part would be flying high, and the girls who didn’t would surely be green with envy, and although Cristin Milioti did not find herself dancing through her audition, she did end up with a wickedly funny story to tell, a story that, alone, was worth the price of admission (and a stand-up comedy spot on Kimmel).

Review: CRISTIN MILIOTI An Oasis Of Coolness At Joe's Pub

As for the musical offerings during Cristin Milioti’s much-appreciated return to the nightclub stage, highlights in the program included “Hookup Scene” (the Kacey Musgraves offering) and “Moon Song” by the aforementioned Phoebe Bridgers, but the truth is that the whole concert was a highlight, much like Milioti is in all our lives. It should be stated loudly and clearly that, while the storytelling being achieved by the Grammy winner was of the highest quality, Cristin was aided mightily by Spencer Cohen on drums, guitarist Freddy Hall, Tim Lappin behind the bass, and Musical Director Cody Owen Stine at the piano, guitar and arranger’s table, to say nothing of background vocalists Nina Grollman and Kate Steinberg, who blended beautifully with their headliner, particularly on the acapella Righteous Brothers number.  It was, all of it, one of the grooviest shows of 2023, planned and executed by a singing actress that everybody should wish wouldn’t, for another four years, stay away from the concert stage.  

Find great shows to see on the Joe’s Pub website HERE.

THIS is the Cristin Milioti LinkTree.

Photos by Stephen Mosher

Review: CRISTIN MILIOTI An Oasis Of Coolness At Joe's Pub

Review: CRISTIN MILIOTI An Oasis Of Coolness At Joe's Pub

Review: CRISTIN MILIOTI An Oasis Of Coolness At Joe's Pub

Review: CRISTIN MILIOTI An Oasis Of Coolness At Joe's Pub

Review: CRISTIN MILIOTI An Oasis Of Coolness At Joe's Pub

Review: CRISTIN MILIOTI An Oasis Of Coolness At Joe's Pub

Review: CRISTIN MILIOTI An Oasis Of Coolness At Joe's Pub

Review: CRISTIN MILIOTI An Oasis Of Coolness At Joe's Pub

Review: CRISTIN MILIOTI An Oasis Of Coolness At Joe's Pub

Review: CRISTIN MILIOTI An Oasis Of Coolness At Joe's Pub Review: CRISTIN MILIOTI An Oasis Of Coolness At Joe's Pub

Review: CRISTIN MILIOTI An Oasis Of Coolness At Joe's Pub Review: CRISTIN MILIOTI An Oasis Of Coolness At Joe's Pub

Review: CRISTIN MILIOTI An Oasis Of Coolness At Joe's Pub

Review: CRISTIN MILIOTI An Oasis Of Coolness At Joe's Pub

Review: CRISTIN MILIOTI An Oasis Of Coolness At Joe's Pub Review: CRISTIN MILIOTI An Oasis Of Coolness At Joe's Pub

Review: CRISTIN MILIOTI An Oasis Of Coolness At Joe's Pub

Review: CRISTIN MILIOTI An Oasis Of Coolness At Joe's Pub

Review: CRISTIN MILIOTI An Oasis Of Coolness At Joe's Pub

Review: CRISTIN MILIOTI An Oasis Of Coolness At Joe's Pub

Review: CRISTIN MILIOTI An Oasis Of Coolness At Joe's Pub

Review: CRISTIN MILIOTI An Oasis Of Coolness At Joe's Pub

Review: CRISTIN MILIOTI An Oasis Of Coolness At Joe's Pub

Review: CRISTIN MILIOTI An Oasis Of Coolness At Joe's Pub

Review: CRISTIN MILIOTI An Oasis Of Coolness At Joe's Pub

Review: CRISTIN MILIOTI An Oasis Of Coolness At Joe's Pub



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