Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Review: Robbie Rozelle Debuts New Green Room 42 Residency PARTY MIX

Review: Robbie Rozelle Debuts New Green Room 42 Residency PARTY MIX

Musical Comedy cabaret performer Robbie Rozelle has a new home and a new act.

Popular musical comedy cabaret performer Robbie Rozelle began his 2022 residency at The Green Room 42 last night, playing to a nicely-populated room full of devoted friends, family, and fans - the three F's that make up cabaret audiences. PARTY MIX, Mr. Rozelle explained to the crowd, is the name he chose for this outing because "I didn't know what else to call it" but also because he wants the show to give audiences a variety of moods with his program. Working alongside longtime musical director Yasuhiko Fukuoka and a downsized version of his band The Two Drink Minimum that has been named The Roundabout Reduction, Rozelle entertained his audience with sixty minutes of song and storytelling. Late in the evening, while introducing a new tune to his repertoire, Robbie blurted out, "I am a storyteller" and that is precisely what he is. He enjoys it and it shows, and his audiences are there for those stories, whatever form they take.

Review: Robbie Rozelle Debuts New Green Room 42 Residency PARTY MIX Robbie Rozelle is a very funny guy. He has assisted fellow cabaret performers with their acts, sometimes as a director, sometimes as a writer, sometimes as a friend just giving them a great line that turns out to be the funniest one in their act. He is always funny in the moment, able to make up something off the cuff that will make people laugh. This writer who has reviewed Rozelle several times has seen him be stand-up comedy funny, especially when he has sat down to write out a set with a story arc and with purpose (Rozelle has also chosen, in the past, to roll with the flow - sometimes it works, sometimes not so much, and he knows the risk that comes with it). Party Mix is not going to be a show that Rozelle has written and frozen, like his smash-hit debut cabaret SONGS FROM INSIDE MY LOCKER - that much is clear from last night's program, which centered almost entirely on Rozelle's experience of traveling to London to perform, contracting Covid, and being quarantined in a hotel room justthisbig during the Queen's Jubilee. Obviously, that is not a subject that can be sustained for four more performances (truthfully, a covid-oriented story should not, at this point, be sustained for an entire hour), and Robbie Rozelle has proven himself to be extremely topical with his material (a rant last night about Roe v. Wade was quite effective) so potential audience members can expect something new at each installment of the series. That's a great thing because Rozelle has a lot to say, and it is always a pleasure listening to him expound on the topics of the day (especially when he gets politically passionate), the antics of the divas (because gay), or the hot goss from the show business scene. It would be a mistake to lock Robbie into a four month residency with one unchanging show: he has his work cut out for him, though, because he does operate best within a storytelling structure.

Review: Robbie Rozelle Debuts New Green Room 42 Residency PARTY MIX For his opening night at The Green Room 42, Rozelle broke a bit with pattern in a couple of areas of his show. Famously one who favors guest artists, Robbie decided to fly solo last night. There have been few shows that this writer has seen where Rozelle didn't invite a close friend to join him on the stage for a duet or two, but last night it was all Robbie, for one hour, sharing the stories of his London trip, speaking honestly about the aftermath of contracting Covid for the first time (everything from the shame he felt to the lasting effects), and discussing the personal relationship he has with the songs he chose to sing. Well-known for tweaking his lyrics ever-so-slightly to fit his trajectory, Rozelle personalized some of the well-known tunes in his setlist, which is always good for comedic storytelling, and Rozelle excels at specialty comedy numbers like "What Did You Do To Your Face?" (he could do a full hour of this type of material) but Robbie is determined to stretch and grow as an artist, and that is the second area in his show in which he broke pattern.

Review: Robbie Rozelle Debuts New Green Room 42 Residency PARTY MIX Robbie Rozelle is unapologetically gay. Since beginning his journey in cabaret five years ago with what was to be a one-off performance, he has fully embraced his visibility as a gay man, flamboyant, diva-obsessed, devotedly married (his husband has become a character in his storytelling brand), and fully flying his Pride Flag. So his musical offerings almost always tend toward musical theater and neighboring genres that intersect the art form. It is welcome, it is authentic, and it is part of the Robbie Rozelle formula. Last night Robbie tested the waters with a Harry Chapin classic titled "Mr. Tanner" and it wasn't just a revelation - it was his best number of the night. The folk song put Robbie's voice into a sweet spot that audiences don't get to hear very often (he belts a lot), and the poetry of Chapin's lyrics provided lovely acting moments that comedy performers don't always get to put on display. This writer (and Chapin fan) would encourage Rozelle to sit down with Musical Director Fukuoka and explore this genre more - it works for Robbie, and it isn't far off from the work he does on his other evening highlight, the Sesame Street song "When Bert's Not Here," which Rozelle recently released as a single. From the very beginning of his cabaret career, Robbie Rozelle has been quite open with audiences about the fact that he was a retired actor who hadn't used his singing voice in a very long time, and the fans and audiences have watched him push himself with demanding vocal compositions, and seen his instrument grow, thanks to the work he does with vocal coach Christopher Sanders. So far, nobody has minded Robbie's vocal limitations, clubs keep booking him, shows keep selling out, and the Three F's of cabaret keep cheering him on, happy and proud for his artistic and technical growth (though even the most seasoned cabaret professionals would be reluctant to sing back-to-back performances of "Don't Rain on My Parade " and "But The World Goes Round," like Robbie did last night). But with this foray into Harry Chapin, Mr. Rozelle has discovered a chapter in musical storytelling that this writer suspects neither he nor his audience expected. Indeed, last night Robbie Rozelle took a moment to clarify his choice of the material - but no clarification is needed. He is, indeed, a storyteller, and Harry Chapin was also a storyteller. The two belong together, and Chapin's laid-back, soft, and personal approach to storytelling suits Robbie's aesthetic and instrument. It was a most welcome moment, not only in Robbie's show, but in his cabaret career. It might be difficult to be a clown, a socio-political commentator, and a heartfelt storyteller all at once, but there is every evidence that Robbie Rozelle is living inside of his craft spherically - it should pay off for him, in the long run.

Review: Robbie Rozelle Debuts New Green Room 42 Residency PARTY MIX It will be interesting to see how Party Mix develops, as a series and as a residency, as Rozelle creates new programs for each month. Robbie is well-known for his work ethic, so there is no doubt he is hard at work creating the story arc for the September show, even the morning after his opening night - and although Rozelle is a director of other cabaret artists, he lists no directing credit for Party Mix. This reporter might offer that bringing in a separate pair of eyes will take some pressure off of him so that he can focus, solely, on wearing his storytelling hat, particularly while exploring new artistic territory and preparing to record a new album. These are exciting times for Robbie Rozelle and his followers - not one opportunity to excel should be wasted, and, together, Fukuoka and Rozelle will continue driving what appears to be a cabaret train that won't be stopped.

Robbie Rozelle PARTY MIX will play The Green Room 42 September 5th, October 24th, November 14th, December 19th. For information and reservations visit the GR42 website HERE.

THIS is the Robbie Rozelle website and HERE is the Yasuhiko Fukuoka website.

The ROUNDABOUT REDUCTION band members are Wes Bourland on guitar and bass, Evan Hyde on drums, and Musical Director/arranger Yasuhiko Fukuoka on piano.

Review: Robbie Rozelle Debuts New Green Room 42 Residency PARTY MIX Review: Robbie Rozelle Debuts New Green Room 42 Residency PARTY MIX

Review: Robbie Rozelle Debuts New Green Room 42 Residency PARTY MIX Review: Robbie Rozelle Debuts New Green Room 42 Residency PARTY MIX Review: Robbie Rozelle Debuts New Green Room 42 Residency PARTY MIX Review: Robbie Rozelle Debuts New Green Room 42 Residency PARTY MIX Review: Robbie Rozelle Debuts New Green Room 42 Residency PARTY MIX Review: Robbie Rozelle Debuts New Green Room 42 Residency PARTY MIX

Review: Robbie Rozelle Debuts New Green Room 42 Residency PARTY MIX Review: Robbie Rozelle Debuts New Green Room 42 Residency PARTY MIX

Review: Robbie Rozelle Debuts New Green Room 42 Residency PARTY MIX

Review: Robbie Rozelle Debuts New Green Room 42 Residency PARTY MIX Review: Robbie Rozelle Debuts New Green Room 42 Residency PARTY MIX Review: Robbie Rozelle Debuts New Green Room 42 Residency PARTY MIX Review: Robbie Rozelle Debuts New Green Room 42 Residency PARTY MIX Review: Robbie Rozelle Debuts New Green Room 42 Residency PARTY MIX

Review: Robbie Rozelle Debuts New Green Room 42 Residency PARTY MIX

Review: Robbie Rozelle Debuts New Green Room 42 Residency PARTY MIX Photos by Stephen Mosher

Visit the Stephen Mosher website HERE.


Join Team BroadwayWorld

Are you an avid Cabaret fan in NYC? We're looking for people like you to share your thoughts and insights with our readers. Team BroadwayWorld members get access to shows to review, conduct interviews with artists, and the opportunity to meet and network with fellow theatre lovers and arts workers.

Interested? Learn more here.





From This Author - Stephen Mosher

Stephen Mosher is the author of The Sweater Book (a collection of his photography featuring celebrated artists from the entertainment communities of New York, Los Angeles, and London), Lived In Cra... (read more about this author)


Ben Bogen Returns To The Green Room 42 With Smash Hit TEENAGE DREAM On October 10thBen Bogen Returns To The Green Room 42 With Smash Hit TEENAGE DREAM On October 10th
October 3, 2022

Back in Manhattan from the Wicked tour, song-and-dance divo Ben Bogen will reprise his hit debut solo show.

Interview: Eric Michael Gillett of The American Songbook Association Celebrates Eric Michael Gillett at Chelsea Table + StageInterview: Eric Michael Gillett of The American Songbook Association Celebrates Eric Michael Gillett at Chelsea Table + Stage
October 2, 2022

The American Songbook Association has a new award named after its founder, and they will give it to Eric Michael Gillett, who has earned it.

Review: Clint Holmes Astonishes 54 Below Audience With BETWEEN THE MOON AND NEW YORK CITYReview: Clint Holmes Astonishes 54 Below Audience With BETWEEN THE MOON AND NEW YORK CITY
September 30, 2022

With his new show, Clint Holmes is making Peter Allen cool again while staying cool, himself.

Review: BERNSTEIN ON BROADWAY at 54 Below By Guest Reviewer Ari AxelrodReview: BERNSTEIN ON BROADWAY at 54 Below By Guest Reviewer Ari Axelrod
September 30, 2022

With no avaialble correspondent to cover an important cabaret event, Broadway World Cabaret turns to a friend for some help.

Review: Claudine Cassan-Jellison Encores HEY FRENCHY! STORIES AND SONGS FROM THE PANTRY at Don't Tell MamaReview: Claudine Cassan-Jellison Encores HEY FRENCHY! STORIES AND SONGS FROM THE PANTRY at Don't Tell Mama
September 29, 2022

Chanteuse et recountreuse Claudine Cassan-Jellison revient avec sa belle histoire personelle.