BWW Review: GLENN ROSENBLUM a Smash Cabaret Hit at Rockwell

Actor and President of Celebrity Access, Inc Glenn Rosenblum performed his one-man cabaret Glenn Rosenblum Is "the Musical Man" at Rockwell Table and Stage Monday October 24 to a packed house of adoring fans. Reminding one a little bit of actor James Coco, who had an undeniably infectious sensitivity and sense of humor, Rosenblum took the stage with great ease, sat on a stool by the piano and proceeded to tell his story. First, of course, there was a full overture of Broadway tunes, under the baton of musical director David J. Kaminski at the piano, Jon Butterworth on percussion and Josh Nyback on bass. The three musicians were terrific.

Rosenblum grew up in Massapequa, Long Island, New York in the 60s and 70s. He practically lived in his bedroom playing original cast albums from Broadway shows. In his presentation he had slides projected behind, showing him progress from age 7 "Neverland" from Peter Pan and himself singing "If Ever I Would Leave You" from Camelot ... to Zorba and "Life Is" -"I was age 9, what did I know about life?" ... to his initial teen years and "I Want to Be Happy" from No, No Nanette. He showed pix of his various hairstyles - he had a fro for his barmitzvah - and held up old album covers that, according to him, reeked of basement storage. I can totally relate to him, as I also had a collection of vinyl and loved the album covers that opened out with pictures of each particular show and told the entire background of its inception and contained full cast bios. Those were the days.

There was nothing mentioned about the difficulties of being gay or his parents' dissatisfaction with him. He did not use the show as a sounding board for any cause or for a problem that he overcame. That type of show gets tedious and way overdone by show business people. "How I Conquered Alcoholism" or "Why Did My Parents Abuse Me?" No, none of that here as part of Rosenblum's sweet show! This show, in fact, had a clean, fresh feel to it, concentrating on his love of Broadway show tunes and how much they affected his life. He appears to be a happy soul and for the most part has always maintained a true sense of stability and happiness. There was an occasional funny, funny observation, as when he held up the Peter Pan album, he commented about Mary Martin portraying a boy. "She looked like a 53 year-old lesbian going to Palm Springs to play in the Dinah Shore Open." Gales of laughter from the audience! A gay man must crack a joke from time to time, and when he did, Rosenblum was spontaneous and off the wall funny.

And...he has a beautiful tenor/baritone voice, which is proof alone that he should be singing and doing cabaret far more often. Other highlights of the hour long set included "Something's Coming" from West Side Story combined with "I Can See It" from The Fantasticks, "Sweetest Sounds" from the rarely heard No Strings, where he accompanied himself at the piano, a lovely "Who Are You Now?" a much forgotten but gorgeous Jule Style ballad from 1964's Funny Girl, "When I Get My Name in Lights", Anthony Newley's "Look at That Face" and the delightful "Use What You've Got" to show that it is never too late to show your talent to the world before it disintegrates. He ended with a simple Jewish song of peace "Shalom".

I am not sure whether Glenn Rosenblum plans on taking this show on cruise ships, or even if there is a plan. All I can say is the man is extremely talented, has a lovely voice and terrific sense of comedy. He should continue to do cabaret, period!

(top photo montage credit: Kelly Lester)

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From This Author Don Grigware

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