BWW Reviews: Janet Krupin is a Resounding Success @ Sterling's
Janet Krupin, the winner of LA's Next Great Stage Star 2010 performed her first cabaret Rhapsody in New on Saturday May 15 @ Sterling's Upstairs @ Vitello's.
To say that this innovative, triple-threat future star was terrific is an understatement. She is a risk taker of the highest order, and as she explained at the top, she was about to present familiar material "like you've never heard it before". With Michael Alfera at piano, and also creator and musical director, there were a variety of pop songs done with completely new arrangements. This, for the most part, was a very good thing. Tinker too much with an old favorite and it can become unrecognizable. Only pleasantly so here! Harold Arlen's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" sounded unlike any rendition I have ever heard, and as much as I love Judy Garland's traditional interpretation, I have to admit I savored this new presentation. Thank you, Mr. Alfera and Ms Krupin! Another break from the mold was Jerry Herman's "I Won't Send Roses" from Mack and Mabel,
with some lyrics changed to "He Won't Send Roses" to suit Krupin's reflection on being in love with a man who is too preoccupied with himself. It worked divinely!
Alfera and Krupin graduated from USC the day before the concert, and in her opener, Krupin walked on stage in cap and gown, and during the course of her first number "Look At Me Now" from Andrew Lippa's The Wild Party, she briskly stipped them away to reveal a sexy white to-the-knee evening dress, showing off her voluptuous figure to great advantage. Risk taker that she is, Krupin is still very much a down-to-earth girl from Seattle and turned to her mom at a front table and assured her that everything was in place and she wouldn't lose control. Such a genuine, sweet personality within a strong, mature, professional instrument!
Other highlights that showed off Krupin's range and vocal style were Rodgers' and Hammerstein's "I Have Confidence", a very amusing tale of lesbian love "Old Fashioned Love Story" once again from Lippa's The Wild Party accompanied by a cute story about Krupin's first "hit on" encounter in a local bar, her bravura "Il Cane Del Opera" from Bark! , a rather engaging rendition of Ray Charles' "You Don't Know Me", a brave and bold "Down With Love", made so famous by Streisand in her second album, and closing were Krupin's winning entries in the Next Great Stage Star competition "How Lucky Can You Get?", another Streisand favorite from Funny Lady and her encore Rodgers' and Hammerstein's "If I Loved You" from Carousel. Noah Hunt, a friend of Krupin's since childhood beautifully accompanied her on guitar in a Stephen Schwartz tune "As Long As You're Mine".
In cabaret, a performer should reach out more to the audience and even include them by circulating amongst them while singing or joking with them on and off. This is Krupin's first cabaret, so we can forgive the things she did minimally or not at all. With experience, she will grow more steady in that direction, as there is every indication from her poise and charm that she is perfectly suited to the venue. But, first and foremost, Janet Krupin is a musical theatre actress. She puts everything she has, from the depths of her soul, into her music, and it is nothing short of glorious to be on the receiving end in her audience. Broadway beckons for All America's Next Great Stage Star Janet Krupin.