BWW review: Susan Edwards Martin Knocks Her First Solo Cabaret Show Out of the Park
An unpredictable musical evening with
Susan Edwards Martin/at Upstairs at Vitello's Supper Club/Sunday February 3 at 7: 30
When I attend a cabaret show, I look for great talent and the ability of a performer to relate to the audience with warmth and humor. I've become a real snob about these things. If they are missing, I might as well have stayed at home.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have encountered a brand new nightclub star. Welcome the fabulous Susan Edwards Martin to the world of Los Angeles cabaret. She has performed amongst others in the past few years but An unpredictable musical evening with Susan Edwards Martin on Sunday Febreuary 3 at Upstairs at Vitello's was her very first solo show, and ... was she worth waiting for. A knockout singer and comic actress, Martin in some ways, might be considered the female Jason Graae. She holds her audience in the palm of her hand with friendliness and charm and exudes a nonstop fast paced energy that never lets down. The laughs come naturally, never forced. She's just funny, pure and simple. Accompanying her at the piano for the hour set was Sam Kriger, who got into the act himself with a delicious introduction that made us think Pia Zadora might be performing... and a song that I'll talk about further in
Martin told her audience up front that this show would be a compilation of favorite songs from shows she has appeared in on Broadway and on the road. Songs included "Some People", Gershwin's "They Can't Take That Away From Me", "Honeysuckle Rose" from her first Broadway show Bubbling Brown Sugar ,,,"I was the white sugar" she joked. Other oldies but goodies were "I Got the World on a String", "Can't Help Loving That Man", and "You Made Me Love You".
She enlisted the aid of Kriger to play while she left the stage. He did a delightful "Strummin' In Pain With My Fingers" to the tune of "Kissing Me Softly". The man is so talented we could have listened to at least one or two more songs, maybe a duet with Martin. When she returned, she had a violin case in hand, exclaiming "With all the money my parents spent on lessons|..." and she proceeded to play "Gypsy In My Soul" hitting one sour note after another. It was a hilarious segment.
In 1982 Martin landed the role of Lady Blues in Torch Song Trilogy that ran for three years on Broadway. On a background screen we were treated to her audition for Harvey Fierstein who encouraged her to "Sing Out!", as if she were in need of that advice. The tape stopped and she sang...and then it started up once more and he provided more unnecessary suggestions. The audience was in stitches
On the opposite side of the coin with the screen down, Martin told an extremely touching story via film about adopting her son Nick in Romania 17 years ago. Nick was in the audience, now 18 (pictured below). It was a lovely moment in which she expressed that everyone should live their dream, regardless of one's age. Hers was to become a mother, a role she obviously cherishes to this day.
She has penned a musical entitled Unlimited, You'll Have the Time of Her Life and sang some of her original material. Songs included "An Ordinary Man", "Born in My Heart" and "It's All Good". The songs are beautifully upbeat and all containing the Martin philosophy of believing in one's self and living life to the fullest.
Martin is taking this cabaret show to 54 Below in NY soon, so don't miss it if you are in town. This lady's voice and her captivatingly uninhibited sense of humor are ao winning. She has quite a vocal range and can really belt out a song. She would be a perfect Mama Rose in Gypsy. Remember the name Susan Edwards Martin. She should be a big star on the cabaret scene.