Author Archive: Mark Dundas Wood

Mark Dundas Wood is an arts/entertainment journalist and dramaturg. In addition to reviewing for BistroAwards.com, he contributes regularly to theaterscene.net and clydefitchreport.com. Other reviews and articles have appeared in American Theatre and Back Stage. As a dramaturg, he has worked with New Professional Theatre and the New York Musical Theatre Festival.

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Teresa Fischer

Teresa Fischer

February 17, 2019 | By | Add a Comment

In More Than You Know, her Rosemary Clooney tribute show at 53 Above, Teresa Fischer tells us that she has long been drawn to Clooney’s singing because of the warmth and clarity of her voice and her ability to make every lyric understandable. Happily, Fisher is able to replicate those positive qualities herself. It’s not […]

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Mark Farrelly – Quentin Crisp: Naked Hope

Mark Farrelly – Quentin Crisp: Naked Hope

February 5, 2019 | By | Add a Comment

Within post-Stonewall gay culture, Quentin Crisp has not been universally beloved. And how could he have been, really? The British-born writer and raconteur—who died in 1999 at age 90—was a stubborn contrarian. He advised his readers and listeners to seek happiness by looking inward rather than by seeking true love or taking up causes. Claiming […]

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Sean Harkness, Lina Koutrakos, Marcus Simeone

Sean Harkness, Lina Koutrakos, Marcus Simeone

December 25, 2018 | By | 3 Comments

Group cabaret shows can be wonderful, but they can also be tricky. You want to provide variety both in musical content and in terms of who sings what. You want a balance of solos, duets, and ensemble numbers. And you need to make certain that the voices and personalities truly blend well. Being a talented […]

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Mischa Kischkum

Mischa Kischkum

December 9, 2018 | By | Add a Comment

There is a kid-like exuberance about Mischa Kischkum that quickly spreads through the audience. In his debut solo cabaret show, Off the Charts: Songs You Don’t Know By Writers You Love (directed by Jason Ellis), the performer comes to the stage and quickly commands it, wearing (among other things) a sly smile and a leopard-print […]

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Jennifer Bangs

Jennifer Bangs

November 18, 2018 | By | Add a Comment

In her new show at Don’t Tell Mama, She Bangs, She Bangs: Marriage, Adultery, Texas & Jesus, actress-singer Jennifer Bangs delivers one of the most soul-baring cabaret programs I have ever seen. The show (directed by Tanya Moberly) is a true confession, told in excruciating detail. Bangs relates the story of her broken marriage along […]

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Cynthia Crane

Cynthia Crane

November 9, 2018 | By | Add a Comment

More than once in This Is a Changing World, My Dear, her recent show at Don’t Tell Mama, Cynthia Crane referred to herself as a “walking obsolescence.” But, in fact, she and her show seemed quite timely. It took a wry look at cultural developments—some viewed as positive, but many not—that have left people of […]

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Michael Cummings

Michael Cummings

September 17, 2018 | By | Add a Comment

At one point in his September 14 show at the Triad, Michael Cummings acknowledged friends and family in attendance. When he had finished, it seemed he’d greeted nearly everyone in the room. Of course, a performer’s loved ones naturally show up to offer support, but it’s no accident that they turned out in droves—always enthusiastic […]

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Daniel Reichard

Daniel Reichard

September 2, 2018 | By | Add a Comment

The theme of Summer Playlist—Daniel Reichard’s recent show at the Birdland Theater—was the mix tape. In decades past, Reichard, like many young music lovers, would program these customized song collections on audiocassette recorders. Part of the point of mix tapes was that you could be as eclectic as you wanted, juxtaposing golden oldies with current […]

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Lucie Arnaz

Lucie Arnaz

July 19, 2018 | By | Add a Comment

It’s serendipitous, I believe, that the first lyrics to be sung during the first official engagement at Manhattan’s new Birdland Theater are from Irving Berlin’s “There’s No Business Like Show Business.” The choice of this song supports the idea that the 100-seat room will be more aligned with a Broadway sound and sensibility than with […]

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Kathryne Langford

Kathryne Langford

July 17, 2018 | By | Add a Comment

No hard-and-fast rule dictates how much spoken word cabaret singers should include in their shows. Generally, spoken remarks don’t occur in a show until after the second number. Then, depending on the thematic nature of the program, they’re sprinkled throughout the remainder of the show (though not usually before every single number). Lately, some performers […]

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