Author Archive: Mark Dundas Wood

Mark Dundas Wood is an arts/entertainment journalist and dramaturg. His features and reviews have appeared in such publications as American Theatre and Back Stage and on BistroAwards.com. As a dramaturg he has worked with New Professional Theatre and the New York Musical Theatre Festival. His stage adaptation of Henry James's novel The Tragic Muse was part of the Gilded Stage Festival at the Metropolitan Playhouse in January 2014.

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thirtywhatever

thirtywhatever

February 15, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

The musical revue is a durable genre—and why shouldn’t it be? A link of sorts between a standard cabaret show and a musical play, the revue is a straightforward way of showcasing the work of emerging songwriters as well as of performers. The careers of such talents as Rodgers & Hart, Comden & Green, Jerry Herman, Eartha […]

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Love for Sale

Love for Sale

January 26, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

Tilted Productions’ Love for Sale—a “cabaret play” directed by Robert F. Gross—features international songs from the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, many of them titles from the Kurt Weill catalogue. Kelly Burke portrays an unnamed American chanteuse—a struggling but spirited character with a penchant for self-dramatization—who undoubtedly will bring the name Sally Bowles (or, at any […]

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Mary Sue Daniels

Mary Sue Daniels

December 19, 2016 | By | Add a Comment

Mary Sue Daniels’s delightful show at Don’t Tell Mama—”Straight Outta ‘Conda” (directed by Lina Koutrakos)—had something good in common with the previous show I reviewed for this site: Jen Fellman’s “Frenchy.” Both were staged memoirs in which carefully chosen songs were integrated into a narrative that would be solid without any music at all. Also […]

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Jen Fellman

Jen Fellman

December 10, 2016 | By | 5 Comments

In her recent show “Frenchy,” at Don’t Tell Mama, Jen Fellman told of her three-year stint living in Paris, striving to transform herself into a Parisian. The show was a striking piece of cabaret theatre, graced by the sharp direction of John-Richard Thompson and the sensitivity and show-woman-ship of Fellman herself. The evening was not […]

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Tune in Time

Tune in Time

December 7, 2016 | By | Add a Comment

Presented by Amy Engelhardt and Heather Shields, the musical-theatre game show “Tune in Time” has been playing in New York City for a couple of years now. Currently it appears regularly at the York Theatre Company. This rollicking show pits three composer/lyricist teams against one another as they strive to write coherent and entertaining songs […]

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Carol Woods

Carol Woods

November 20, 2016 | By | Add a Comment

Carol Woods’s show at The Metropolitan Room, “Ain’t We Got Fun: The Music of Richard Whiting” (directed by Scott Coulter) marked the 125th anniversary of Whiting’s birth. But the show on November 12 was a double celebration, as it was also Woods’s birthday eve. And the singer was in a particularly sassy mood during this performance, […]

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Madelaine Warren

Madelaine Warren

November 13, 2016 | By | 1 Comment

According to online biographical notes, Madelaine Warren started her performing career as an opera singer. Later she transitioned into the pop-music arena, performing in concert halls and clubs, as well as on cruise ships (often teamed with her husband, Arthur Warren). Now she’s finding her footing in the world of New York cabaret. After seeing […]

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Karen Luschar

Karen Luschar

November 3, 2016 | By | Add a Comment

In singing music associated with Judy Garland, Karen Luschar has clearly found her métier as a performer. In her current show at Don’t Tell Mama—”Chasing Rainbows: Songs of Judy Garland”—the singer doesn’t exactly impersonate the late star, although many of the musical arrangements are reminiscent of (if not virtually identical to) the originals. Mainly, she […]

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Cake & Comedy

Cake & Comedy

September 27, 2016 | By | Add a Comment

The conventions of the comedy club differ significantly from those of the cabaret room. Cabaret, understandably, tends to be more on the polished, formal, and polite side, while the world of stand-up and sketch comedy seems looser and more freewheeling. Female performers have traditionally had a strong voice in cabaret, but not so much in […]

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Dora Rubin

Dora Rubin

September 26, 2016 | By | Add a Comment

Dora Rubin understands the usefulness of surprise in a cabaret set. This singer—who in years past would have been described as “offbeat”—takes risks that performers far more experienced than she might avoid. And while the surprises she hatches may land with varying degrees of precision, she never fails to hold the audience’s attention. I found […]

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