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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Emily Ellet

Emily Ellet

March 4, 2018 | By | Add a Comment

Last summer I attended the final round of the MetroStar Talent Challenge at the Metropolitan Room, where I immediately found myself rooting for young singer Emily Ellet. She was someone I’d never previously heard—or heard of—but I was taken with the clarity of her voice, her concentration, her respect for (and ease with) lyrics, and […]

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Robbie Torres

Robbie Torres

February 19, 2018 | By | Add a Comment

The Emcee in the musical Cabaret, first seen on Broadway in 1966, is an enigmatic figure. Existing entirely in the world of the Kit Kat Klub cabaret in Berlin, he barely qualifies as a “character” in the show at all. One might better call him a “presence.” In the 2001 book Open a New Window, […]

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Orfeh and Andy Karl

Orfeh and Andy Karl

January 28, 2018 | By | Add a Comment

The husband-and-wife team of Orfeh and Andy Karl have teamed up for Legally Bound (directed by Charles Randolph-Wright), in an engagement at Feinstein’s/54 Below. Married now for 17 years, the two have made names for themselves in musical theatre and have occasionally appeared together in New York productions, most notably in Broadway’s Legally Blonde (2007). […]

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Roseanna Vitro Project

Roseanna Vitro Project

January 21, 2018 | By | Add a Comment

The “project” in the title of this show refers to jazz singer and music teacher Roseanna Vitro’s efforts to generate smart and graceful lyrics for the late Charlie Parker’s bebop compositions. Sing a Song of Bird: The Music of Charlie Parker—staged as a one-nighter at Jazz at Kitano—is clearly a work in progress. Some songs […]

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Norm Lewis

Norm Lewis

December 20, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

For the third year in a row, theatre, film, and TV actor-singer Norm Lewis is performing a holiday-oriented program at Feinstein’s/54 Below. The opening night of this year’s offering, Santa Baby!, appears to have brought out a group of his most ardent, demonstrative fans. There’s plenty to like in Lewis the cabaret performer—starting, of course, […]

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Dean Benner

Dean Benner

November 25, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

Here’s a nice fantasy: the pop musical style known as “western swing” re-emerges as a major phenomenon and somehow brings together opposing camps in American culture: red states and blue, rust belt and borscht. OK, it’s a long shot. I suppose there are some people who don’t care for this hybrid of western music and […]

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Diane Schuur

Diane Schuur

November 18, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

Early during the second show of her opening night at Birdland, singer-pianist Diane Schuur noted that second sets are good because you never know exactly what’s going to happen with them. Certainly, she was in an anything-goes frame of mind. Playing to an appreciative 11pm crowd, she struck a highly informal tone, letting her instincts, […]

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Bazazz! A Sequined Variety

Bazazz! A Sequined Variety

November 7, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

I’m glad to have lived through the 1960s and 1970s, when prime time TV variety shows—inspired by British music hall and American vaudeville entertainments—were most in vogue. And I’m sorry kids today miss out on such programs. (Fortunately, they can catch segments from many of the vintage ones on YouTube). The case can be made […]

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Amy Wolk

Amy Wolk

October 25, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

The first music we hear in Amy Wolk’s new Duplex show is a snippet of the “Love Is All Around” theme from The Mary Tyler Moore Show. The singer arrives on the stage, kicking out one leg so that we can get a good look at one of her bright new Wonder Woman shoes. Then […]

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Leslie Carrara-Rudolph

Leslie Carrara-Rudolph

October 8, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

I’ll never forget the day my brother and I were spurned by Wunda Wunda. The TV story lady of the Pacific Northwest was a tall, stately yet somehow dainty clown character. I was 8 and Brian was 6 when we had our encounter with Wunda at the Seattle World’s Fair. While she fawned over the […]

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