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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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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Todd Murray

Todd Murray

September 3, 2016 | By | Add a Comment

Todd Murray brought a new iteration of his show “Croon” to The Triad for a few performances in August. It was both a cabaret show and a history lesson in American popular music. Between numbers, Murray talked about men’s approaches to romantic pop singing—beginning with Rudy Vallee in the 1920s; proceeding through the eras of […]

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Joe Gulla

Joe Gulla

August 23, 2016 | By | 2 Comments

Joe Gulla’s monologue The Bronx Queen is the first installment of a trilogy that was originally presented on Manhattan’s Theatre Row a few years ago. Earlier this year it was restaged in the cabaret setting of Joe’s Pub, and on August 20 it had an encore performance there. The work explores themes that have become […]

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Barbra Streisand

Barbra Streisand

August 18, 2016 | By | Add a Comment

It’s been several decades since Barbra Streisand had any real connection to the world of New York cabaret. But that, of course, is how her career began—in such small clubs as the Bon Soir and the Blue Angel, where she became a sensation while en route to becoming a legend. In 2009, she gave a […]

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Loni Love

Loni Love

August 13, 2016 | By | Add a Comment

A comedian, actor, and author, Loni Love is probably best known as a panelist on television’s talk fest The Real. Her brand of stand-up may not necessarily stick out in a crowd—she trades in traditional comic staples: race and ethnicity, politics, religion, sex, the misbehavior of celebrities. And she embraces, with seemingly no hesitation, the […]

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Austin Pendleton and Barbara Bleier

Austin Pendleton and Barbara Bleier

July 19, 2016 | By | Add a Comment

Austin Pendleton and Barbara Bleier have a sweet rapport with one another in their show “Late Nights in Smoky Bars” (at Pangea; directed by Barbara Maier Gustern). The two portray longtime friends who meet regularly over potent potables to sort out their lives and offer each other support. (At least that’s how it seems at […]

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Andrea Axelrod

Andrea Axelrod

July 1, 2016 | By | Add a Comment

Love—you impossible thing! Elusive? Obviously. But sometimes you can also be slippery even to define. Your borders are often blurry and difficult to trace. Andrea Axelrod explores this particular conundrum in her new show at the Metropolitan Room: “Almost Like Being in Love (songs on the cusp of love).” She covers a variety of scenarios […]

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Claudine Cassan-Jellison

Claudine Cassan-Jellison

June 12, 2016 | By | Add a Comment

Learning about your family history can be fascinating. But how often will strangers share your enthusiasm for stories about the lives of your parents and grandparents? Not especially often, I would guess. Claudine Cassan-Jellison beat the odds with “Just Visiting,” her new show at Don’t Tell Mama. The evening was built around the saga of […]

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