Author Archive: Robert Windeler

Robert Windeler is the author of 17 books, including biographies of Mary Pickford, Julie Andrews, Shirley Temple, and Burt Lancaster. As a West Coast correspondent for The New York Times and Time magazine, he covered movies, television and music, and he was an arts and entertainment critic for National Public Radio. He has contributed to a variety of other publications, including TV Guide, Architectural Digest, The Sondheim Review, and People, for which he wrote 35 cover stories. He is a graduate of Duke University in English literature and holds a masters in journalism from Columbia, where he studied critical writing with Judith Crist. He has been a theatre critic for Back Stage since 1999, writes reviews for BistroAwards.com, and is a member of The Players and the American Theatre Critics Association.

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Peter and Will Anderson

Peter and Will Anderson

August 10, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

The Anderson Twins want us all to understand that Harold Arlen, this week’s honoree in the brothers’ ambitious month-long Songbook Summit series, is every bit the equal of the other three subjects of their tribute (Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Richard Rodgers). It’s just that Arlen was somewhat of a loner, never had a real Broadway […]

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The ManOPause Boys

The ManOPause Boys

August 10, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

The 1990s called. They want their clichés back. The ones about Viagra and the other aspects of male late-middle aging. Plus, the decade would like to retire at least some of its hopeful sayings, such as “50 is the new 35.” Well, the clichés and sayings abounded on the Triad stage the other night, in […]

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Meow Meow

Meow Meow

July 28, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

In her recent show at Joe’s Pub, she came on stage both tentatively and as if expecting to be showered with roses by her adoring fans. The woman who was once known as Melissa Madden Gray from Australia sported a black Medusa hairdo, and was dressed outlandishly in a shredded black organdy overskirt not quite […]

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Stephanie Trudeau

Stephanie Trudeau

July 1, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

She rightly labeled Chavela: Think of Me, her recent show at Pangea, a “docu-cabaret.” Indeed, Stephanie Trudeau’s homage to ranchera singer Chavela Vargas, directed by Deborah Wright Houston, went far beyond the usual tribute hour or so. Vargas, who was new to me, came vividly to life thanks to Trudeau’s carefully researched narration (all in […]

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Linda Kahn and Maria Corsaro

Linda Kahn and Maria Corsaro

June 24, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

Two suburban ladies of a certain age studied theatre in college, on separate coasts, some 40 years ago. They each worked in show business for a few years after graduation, but marriage, motherhood and career changes kept them from their goal of finding work in musicals among the lights of Broadway. About two years ago, […]

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Amy Beth Williams

Amy Beth Williams

June 22, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

In her ravishing show Carried Away at Don’t Tell Mama, Amy Beth Williams proved to be a superb singer, a subtle actress, and a compelling interpreter of lyrics. Beautifully directed by Tanya Moberly, this 65-minute set displayed Williams as an artist painting on a broad but seamless canvas. While the show’s ostensible theme was war […]

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Sally Olson

Sally Olson

June 5, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

Creating a cabaret tribute show can start with a performer’s simple, perhaps youthful, admiration for the chosen subject. Internet searches may provide at least the bare bones of a biographical narrative. Memorizing the key numbers in an honoree’s song list is a must, of course. But there is so much more that’s needed beyond a […]

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Polly Gibbons

Polly Gibbons

May 9, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

Though her label, Resonance Records, and her New York club of choice for this engagement, Iridium, are both bastions of mainstream jazz, her London home base, Ronnie Scott’s, can be quite a bit broader in its booking charter than that. But even that fact and her wide touring schedule and home country following hadn’t prepared […]

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Rochelle and Paul Chamlin

Rochelle and Paul Chamlin

April 30, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

In their splendid new show, based on songs written for the movies and directed by Marilyn Maye, Rochelle and Paul Chamlin demonstrate not only a clear and contagious love for their chosen subject, but also a new polish in their paired performance style. The first thing to notice is that Paul and Rochelle at the […]

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Gay Marshall

Gay Marshall

April 4, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

Gay Marshall is the first to admit that feelings about Paris, and groups of songs expressing those feelings, are seriously in danger of evoking narrative and musical clichés. In her current show at Pangea, “Gay’s Paree,” she confronts this problem head on, and largely avoids it. In her opening number, Dave Frishberg’s “Another Song About […]

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