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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Cynthia Sayer

Cynthia Sayer

March 28, 2018 | By | Add a Comment

Ever since I first heard Stephen Foster’s “Oh! Susanna” on a Little Golden Record in early childhood, I’ve loved the sound of the banjo. I cottoned to Mickie Finn’s club in San Diego and its successful 1966 TV show, with Mickie herself on the banjo. To see the Mummers’ string band parade in Philadelphia, I […]

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Brooke Davis

Brooke Davis

March 11, 2018 | By | Add a Comment

In Late to the Party, her recent show at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, directed by Barbara Grecki, Brooke Davis touchingly and comically re-invented the autobiographical cabaret hour by appropriating mostly familiar songs in a partly new context. She even had a somewhat non-traditional backing trio: music director, arranger and pianist Darren R. Cohen; Peter Sachon […]

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Matthew Morrison

Matthew Morrison

January 23, 2018 | By | Add a Comment

Sometimes a large following based on solid television and Broadway musical credits can be enough to assure a successful cabaret stint. No need to name your club show or to provide a thoughtful theme or through-line for it. As Matthew Morrison proved anew in his most recent run at Feinstein’s/54 Below, you can simply name […]

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Gretchen Reinhagen

Gretchen Reinhagen

December 28, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

When a cabaret show begins with the song “Life Sucks and Then You Die” (Ray Jessel) you might be forgiven for thinking you’re in for yet another “poor me” sob story without benefit of even a minimally redeeming happy ending. But in the case of Gretchen Reinhagen’s recent, entirely enjoyable set at Don’t Tell Mama, […]

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Audrey Appleby

Audrey Appleby

November 16, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

In Ladies Cheap Cocktails, her show at Pangea, Audrey Appleby offers an appealingly personal portrait of love and romance in a program of original music and lyrics, mostly written by her, with occasional assists from others. It may often be difficult to discern which of her fourteen songs derive from her own experience, which are […]

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Jeff Macauley

Jeff Macauley

November 14, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

Probably no one but Jeff Macauley could have, or would have, fashioned such a narrowly focused cabaret show as his current offering at Pangea, Hollywood Party: Movie Songs 1928-1936. And he didn’t just do this; the show is a reprise of a run from more than two decades ago, so we know that he’s held […]

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Ann Kittredge

Ann Kittredge

October 28, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

She was already two-thirds of the way into One Night Only, her recent show at Feinstein’s/54 Below, before Ann Kittredge acknowledged that if she “had to pick one song” to explain what her evening was about, it would be this one: “Before the Parade Passes By” (Jerry Herman). Kittredge sang the number in a slower, […]

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Dawn Derow

Dawn Derow

October 25, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

In so many ways, 1941 was a very good year in America. It was the year Joe DiMaggio scored hits in a record 56 straight games, leading the Yankees to yet another World Series win. The movies gave us such classics as Citizen Kane and Rebecca, and it cost only 25 cents to see them. […]

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Dietrich Rides Again

Dietrich Rides Again

September 15, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

I can’t help it. I had planned on falling in love with Marlene all over again when I went to see Dietrich Rides Again. But, alas, it didn’t happen. I had seen the legendary star almost fifty years before, on what we all believed was to be her farewell tour. (She was to do several […]

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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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