Reviews

Stearns Matthews

Stearns Matthews

April 19, 2018 | By | Add a Comment

In his recent show at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, Golden Ticket: The Songs of Leslie Bricusse, Stearns Matthews demonstrated that he is working with an embarrassment of riches. Even more than possessing a sweet lyric baritone that testifies to a solid classical training, he radiated intelligence, integrity, and a love of music that he shared […]

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Gay Marshall

Gay Marshall

April 16, 2018 | By | Add a Comment

Leonard Cohen wore many coats in addition to his famous “Famous Blue Raincoat”: he was a novelist, a poet, a musician, a songwriter, a singer, an actor, and for a time, a stand-up comedian. A native Canadian, he was best known in this country as a singer-songwriter, first introduced to me (and many others) by […]

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Broadway Sings Rihanna

Broadway Sings Rihanna

April 4, 2018 | By | Add a Comment

Rihanna may be to this era what Madonna was to the 1980s: a chart-topping, identity-shifting, fashion-forward, pop mogul. These days when kids bounce around their bedrooms and sing into a hairbrush, you can bet it’s often Rihanna they’re singing. As catchy and glossy as her superstardom is, she also has a fierce, truth-telling quality that […]

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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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Martin Landry

Martin Landry

March 24, 2018 | By | Add a Comment

The title of actor-singer-writer Martin Landry’s new show at the Duplex, Screlton McNodes and His Search for Transcendence Through the Act of Putting on Musicals in the Barn with Stray Cats Amidst a Life Full of Pain, Abuse, Murder, and Insanity, may at first glance appear to be the most descriptive title in the history […]

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Mary Foster Conklin

Mary Foster Conklin

March 22, 2018 | By | Add a Comment

Fran Landesman is one of the quintessential 20th century lyricists. She combined the hip cool of jazz with the anti-establishment style of the beat generation and the conversational naturalism of the best pop music into a heady body of work written with some of the most influential composers of the time. In Life Is a […]

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Heather Villaescusa

Heather Villaescusa

March 21, 2018 | By | Add a Comment

Heather Villaescusa took first place in last year’s Mama’s Next BIG Act! competition; her new show at Don’t Tell Mama, The Happiness Project (A 10-week Guide), is a lively trip through the fun, angst and domestic hiccups she went through taking on a challenge that scared the pants off her…and winning. Her strong vocals support […]

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Cheryl Bentyne

Cheryl Bentyne

March 20, 2018 | By | Add a Comment

Singer Cheryl Bentyne, of Manhattan Transfer fame, publicized reARRANGEMENTS OF SHADOWS, her recent show at Birdland, as a celebration of her new release of Sondheim songs, but it turned out to be more a preview of the CD because fully half of the program consisted of non-Sondheim material. Although this might have been disappointing to […]

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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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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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