Reviews

Shequida: Jessye Normous

Shequida: Jessye Normous

December 13, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

Shequida is the drag alter ego of Jamaican-born, Julliard-trained opera singer Gary Hall, and Jessye Normous is the drag alter ego of Shequida. This is all quite meta for the small world of cabaret, but what really matters is that his/her/their new show was a mostly hilarious and highly entertaining event. The evening began with […]

Read More

Peggi Blu

Peggi Blu

December 9, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

Lee Summers’s Just A Piano concert series, now in its tenth year at the Triad Theater, recently presented Peggi Blu in Sinatra in Blu – If Sinatra Were Born a Black Woman, which she wrote. A grand champion on TV’s Star Search, Blue later became a vocal coach on American Idol, while continuing a career in […]

Read More

Paula West

Paula West

December 2, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

When it comes to singers, do we have to choose between a musician and a storyteller? Any well-realized choice along the spectrum from pure music to pure theatre can work for a vocalist, and in the best singers, it’s hard to tell where one stops and the other begins. Paula West is that kind of […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

Veronica Swift

Veronica Swift

November 23, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

At Birdland, singer Veronica Swift and the Benny Green Trio deliver a most satisfying evening of jazz, centered almost solely in the world of bop. At the late show on opening night, Green and his cohorts opened the set with three fiery examples of jazz artistry. On their first selection, Green’s blistering original “Wiggin” (in […]

Read More

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, […]

Read More

Marnie Klar

Marnie Klar

November 16, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

Delightfully bookended by “Stay Awake” (Robert B. & Richard M. Sherman), Marnie Klar’s new show, Bedtime Stories, features nighttime, fairy tale, and storybook songs. Skillfully directed by Tanya Moberly, Klar presents her theme in a brief but illuminating introduction, in which we learn that this her her first cabaret that isn’t…personal. And here is where […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More