Reviews

Kayley Hill

Kayley Hill

January 13, 2018 | By | Add a Comment

Fresh from Nashville, Kayley Hill is an heir to the Dolly Parton sound, with a sweet, clear, cut-through voice and a whole lot of power. Her country and rockabilly sensibilities are contemporary: she’s equally at home throwing in a very complex soul melisma as she is working that break between registers or occasionally yodeling as […]

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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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Shemekia Copeland

Shemekia Copeland

December 23, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

The Blues are the best! From rock blues, to bluegrass and country, to gospel, there’s someone out there who has it worse than you do. If the cause is a cheating lover, a lost job, breaking the law because you had to, or the devil himself, in the blues you’re a good person in a […]

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Norm Lewis

Norm Lewis

December 20, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

For the third year in a row, theatre, film, and TV actor-singer Norm Lewis is performing a holiday-oriented program at Feinstein’s/54 Below. The opening night of this year’s offering, Santa Baby!, appears to have brought out a group of his most ardent, demonstrative fans. There’s plenty to like in Lewis the cabaret performer—starting, of course, […]

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Eric Hoffman

Eric Hoffman

December 19, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

Eric Hoffman can swing, and he has a versatile baritone voice and a good jazz education as an instrumentalist, but there’s an unexpected twist: he really hits his stride when he’s being a lounge singer. There may be something in the corny fun, nostalgia, and swagger of a lounge act that catches Hoffman’s sense of […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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