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NEWS, INTERVIEWS, COMMENTARY

What Is the Cabaret Community Doing to Combat Racial Inequality?

What Is the Cabaret Community Doing to Combat Racial Inequality?

Sparked by the killing of George Floyd on May 25, an unprecedented outpouring of protests against our nation’s systemic racism got every one of us thinking more urgently about racial inequality.  We now understand that we all have the responsibility to act—both personally and professionally—as anti-racism agents of change.  Earlier this summer, I wrote about […]

August 9, 2020 | By | 1 Comment
CD Review: Lisa Viggiano’s “Invited to Stay”

CD Review: Lisa Viggiano’s “Invited to Stay”

The wonderfully warm, wise, and appealing vocalist Lisa Viggiano intends her newest CD, Invited to Stay, to give us all a break from quarantines, CoVid-19, face masks, presidents, and, for the most part, she succeeds delightfully. Presenting an intriguing patchwork of songs from decades come and gone written by some stalwarts of the American pop and rock […]

August 2, 2020 | By | Add a Comment
Cabaret Setlist: “Two for the Road” — Music by Henry Mancini, lyrics by Leslie Bricusse

Cabaret Setlist: “Two for the Road” — Music by Henry Mancini, lyrics by Leslie Bricusse

Repertoire for the Once and Future American Songbook Song #4 in this running series The cable came directly from Audrey Hepburn, who was in France shooting her latest film, with director/producer Stanley Donen. “Dearest Hank, please won’t you do the music? … Can’t imagine anyone else but you scoring.” How could Henry Mancini refuse the […]

July 26, 2020 | By | 2 Comments
Cabaret Setlist: “California Nights” — Music by Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Howard Liebling

Cabaret Setlist: “California Nights” — Music by Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Howard Liebling

Repertoire for the Once and Future American Songbook Song #3 in this running series. Unlike the first two songs we’ve examined in Cabaret Setlist (Rodgers & Hart’s “Little Girl Blue” and Stephen Sondheim’s “Sand”), today’s selection hails from the world of AM-radio pop. First heard in January 1967, “California Nights” anticipates the coming Summer of […]

June 21, 2020 | By | Add a Comment
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VIDEOS

Highlights from the 2018 Bistro Award Show

Highlights from the 2018 Bistro Award Show

Watch highlights from our 33rd annual Bistro Awards show (2018) that features André De Shields (Lifetime Achievement), Sheila Jordan (Outstanding Contributions to the Art of Jazz), Marta Sanders (Consummate Cabaret Artistry), Shemekia Copeland (Producer’s Award), among 19 other individual artists. Bistro Award house band includes Daryl Kojak (piano), Ritt Henn (bass), and Rex Benincasa (drums). […]

July 13, 2020 | By | Add a Comment
The 2020 Honoree Roll Call: Gretchen Reinhagen

The 2020 Honoree Roll Call: Gretchen Reinhagen

Gretchen Reinhagen’s latest CD, Take It with Me, brings a new energy and interpretation to contemporary songs made famous by others.  Hear her version of Stevie Wonder’s “All in Love Is Fair,” performed at the 2020 Bistro Awards on March 9. Tracy Stark accompanies on piano, Ritt Henn on bass, and Dwayne Cook Broadnax on […]

July 6, 2020 | By | Add a Comment
The 2020 Honoree Roll Call: Stephanie Trudeau

The 2020 Honoree Roll Call: Stephanie Trudeau

Stephanie Trudeau transforms herself into Mexican ranchera artist Chavela Vargas in her show, Chavela: Think of Me, which won the 2020 Bistro Award for Outstanding Tribute Show. Vargas, who broke gender barriers in both a highly macho society and music world, is portrayed by Trudeau with compelling vocals and visuals. Here’s her performance of “El” Último […]

July 19, 2020 | By | Add a Comment
The 2020 Honoree Roll Call: Joanne Halev

The 2020 Honoree Roll Call: Joanne Halev

Joanne Halev used her experience in the fragrance creation profession and her travels around the globe to create her cabaret debut show, “Like a Perfumed Woman.” Here’s a medley from the show that Halev sang at the 2020 Bistro Awards where she was honored with an award for Outstanding Debut. Alex Rybeck, accompanies on piano, […]

June 29, 2020 | By | Add a Comment

CABARET ARTIST'S HANDBOOK

Thinking of Doing a Tribute or Themed Show? Then, You Gotta Get an Arc!

Thinking of Doing a Tribute or Themed Show? Then, You Gotta Get an Arc!

Article #7 in this running series. Let’s say you’ve been in love with Judy Garland and the songs she made famous for years, and you want to do a tribute to her in your next cabaret show.  Or, you think Janis Ian is an underrated songwriter and you want to do a night of all […]

July 19, 2020 | By | 2 Comments
What is Patter and Why Is It So Important?

What is Patter and Why Is It So Important?

Article #6 in this running series. Patter is such a seemingly trivial term for the talk between songs in a cabaret act. However, the multiple definitions of the word are not all as superficial as the word itself might seem. Patter in the dictionary is 1) the talk with which an entertainer accompanies a routine; […]

June 29, 2020 | By | 2 Comments
A Great Show Tells a Great  Story

A Great Show Tells a Great Story

Article #5 in this running series. A key factor to creating a successful cabaret act or revue is to give the show an emotional throughline underpinning it. The classic notion of choosing a bunch of songs that you like, and then alternating uptempos with ballads, can create a haphazard and unfocused experience, even if it […]

May 28, 2020 | By | Add a Comment
Tailoring a Song for the Perfect Fit

Tailoring a Song for the Perfect Fit

Interpretation, not imitation! Article #4 in this running series. Most of the time and, in most performance situations—particularly in cabaret, you’ll want to give every song you perform your own stamp. Why? If you’re trying to find your own voice as a performer and an interpretive artist, the last thing you want to do is […]

May 17, 2020 | By | Add a Comment