Lisa Jo Sagolla

Author Archive: Lisa Jo Sagolla

Lisa Jo Sagolla is the author of "The Girl Who Fell Down: A Biography of Joan McCracken" and "Rock ‘n’ Roll Dances of the 1950s". A choreographer, critic, and historian, she has written for Back Stage, American Theatre, Film Journal International, and numerous other popular publications, encyclopedias, and scholarly journals. An adjunct professor at Columbia University and Rutgers, she is currently researching a book on the influence of Pennsylvania’s Bucks County on America’s musical theatre.

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CD Review: Nicolas King “Act One—Celebrating 25 Years of Recordings”

CD Review: Nicolas King “Act One—Celebrating 25 Years of Recordings”

February 15, 2021 | By | Add a Comment

Listening to singer Nicolas King’s new, fun-filled CD, Act One—Celebrating 25 Years of Recordings, reminded me of Easter mornings as a kid, when I was surprised over and over again discovering all the colorful, tasty little treats the Bunny had hidden among the nooks and crannies of my familiar home environment.  Though most of its […]

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CD Review: Liz Callaway “Comfort and Joy: An Acoustic Christmas

CD Review: Liz Callaway “Comfort and Joy: An Acoustic Christmas

January 3, 2021 | By | Add a Comment

A mellow CD of Christmas songs featuring vocalist Liz Callaway accompanied by the quiet acoustic guitar-playing of Peter Calo, Comfort and Joy: An Acoustic Christmas may be the perfect soundtrack for what this year will surely be a low-voltage, less-festive-than-usual holiday season.  One might think a solo singer supported only by a guitarist wouldn’t generate […]

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CD Review: A Nourishing Trio of Holiday Albums

CD Review: A Nourishing Trio of Holiday Albums

December 7, 2020 | By | Add a Comment

It all depends on one’s philosophy of music: Why do you think music exists, and what purpose does it serve?  Is it something you seek out for its power to lift your spirits?  Or do you value music for its ability to reflect and affirm your emotions, even if you’re feeling blue, perhaps about the compromised […]

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CD Review: Ken Greves “Vintage and Rare: The Songs of Harold Arlen (Vol. 3) — Ridin’ on the Moon”

CD Review: Ken Greves “Vintage and Rare: The Songs of Harold Arlen (Vol. 3) — Ridin’ on the Moon”

November 16, 2020 | By | Add a Comment

  Of all the revered composers of Broadway’s Golden Age, whose work makes up a large part of the American Songbook mined by cabaret artists, Harold Arlen is perhaps the most blatantly jazz-influenced.  For this reason – while the composer’s fans are surely delighting in the recent release of Ridin’ on the Moon, Volume 3 […]

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CD Review: Tania Grubbs Quintet — Live at Maureen’s Jazz Cellar

CD Review: Tania Grubbs Quintet — Live at Maureen’s Jazz Cellar

October 4, 2020 | By | 1 Comment

An exquisitely soothing CD, Tania Grubbs Quintet: Live at Maureen’s Jazz Cellar serves up delicious jazz—of the ilk that needs to be heard again and again.  The richly textured arrangements, created by vocalist Tania Grubbs and bassist Jeff Grubbs (her husband), are so wonderfully layered that they’re only fully appreciated after multiple listenings.   Despite […]

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What Is the Cabaret Community Doing to Combat Racial Inequality?

What Is the Cabaret Community Doing to Combat Racial Inequality?

August 9, 2020 | By | 1 Comment

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 […]

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Why Is Color Mostly Absent from Cabaret Stages?

Why Is Color Mostly Absent from Cabaret Stages?

June 14, 2020 | By | 3 Comments

On the one hand, the New York cabaret scene is remarkably diverse.  It showcases performers brand new to the business, spotlights mature artists of an age rarely featured on stage or screen, and proudly welcomes a rainbow of gender and genre expressions.   On the other hand, cabaret is decidedly monochrome. Cabaret stages and audiences […]

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