Author Archive: Mark Dundas Wood

Mark Dundas Wood is an arts/entertainment journalist and dramaturg. He began writing reviews for BistroAwards.com in 2011. More recently he has contributed "Cabaret Setlist" articles about cabaret repertoire. Other reviews and articles have appeared in theaterscene.net and clydefitchreport.com, as well as in American Theatre and Back Stage. As a dramaturg, he has worked with New Professional Theatre and the New York Musical Theatre Festival.

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Cabaret Setlist: “Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries” – Music by Ray Henderson, Lyrics by Lew Brown

Cabaret Setlist: “Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries” – Music by Ray Henderson, Lyrics by Lew Brown

September 6, 2022 | By | Add a Comment

Repertoire for the Once and Future American Songbook Article #23 in this ongoing series. When times get tough, people look for escape routes, right? Think of those 1930s Warner Bros. movies with their intrepid gold diggers and elaborate Busby Berkeley production numbers. Those films have long been cited as vehicles that helped people forget their […]

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Book Review: In “Shy,” the Late Mary Rodgers Settles Some Musical Scores

Book Review: In “Shy,” the Late Mary Rodgers Settles Some Musical Scores

August 9, 2022 | By | Add a Comment

Showing up in bookstores and online this week is the posthumously published Shy: The Alarmingly Outspoken Memoirs of Mary Rodgers (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2022), written in tandem with the still-very-much-alive Jesse Green, chief theatre critic for The New York Times. Although we’re already well into August, there’s still time for those who like a […]

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Up Close and (Very) Personal: Three Cabaret Singers Discuss Their Musical Memoirs

Up Close and (Very) Personal: Three Cabaret Singers Discuss Their Musical Memoirs

June 23, 2022 | By | Add a Comment

For most any cabaret show, performers will want to share something about themselves. They’ll note, for instance, what a particular song in their setlist means to them personally and why they decided to include it. But certain shows go well beyond that. Such presentations are essentially spoken-word memoirs—deeply personal and sometimes cathartic monologues punctuated with […]

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Cabaret Setlist: “What About Today?” – Music and Lyrics by David Shire

Cabaret Setlist: “What About Today?” – Music and Lyrics by David Shire

April 21, 2022 | By | Add a Comment

Repertoire for the Once and Future American Songbook Article #22 in this ongoing series. This April 24 marks the 80th birthday of Barbra Streisand, a performer who has been an immense influence on and inspiration to those of us who work in and care about cabaret. There will always be some outliers—occasionally, vociferous ones—who don’t […]

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Cabaret Setlist: “I’d Be Surprisingly Good for You” – Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Lyrics by Tim Rice

Cabaret Setlist: “I’d Be Surprisingly Good for You” – Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Lyrics by Tim Rice

March 7, 2022 | By | 2 Comments

Repertoire for the Once and Future American Songbook Article #21 in this ongoing series. When BistroAwards.com started the Cabaret Setlist series, we subtitled it “Repertoire for the Once and Future American Songbook.” And we’ve stuck pretty closely with purely American titles so far. We’ve stretched the definition occasionally—including songs cowritten by non-Americans. There was British […]

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Cabaret Setlist: Taking a Chance on Songs (Part II)—Meg Flather Takes on Jud Fry’s “Lonely Room” from “Oklahoma!” (Music by Richard Rodgers, Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II)

Cabaret Setlist: Taking a Chance on Songs (Part II)—Meg Flather Takes on Jud Fry’s “Lonely Room” from “Oklahoma!” (Music by Richard Rodgers, Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II)

January 17, 2022 | By | 3 Comments

Repertoire for the Once and Future American Songbook Article #20 in this ongoing series. Happy 2022, all! I wish you many memorable musical moments in the year to come. In the previous installment of Cabaret Setlist (click here to read), we looked at how singers can expand the scope of their art by defying expectations about […]

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Cabaret Setlist: Taking a Chance on Songs (Part 1)—Byron St. Cyr Dares with “The Miller’s Son” (Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim)

Cabaret Setlist: Taking a Chance on Songs (Part 1)—Byron St. Cyr Dares with “The Miller’s Son” (Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim)

December 6, 2021 | By | Add a Comment

Repertoire for the Once and Future American Songbook Article #19 in this ongoing series. Usually, for these Cabaret Setlist articles, I’ll look at a song and trace its creation, along with its performance and recording history, then add the insight of contemporary singers who have performed the number recently. For this installment—and the next one—I’m […]

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Cabaret Setlist: “Everybody Gets to Go to the Moon” — Music and Lyrics by Jimmy Webb

Cabaret Setlist: “Everybody Gets to Go to the Moon” — Music and Lyrics by Jimmy Webb

October 25, 2021 | By | Add a Comment

Repertoire for the Once and Future American Songbook Article # 18 in this ongoing series. With richer-than-God entrepreneurs—Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Richard Branson—pioneering commercial flights into space these days, the rocket-ship dreams that people harbored back in the early days of the international Space Race have been reignited. (Such fantasies will seem more attainable, […]

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Cabaret Setlist: “Cooking Breakfast for the One I Love” — Music by Henry Tobias, Lyrics by Billy Rose

Cabaret Setlist: “Cooking Breakfast for the One I Love” — Music by Henry Tobias, Lyrics by Billy Rose

September 6, 2021 | By | Add a Comment

Repertoire for the Once and Future American Songbook Article #17 in this ongoing series We learned recently that Beanie Feldstein will headline next year in a Broadway revival of 1964’s Funny Girl. Once again, the name of that musical’s central character, real-life entertainer Fanny Brice (1891-1951), will be on people’s minds and lips. Brice’s career […]

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Return Engagements: Singer Meg Flather Remains Stuck with a Thing Called Hope

Return Engagements: Singer Meg Flather Remains Stuck with a Thing Called Hope

August 16, 2021 | By | Add a Comment

(Third and final installment of a limited series on Return Engagements.) On February 21, 2020, singer-songwriter Meg Flather performed her first-ever gig at Manhattan’s Beach Café. She was, at the time, about to put into gear another, more focused show—about Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. The Beach engagement was called A Cockeyed Optimist, after […]

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