Author Archive: Penelope Thomas

From Canada, Penelope Thomas came to NY to study dance with Merce Cunningham; then through a series of fortunate and unfortunate events, she wound up back in singing and acting. Credits include lead vocals with FauveMuseum on two albums and live at Symphony Space, singing back-up for Bistro Awards director Shellen Lubin at the Metropolitan Room, reading poet Ann Carson’s work at the Whitney, and touring North America and Europe with Mikel Rouse’s The End of Cinematics. In Toronto, she studied piano at the Royal Conservatory of Music and cello with the Claude Watson School for the Arts, and in New York she studied music theory with Mark Wade. She's taught in the New School’s Sweat musical theatre intensive and taught dance in public schools and conservatories.

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Club Review: Linda Purl’s “This Could Be the Start”

Club Review: Linda Purl’s “This Could Be the Start”

January 30, 2023 | By | Add a Comment

Linda Purl is a true working actor: whether you’ve seen her on Happy Days or The Office, on or Off Broadway, in regional theatre, in straight plays or musicals, or in Japan, where she spent her early years—you’ve definitely already enjoyed her work. It’s this level of performance experience that backs up her craft as […]

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Club Review: “Ann Hampton Callaway Sings Peggy Lee and the Songs of the ’70s”

Club Review: “Ann Hampton Callaway Sings Peggy Lee and the Songs of the ’70s”

January 19, 2023 | By | Add a Comment

Ann Hampton Callaway is a seasoned jazz artist, songwriter, an interpreter of the American Songbook, and an entertainer who knows how to work a crowd—especially when her ex-husband is bravely sitting in the front row. Her show at 54 Below on Sunday, January 15 was a half-and-half evening of Peggy Lee and 1970s pop, which […]

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Club Review: Shana Farr’s “Dream Reality”

Club Review: Shana Farr’s “Dream Reality”

December 11, 2022 | By | Add a Comment

Shana Farr is a beautiful singer. She looks beautiful. She was beautifully prepared for her show Dream Reality at the Laurie Beechman Theatre. Her life story, give or take 1.5 minor hiccups, sounded beautiful. She likes beautiful songs about dreams. She can hit high theatre soprano notes, seemingly effortlessly, and, yes, very beautifully. With her […]

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Theatre Review: Melissa Etheridge in “My Window—A Journey Through Life”

Theatre Review: Melissa Etheridge in “My Window—A Journey Through Life”

October 18, 2022 | By | Add a Comment

When a Rockstar wants to do a theatre piece you hope it’s going to be good; that they make the leap to a new genre and take it seriously. Melissa Etheridge’s show, My Window: A Journey Through Life currently running at New World Stages, delivers. It is intelligently conceived, well-written (Melissa Etheridge, Linda Wallem-Etheridge), with lush sound design (Colle Bustin), […]

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Club Review: Josephine Sanges’s “The Funny Girl in Me”

Club Review: Josephine Sanges’s “The Funny Girl in Me”

August 2, 2022 | By | Add a Comment

In cabaret, the overall quality of a performer is often much more important than the beauty of a voice—or even the skill of a vocalist; I’ve gradually been won over to the side of acting choices. But Josephine Sanges’s sound stopped me in my tracks. She has the bright ping-ring quality of Streisand in her […]

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Club Review: “Broadway’s Next Hit Musical”

Club Review: “Broadway’s Next Hit Musical”

July 19, 2022 | By | Add a Comment

You know that gothic musical, Haunted Garden, and its brooding lament that’s been done to death: The Pavement Grows Flowers While Our Garden Is Empty? It’s a chestnut in the American Songbook.  Cue record scratch. Um—no, you don’t know it. It’s never been heard before and you’ll never hear it again—it existed in an instant […]

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Club Review: Kavita Shah

Club Review: Kavita Shah

June 1, 2022 | By | Add a Comment

I first heard vocalist and composer Kavita Shah accidentally. Needing a walk after a long day last fall, I wandered over to  55 Bar, a classic West Village dive jazz club where many of the greats have played and where the cover is $5. (Ed. Note: 55 Bar recently closed.) It was Diwali, the Hindu […]

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Club Review: Madelaine Warren’s “Invitation”

Club Review: Madelaine Warren’s “Invitation”

June 1, 2022 | By | Add a Comment

Madelaine Warren’s most recent cabaret offering, Invitation, featured well-chosen, often cinematically-inspired repertory from 1933-1989. Warren brought conviction and emotional connection to this set, packed with romantic songs that took her on an arc from joy to disappointment and back again. Her legit soprano sound did take some time to sound fully warmed up, but fortunately […]

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Club Review: Meg Flather’s “Rodgers & Hammerstein 2021+”

Club Review: Meg Flather’s “Rodgers & Hammerstein 2021+”

April 1, 2022 | By | Add a Comment

If you ever get stuck in thinking that the Rodgers & Hammerstein songbook can be dated and dusty, you haven’t yet heard Meg Flather sing from it. With multiple albums as a singer-songwriter, her legit sound is sweet, easy, and perfectly blended—and personal. That’s a tricky thing to do, to sing standards as if you […]

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