News / Reviews / Commentary

CD Review:  Celia Berk’s “Now That I Have Everything”

CD Review: Celia Berk’s “Now That I Have Everything”

October 18, 2022 | By | Add a Comment

A wondrous singer, Celia Berk provides the perfect autumn album with her new CD, Now That I Have Everything.  Her handsome voice emits the warm beauty of fall colors, deep browns, rich reds, golden yellows, and bold orange.  And her album’s beguiling musical selections, reflecting the many facets of romantic love, are rendered from a […]

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Remembering Rita Gardner— Actor, Singer, Teacher, and the Original “Girl” in “The Fantasticks”

Remembering Rita Gardner— Actor, Singer, Teacher, and the Original “Girl” in “The Fantasticks”

October 12, 2022 | By | Add a Comment

Rita Gardner had so many friends who loved her, and I was lucky to be one of them.  Rita’s name is quickly associated as the actor who played ‘The Girl’ (Luisa) in the original Off-Broadway cast of the long-running The Fantasticks (Harvey Schmidt, Tom Jones) which opened at the Sullivan Street Playhouse in 1960.  Rita […]

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Club Review: Philip Officer’s “Let Me Sing and I’m Happy”

Club Review: Philip Officer’s “Let Me Sing and I’m Happy”

October 12, 2022 | By | Add a Comment

When I teach vocal performance, one of the first things I stress to students is that performing in a cabaret space is more akin to film acting than stage acting. Subtle gestures, like a raised eyebrow or a simple smile, can be much more effective than the grand gestures and histrionics of a theatrical performance.  […]

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CD Review: Eleri Ward’s “Keep a Tender Distance”

CD Review: Eleri Ward’s “Keep a Tender Distance”

October 6, 2022 | By | Add a Comment

Sondheim tribute recordings and CDs have become a cottage industry in the music world.  There have been many fine entries in the genre harkening back to Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, Dame Cleo Laine, Jackie & Roy, Herbie Hancock, and Betty Buckley to name a few, not to mention the myriad concert and studio tributes by […]

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Club Review: Scott F. Mason’s “One Dame Funny Night”

Club Review: Scott F. Mason’s “One Dame Funny Night”

October 6, 2022 | By | Add a Comment

Before I get to Scott F. Mason’s hilarious show at Don’t Tell Mama, One Dame Funny Night, return with me to those thrilling days of cabaret past, and to one of the best cabaret comedians in the late 20th century, Pudgy (the stage name of Beverly Wines).  Pudgy began her career at a time when […]

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Club Review:  Mark Winkler’s “Late Bloomin’ Jazz Man”

Club Review: Mark Winkler’s “Late Bloomin’ Jazz Man”

September 27, 2022 | By | Add a Comment

Late Bloomin’ Jazz Man is the title of singer-lyricist Mark Winkler’s great new album as well as the title of his recent appearance at Pangea (as part of Ben Cassara’s Cool, Fall Jazz series) which celebrated both the recording and his welcome (and rare) return to New York City from his West Coast home.  Accompanied […]

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Club Review: Ryan Frostig’s “Higher Love! A Pop Fantasia on Queer Themes”

Club Review: Ryan Frostig’s “Higher Love! A Pop Fantasia on Queer Themes”

September 18, 2022 | By | Add a Comment

In Higher Love! A Pop Fantasia on Queer Themes, Ryan Frostig (a likeable, energetic, promising singer) saddled himself with a show that was as overwrought and overthought as its title. It was more of a theatre piece than a cabaret show, with big, amorphous ideas that, unfortunately, never achieved any real substance.  All the coming-of-age/growing-up […]

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Club Review: Steven Zumbo

Club Review: Steven Zumbo

September 18, 2022 | By | Add a Comment

If Dom DeLuise had decided to pursue a career in cabaret rather than in motion pictures, he could have done far worse than fashioning his performance after Steven Zumbo who recently presented a new show at Pangea. His was a perfect example of old school cabaret—a singer, a piano, and a stool, with a well-chosen […]

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Club Review: Tom Goss and Liz De Roche in  “Double Trouble”

Club Review: Tom Goss and Liz De Roche in “Double Trouble”

September 18, 2022 | By | Add a Comment

The dog days of summer are extending into September in New York City cabaret this year.  Still recovering from the pandemic, isolation, distancing, masks and (now) monkey pox, it is not the most prolific season for performance and night life in the city.  The Duplex is out of commission and other bastions of New York […]

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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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