John Simon on Betty Buckley & Nikki Blonski

September 30, 2008

©2008 Bruce Glikas for Broadway.comMr. Simon weighs in on the divas appearing at Feinstein’s and the Birdland:

“It is inspiriting to see 19-year-old Nikki Blonsky take over the podium at Feinstein’s at Loews Regency for a solo nightclub performance and carry herself with the assurance and acumen of someone much older. …But her voice, too, is sizable, and she puts it to good use in a well-chosen eclectic program, whose songs—along with an expectable few from Hairspray—range from Cole Porter to Frank Wildhorn, Willie Nelson to Stephen Sondheim, and include the “Habanera” from Carmen in a French not immediately recognizable as such.

‘…when it comes to emotional immersion and consummate musicianship, Ms. Buckley has few equals, and no evening spent with her is wasted time. I enjoyed especially items by Abbey Lincoln and Tom Waits, and such standards as “How Deep Is the Ocean” and “They Can’t Take That Away from Me,” although “Autumn Leaves” and a couple of Antonio Carlos Jobim numbers do not, in my view, profit from Kenny Werner’s arrangements.”

Remember:  Betty Buckley appears this weekend at the Kennedy Center.

Stephen Holden on KT Sullivan

September 30, 2008

The NYTimes weighs in on Sullivan’s Kern show at the Algonquin: “Ms. Sullivan, who is accompanied by Tedd Firth on piano, Andy Farber on reeds and Steve Doyle on bass, has a fluttery, semioperatic soprano that gives Kern’s most famous melodies their due. But her primary goal on Thursday was to bring his songs down to earth without damaging them.”

Nuts and Bolts advice from George Fulginiti-Shakar

September 28, 2008

George Fulginit-Shakar has a great piece in the DC Cabaret Network blog about the way to ingratiate yourself with your music director through the proper preparation of your music.

Beverly Cosham at Germano’s

September 26, 2008

Cabaret Scenes has posted my review of Beverly Cosham at the Cabaret at Germano’s.

Here’s her set lists:

Set 1

  • I Wish You Love
  • Jesse
  • My Resistance Is Low
  • At Last
  • I’ve Got You Under My Skin
  • All the Things You Are
  • Unchained Melody

Set 2

  • Putting Things Away
  • Something New In My Life
  • The Way He Makes Me Feel
  • My Favorite Year
  • Rhode Island Is Famous For You
  • Old Friend
  • Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye

Stephen Holden on Betty Buckley

September 25, 2008

The NYTimes weighs in on Betty Buckley at Birdland: “Everything Ms. Buckley sings is infused with a sense of emergency. The words, “No, no, they can’t,” from “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” became the fierce cry of a mama lion whose cubs were about to be snatched from her. A Gershwin expression of triumphant contentment was transformed into an imaginary crisis.”

Don’t forget, Buckley will be at the Kennedy Center October 3 & 4.

Return to BlueGobo

September 24, 2008

I hadn’t been on the BluGobo site for a while and it’s been snazzed up a bit.  The navigation seems much easier and they’ve added a passel of content.

For those of you who haven’t been on this site, it’s a terrific resource for video clips of televised numbers from musicals.  It’s amazing to see things like the Who’s That Woman staging from the London production of Follies or Poor Little Person from Henry, Sweet Henry with the amazing Alice Playton doing early Michael Bennett choreography. 

I’ve been starting to draft some thoughts on adapting stage numbers to cabaret.  Here’s a clip that I thought I would never see again — the American Dance Machine’s re-creation of If the Rain’s Gotta Fall from Half a Sixpence.  Here is staging that takes a so-so song, and uses dance and staging to build and build and build it into something spectacular.  Good luck trying to do that with the very slight material in a cabaret setting.  (And the note on the site is incorrect — the hat toss is built into the staging.)

The Peripatetic Joe Peck

September 24, 2008

Joe Peck opens the season at Indigo at the Atlas this weekend with his new show Sinatra & Styne: It’s Magic which he also presents in October at the Prince Theater in Chestertown, MD.

Sinatra & Styne: It’s Magic!
September 27 – 8:30 p.m.
Indigo @ the Atlas
1333 H St., NE
Washington, DC  20002
$17.50 plus $10 food/drink min.
tickets: 202-399-7993 or www.atlasarts.orgYou won’t want to miss this evening of great tunes as Joe Peck sings a tribute to two giants of American music.  Jule Styne and Frank Sinatra were two of the biggest stars in popular music throughout their long and celebrated careers. One composed amazing music and the other sang his tunes masterfully – in movies, in concerts, and in the studio. Each man left his own incredible legacy, but when they collaborated on a project – well, it was magic!  Join Joe and outstanding pianist and music director Alex Tang for a show packed with favorites like “Just In Time,” “Three Coins in the Fountain,” “It’s Magic,” and many, many more.   Info @ and

Joe repeats the show October 4th at the Prince Theater in Chestertown, MD, 8:00pm

Bitter, bitter, bitter…

September 23, 2008

Another year and no MacArthur Fellowship.

Coming Up at Germano’s

September 23, 2008

Germano’s in Baltimore is hopping with events.  Here’s an update from the lovely Cyd Wolfe about what’s coming up …

Tuesday Night JazzCome join us tomorrow for Jazz at the Cabaret at Germano’s with The Ashton Fletcher Trio.  Ashton is a musician’s musician–a multi-instrumentalist, master on  bass and a soulful vocalist.  Doors open at 6 p.m. for pre-show dining.  Performance begins at 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, 25 SeptemberGermano’s is proud to host the Baltimore School for the Arts Cabaret Kick-off,  featuring performances by BSA students (Matthew Dykeman, Jesse Carey-Beaver and Julia Klavens),  faculty (Robert Cantrell, Rebecca Mossing and Kelly Young) and alumni (Roger Redditt, Alison Frederick and Rebecca Mossing). Tickets cost $75 and the proceeds benefit the school.  Included is a buffet menu of Antipasti, Bruschette and Fried Calamari, Beet Ravioli, Seafood Ravioli, Spinach and Sage Ravioli, Penne Arrabiata; Osso Buco, string beans and potatoes; Bongo Bongo and Fragole Balsamico*.   

Thursday, 2 October — Branda Lock–she is a 24 year old working actor with a terrific voice and a personality to match


Report: DC Cabaret Network Open Mic

September 23, 2008

The evening had an end-of-summer/beginning-of-fall feeling with references to summer, the beach, baseball, and the election in song.  And of course the evening had a certain heat because of the sizzling team of Terri Allen as emcee and Mary Sugar at the piano.  And as a terrific addition to the evening, ace sound guru Jeff Tucker will now be doing the sound for the open mics. 

Here’s what everyone sang: 

  • Barry Abel & Kathy Reilly
    • They Say It’s Wonderful
  • Terri Allen
    • From Time to Time
    • What the World Needs Now
  • Chris Cochran
    • Old Cape Cod
    • The Girls of Summer
  • Matt Howe
    • A New World
    • Hello, Again
  • Michael Miyazaki
    • You Made Me Love You (Sarah Palin)
    • One for My Baby / In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning
  • Kathy Reilly
    • Lush Life
  • Mary Reilly
    • Something Wonderful
  • Lonny Smith
    • Why
    • What I Did For Love
  • Ron Squeri
    • What You’d Call a Dream
    • Proud of Your Boy
  • Eileen Warner
    • Angel
    • The Summer Knows
  • Maris Wicker
    • A Horse With Wings

*And I’m trying to persuade him to do a few posts about what singers should know about sound