Playbill on Ann Hampton Callaway & Liz Callaway

April 30, 2010


Playbill online interviews Liz and Ann Hampton Callaway

Describe your sister’s singing voice. What makes her a great singer?
Ann: Liz’s voice is like the light just after the sun rises when everything is awash in gold and even New York City looks brand new. Liz is Liz when she sings — nothing gets in the way of her soul. She always knows how to stand in front of an audience and tell the truth with complete freedom. She has something rarely heard in music today — sweetness. Somehow she has retained that beautiful quality that so many lose from the hard knocks in life, so you feel safe and renewed by her spirit when you hear her sing.

Liz: Her voice is like a very expensive whiskey — full-bodied, smoky and rich. She sings with so much emotion, so much heart. She also has an incredible ear for harmony. When we experiment with songs, you should hear the harmonies she comes up with. I don’t know how she does it.

Stephen Holden on Alan Cumming

April 29, 2010

The NYTimes reviews the man who won’t be starring in Spiderman on Broadway: “A fearless playfulness has been the show business currency of Alan Cumming since he made a splash on Broadway 12 years ago as the androgynous M.C. in the revival of “Cabaret,” toying seductively with nervous audience members of both sexes. The same devil-may-care impulse to tweak the status quo and liberate the uptight infused his performance on Tuesday, the first of a five-night engagement, at an actual cabaret, Feinstein’s at Loews Regency.”

Two Shows for Friday Night !!!!

April 28, 2010

Decisons, decisions !

Barbara Cook’s Spotlight: Laura Benanti

Tony Award winner Laura Benanti (Gypsy) performs in this theater cabaret performance series curated by Broadway legend Barbara Cook.

  • Apr 30, 2010 at 7:30 PM
  • $45.00

Tickets and Schedule | About the Program | Sponsors

Justin Ritchie at Germano’s Thursday Night Cancelled

April 28, 2010

Talk about your worst case scenario !  Justin Ritchie has developed a bad case of laryngitis just before his engagement at Germano’s Thursday night.  As such, he’s decided to cancel.

And talk about your mixed feelings.  I hate the fact that I’ll be missing the show, but also hope that Justin feels better soon !!!!!

This Weekend at Germano’s

April 27, 2010

Cabaret, opera, Shakespeare and a Momplicated Relationship..this week at the Cabaret at Germano’s…

Justin Ritchie in “On My Way Here” — Note — this show has been cancelled

After a stellar debut at New York’s Metropolitan Room, Mr. Ritchie brings his marvelous show, “On My Way Here” to Cabaret at Germano’s. Songs include the familiar (Dolly Parton’s “Travelin’ Through,” Johnny Burke & Jimmy Van Heusen’s gorgeous “But Beautiful”) and the obscure (Steven Lutvak’s catchy and engaging “Mrs. Whitney Taught Me The Piano, Mark Schultz’s “Remember Me,” musical director Rick Jensen’s “Harbor”). The show is directed by the wonderful Lina Koutrakos.

“Mr. Ritchie lent his warm, smooth, powerful voice – as well as a heartfelt rendering of the lyrics – to each and every song.” — -Jenna Esposito,


Killer Stilts

Fri, Apr 30, 2010 at 7:30 pm — Doors open at 6pm, $15 cover

Pam Parker, Susan Faucon and Liz Briones are the Dames of Killer Stilts. These spectacular Divas sing, squabble and laugh out loud about Beauty, Money, Sex, Love and Conspiracy…lots of thought provoking, irreverent and musical conversation. With Ro Cube on Keys, Wardell Howell on Bass and Eric Haskins on Drums, these 6 accomplished musicians perform a diverse collection of original jazz, funk and blues blended with provocative dialogue, a large dollop of humor and the meaning of life as seen through the eyes of three crazy Dames.


The Bravo Lyric Opera Cabaret Series

Sat, May 1, 2010 at 7:30 pm — Doors open at 6pm, $10 cover

Maestro James Harp directs this region’s finest opera performers in this marvelous cabaret series presented by The Lyric Opera House. Shows are the first Saturday of each month. Enjoy Opera a la Carte!

Tonight, singers from Maestro Harp’s “Deconstructing Operatic Icons” class at the Peabody Conservatory will present a cabaret of operatic arias and ensembles. 

Cabaret at Germano’s — 300 S. High Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21202, 410.752.4515

Sophisticated Ladies at Arena Stage

April 27, 2010

When Arena Stage announced Sophisticated Ladies this season, I have to admit that I was somewhat apprehensive, especially in the light of last season’s disasterous I Love a Piano.  After all, both are plotless revues centering on the work of a specific songwriter (Duke Ellington and Irving Berlin respectively).  It remains the fascinating mystery of the alchemy of the theater why Sophisticated Ladies works so well compared to the nearly unendurable I Love a Piano.

Of course, talent has a lot to do with it.  Sophisticated Ladies is helmed by the veteran song-and-dance man Maurice Hines functioning both as star and choreographer.  The always-superb Marva Hicks is the lead vocalist and Wynonna Smith who appeared in the original Broadway company of the show, appears in the lead danseuse role.  The show also features teenage DC tap phenoms Leo and John Manzari as well as a terrific array of singers and dancers.

I also realized what a smart/lovely/appropriate tribute this is, for Arena Stage to be doing a Duke Ellington musical as its last Arena-Stage-in-Exile production being presented at the Lincoln Theater before returning to its new Soutwest DC quarters.  Since the Lincoln Theater was part of DC’s “Black Broadway” where Ellington started his career, it was a special thrill to hear this material performed in this venue.

Moreover, Arena is saying goodbye with an opulent production.  Although the set itself is merely serviceable, it is decorated with an 11-piece big band.  Each number has its own eye-popping costumes thought-through with changes of wigs and shoes.  And the combiantion of star, featured dancers, featared singers, and chorus feels luxurious in these theatrically auster times.

The show reminded me of the quality of the Duke Ellington Songbook that often slips past my radar.  While Ellington’s swingier numbers such as Take the A Train, It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing, and I’m Beginning to See the Light the show really reminded me of how good and overlooked his ballads are.  There are any number of singers in a cabaret situation who I can imagine doing very well with In a Sentimental Mood, In My Solitude, and Mood Indigo.

Sophisticated Ladies runs through May 30 (but I bet it gets extended).

Tickets and info.

Reviews for Sondheim on Sondheim

April 23, 2010

The NYTimes review is in for the new Sondheim revue on Broadway: “This is a chipper, haphazard anthology show that blends live performance of Sondheim songs with archival video footage and taped interviews with Himself. Conceived and directed by James Lapine, Mr. Sondheim’s frequent (and, to me, best) collaborator over the years, this somewhat jittery production never quite finds a sustained tone, a natural rhythm or even a logical sense of sequence.

“It does, however, have a polished and likable eight-member cast (that includes Tom Wopat, Vanessa Williams and the great Barbara Cook); a savory selection of Sondheim material that never made it to Broadway as well as canonic standards; and heaping spoonfuls of insider dope about the creation of shows like “Company” and “Follies” and the changes they underwent on the road.”

Also, be sure to scroll down the page for the clip of Vanessa Williams doing Ah, But Underneath

Stephen Holden on the Nunziata Brothers

April 23, 2010

The NYTimes reviews the new sibling act at Feinstein’s: “To hear them tell it, they were Broadway babies almost from the day they were born. In their upbeat mode, singing a bouncy “Make Someone Happy,” they display an engagingly brassy professionalism. But introspection doesn’t become them. Because they have the voices and temperaments of performers in permanent audition mode, their readings of heavier songs like “Willow Weep for Me” and Stephen Sondheim ballads go no deeper than to apply the hint of a sob to the material like a decal.”

April Open Mic

April 23, 2010

I wasn’t able to be at the April, DC Cabaret Network Open Mic on Monday, but thanks to Kathy Reilly and Stephanie Daley, I have the list of who sang what:

Act 1

1. I wish I were in love again / Everything I’ve got — Mary Reilly

2. Where do you Start — Matt Howe

3. Do it Again/ I’ve Got a Crush on You – G. Gershwin

4. My favorite year – Joanne Schmoll

5. Lucy’s Laugh — Andy Woo

6. Another Hundred People — Claudia Van Nostrand

7. It’s Good to See You Again — Ramon Atienza

8. I Miss the Mountains — Nancy Perry

9. They Say It’s Spring — Kathy Reilly

10. Stormy Weather. — Laura White

11. At Last — Joanna Evans

12. Larger Than Life — Lonny Smith

13. My Man — Stephanie Dailey

14. Make Me Rainbows — Terry Allen

Act 2

1. I Hear Music / The Song is You — Joanne Schmoll

2. Two for the Road — Kathy Reilly

3. He Was Too Good For Me — Mary Reilly

4. Ramon Atienza — His Name

5. Andy Woo — Not Afraid

6. Lonny Smith — If I Sing

7. Laura White — Slow Like Honey

8. Joanna Evans — For Sentimental Reasons

9. Nancy Perry — When You’re Good to Mama

10. Stephanie Dailey — My Funny Valentine

11. Terry Long — Someone to Watch over Me

12. Louise Van Arrsen — Estelle

Stephen Holden on the Lerner & Loewe Concert

April 22, 2010

The NYTimes on the recent concert: “A gilded fantasy of an American Camelot flickered over Carnegie Hall on Friday evening as the New York Pops presented “The Best of Lerner and Loewe,” a greatest-hits anthology of beloved show tunes. Frederick Loewe’s sweeping Old World melodies, sung by Kelli O’Hara and Paulo Szot, the lovebirds of the “South Pacific” revival, joined by the tenor Michael Slattery, conjured a bygone era of romantic nobility.”