Stage to Cabaret — Episode 3

October 25, 2008

I’ve been thinking of doing a workshop with the theme “Stage to Cabaret” to discuss the ways cabaret artists can adapt stage material for their own use.  I see the discussions revolving around performance clips showing examples of various themes.

So what do you do when you don’t have choreography and chorus boys?

Here’s the wonderful Bebe Neuwirth in All That Jazz from Chicago.

If you’re the amazing Karen Mason* with phenom arranger Chris Denny, you make enough modifications to the song to remove it from the context of the show, then you do a fierce enough vocal so that the world would wonder why you would even need to clutter it with chorus boys or choreography.

*By the way, if you haven’t gotten Karen Mason’s CD, Right Here, Right Now, yet, why haven’t you?  In the ever-humble opinion of this blogger, it’s by far the best female cabaret CD that’s been released in 2008.

Strathmore Season Preview

September 3, 2008

For those of you who really plan ahead, single-event tickets for the 2008-2009 season at Strathmore are now available.

They’ve got a lot of great artists scheduled:

Randy Newman (September 24)

Natalie Cole (October 9)

k.d lang (October 30)

Christine Ebersole & James Naughton (November 9)

 Tommy Tune & The Manhattan Rhythm Kings (January 23)

So You Think You Can’t Sing (Mondays, 2/2 – 2/23)

William Bolcom & Joan Morris (February 26)

Bebe Neuwirth (April 2)

Bernadette Peters (April 19)

And Strathmore is probably one of the most convenient venues in the DC area to get to — immediately off the Beltway for suburbanites

John Simon on Bebe Neuwirth

June 1, 2008

©2008 Bruce Glikas for Broadway.comJohn Simon reviews Bebe Neuwirth’s current show at Feinstein’s:

But in a cabaret song act, you should, first of all, have a real singing voice, which happens to be one of the admittedly few things Bebe hasn’t got. Not much, anyway, and she knows it. So she does everything she can to sidestep the issue, to minimize the hegemony of the voice.

To be sure, she correctly acts out what is in a song. But she also acts out what isn’t. She mugs, gesticulates, and, above all, dances it out. She also readily varies her dynamics from very soft to very loud. Further, she gets good support from her pianist, Scott Cady. But oral interplay with him is rather less than with the bottle of champagne she periodically sips from through a straw. Or with the audience. She takes as good as she—no, not gives—withholds.

Stephen Holden on Bebe Neuwirth

May 25, 2008

The NYTimes on Neuwirth at Feinstein’s: “Watching Bebe Neuwirth extract the scar tissue from the emotional viscera of Brecht-Weill songs at Feinstein’s at Loews Regency on Wednesday evening, I thought, “Here is the new Julie Wilson!””