October 7, 2011
The NYTimes reviews the always-exciting Betty Lynn Buckley: “Ms. Buckley has never been in better voice, and her trio — Christian Jacob on piano, Peter Barshay on bass and Anthony Pinciotti on drums — has found a comfortable balance between her two, sometimes conflicting, aspects. One is an imperious Broadway diva, the other a quasi-jazz experimentalist, who, with her longtime musical sidekick, the pianist Kenny Werner, deconstructs songs from all over the place with the bold, occasionally reckless zeal of an explorer on the high seas without a compass.”
February 4, 2010
The NYTimes reviews the belter appearing at Feinstein’s: “Betty Buckley was at the very top of her game in Tuesday’s opening-night program of a four-week engagement at Feinstein’s at Loews Regency. The title of her show, “For the Love of Broadway!,” reflects a slightly chagrined recognition that the majority of her fans, not to mention the managers of Feinstein’s, where she appears almost every year around this time, demand theatrical showstoppers, not experiments in pop-jazz, soft-rock and pop-country fusion. For New York audiences at least — Ms. Buckley moved back to Texas, her home state, six years ago — a Broadway diva is what’s expected.”
March 19, 2009
Thank you to Jill Leger who directed my attention to Rex Reed’s review of Betty Buckley’s recent show at Feinstein’s.
It starts “Being forced to listen to Betty Buckley screech her way through Andrew Lloyd Webber’s godawful “Memory” for the nine millionth time reminds me of what the Japanese did to American POWs in World War II” and ends “I’m no fan, but Betty Lynn Buckley’s success is real enough to warrant a better show than the lazy, exasperating mess to which her audiences are being subjected at Feinstein’s.”
Here’s a link to what’s in-between.
February 12, 2009
The NYTimes on Betty Buckley: “Betty Buckley taught a master class in what it is like to be a Broadway diva at Feinstein’s at Loews Regency on Tuesday evening. And yes, it is hard work.”
The DIVA TALK column in Playbill online was also starry-eyed about Buckley’s show: “On those very rare occasions when a concert/cabaret act is as moving, funny, thrilling and all-around entertaining as one hopes, I often feel like writing a two-word review: “Just go!””
October 4, 2008
I tend to go back and forth on Buckley’s work, but I just got back from her concert at the Kennedy Center with Kenny Werner and am pleased to report it’s spectacular. There’s another show Saturday night.
I’ll link to my full Cabaret Scenes review when it gets posted.
Here’s her set list:
- Act I
- As If We Never Said Goodbye
- Not a Day Goes By
- Onthe 4th of July
- He Plays the Violin
- Momma Look Sharp
- They Can’t Take That Away From Me
- Dindi / How Insensitive
- It Might As Well Be spring
- Fire & Rain
- Act II
- On the Street Where You Live
- Autumn Leaves
- With One Look
- Old Friends (Paul Simon) / Unchained Melody
- The Times They Are a Changin’
- Ghost In This House
- Get Here
- Memory (encore)
September 30, 2008
Mr. 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.
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.
June 21, 2008
I caught the movie The Happening and liked it more than the reviewers did. Not only is the occasionally scary Betty Buckley consistently weird and scary in the film, but the wonderful Victoria (Light in the Piazza) Clark is lovely and wonderful in the movie as well.