New York used to be a swinging town after dark. Now it’s just lonely. After dessert is served, the cafes close. After the boring, obligatory standing ovations that end every show in town whether it’s any good or not, the theaters empty and the audience heads home. Back in the day, you could head for Read More
An Original Classic: Adam Guettel’s Musical Lines Run Deep, But For This Songwriter, It’s All About Carving It Out On His Own
You wouldn’t call him a chip off the old block, but Adam Guettel’s musical genes are unmistakable. Yes, his grandfather was the great Richard Rodgers, and his mother was Mary Rodgers, who wrote Once Upon a Mattress. He works hard not to imitate either of them, but I say if you’ve got the genes, flaunt ‘em. And that is exactly what the adventurous, spirited and always imaginative composer of The Light in the Piazza is doing all this week, for seven performances, at 54 Below, New York’s glitzy nightclub beneath the street where the notorious Studio 54 used to be. It’s the most interesting mini-concert in town.
Actually, it’s less a concert than a kind of kickstarter to raise awareness of this extraordinary young songwriter’s talent and versatility. Read More
The venue 54 Below, New York’s beautiful new cabaret room in the renovated basement of the once-notorious Studio 54 disco, is playing host this week (through Feb. 2) to golden girl Christine Andreas. The ambience still retains the decadence of the space’s former tenant, but Ms. Andreas spreads nothing but sunshine. “Bemused,” the delightful, musically eclectic new act she has written for herself, is carefully designed to illustrate the varied definitions of that all-encompassing word. This gives the charming, multi-talented song stylist myriad moods to explore and a challenging repertoire of songs to explore them in. There’s something for everybody.
Webster’s uses for the word “bemused” include “immersed,” “surprised” and “thunderstruck”—but Ms. Andreas’s favorite definition of “bemused,” she says, is the kind of spark that only occurs when the right singer meets the right song (or songwriter). Read More
Belt-tightening measures in the new economic squeeze are being felt all over town, but at the chic Café Carlyle—even if the marquee names lack the usual luster in the new year—elegance still prevails. Broadway Romance, a musical journey through the turbulent stages of love illustrated by timeless songs from Broadway musicals, might seem under-
What are you doing New Year’s Eve? The cultured and the wise will be punishing the parquet at Feinstein’s at Loews Regency for the last time, saying goodbye forever to one of New York’s most venerable cabaret kingdoms. Yes, it’s one more nail in the coffin of the kind of sophisticated nightlife that used to Read More
“Taps, Tunes and Tall Tales” is the perfect title for Tommy Tune’s cabaret debut at Feinstein’s at Loew’s Regency, and he delivers plenty of all three. You know you’re in for an evening of savvy show business sass the minute the lights dim and he sails in singing “I’ve Got Them Feelin’ Too Good Today Blues” in a red suit the color of a tomato surprise.
Treetop tall and chlorophyll fresh, the dancer/actor/director/choreographer who Gene Kelly once called “too lanky for a legend” reduces his life story to one hour of handpicked tales and take-home tunes, punctuated by nifty tap routines executed to tumultuous applause on a stage the size of a forever stamp. Read More
A badly needed four-week vacation followed by a busy week seeing five films a day at the Toronto International Film Festival has left me way behind in telling you about Michael Feinstein and Marilyn Maye’s tuneful contribution to the final season at Feinstein’s at Loew’s Regency. If you haven’t joined the party yet, there’s one more week to go. What are you waiting for? Read More
The dog days of summer get an extra spark with the arrival of Portland, Oregon-based singer Rebecca Kilgore at Feinstein’s at Loew’s Regency. Last year she celebrated the musical side of Marilyn Monroe. Now she calls her new show “The Jazzy Side of Judy Garland.” The lady has high ideals and lofty goals.
I didn’t know Judy had a jazzy side, but Ms. Kilgore proves it. Read More
Opening last month with brassy Patti LuPone and continuing now with the jazzy, undulating Terpsichore of Fosse-trained Ben Vereen, the new Broadway nightclub called Below 54 (so named because it is located in the subterranean “VIP room” below Studio 54, where all the X-rated drugs, depravity and fun took place in the good old days) still has kinks to iron out before it becomes the smash it deserves to be. Read More
Such a busy girl. After getting herself Tony-nominated for her starring role in the underrated—unfairly, I might add—Bonnie and Clyde, which, as it turned out, was one of the better musicals of the 2012 Broadway season, Laura Osnes starred in the Encores! production of Pipe Dream as well as a one-night concert version of The Sound of Music at Carnegie. Now she has brought her clarion voice and stunning beauty to the swanky Café Carlyle for a two-week cabaret debut (through June 30). All you have to do is hear her one time to understand why. Read More