Category: music

Callaway Jazzes the Movies

[article as originally published in Theater Pizzazz, November 3, 2017.] Ann Hampton Callaway is a Chicago girl with one of the biggest hearts in cabaret. On a recent evening at Birdland, on a day when a deranged dude in a rental truck several miles downtown killed eight people and injured many more, Callaway pauses to reflect

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DeLaria Sings Bowie at Birdland

Lea DeLaria holds court with passion and grace in her David Bowie tribute show. Twice a night through Saturday October 28 at Birdland Jazz Club, this show based on DeLaria’s 2015 crowd-sourced recording House of David: delaria + bowie = jazzcombines an intimate cabaret feel and community building with a solid set of young musicians, a

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Melissa Manchester, Her Fellas, and Unexpected Joy

[article as originally published in Theater Pizzazz, September 14, 2017.] “I finally made it to Birdland!” Melissa Manchester, who has had a career of many decades, with more than a score of albums, and performances around the world, exclaimed early into her set in the intimate jazz venue an excitement at being in the room that

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Sugar Sing Along Loses the Beat

[article as originally published in Theater Pizzazz, September 11, 2017.] Tony Roberts, one of the original stars of Sugar, the 1972 Broadway musical based entirely on the Billy Wilder, cross-dressing, Prohibition-era comedy film Some Like It Hot, hosted the “54 Sings Sugar” chapter of the 54 Below series of barely-staged, sung-through performances of sometimes rarely seen

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A Happening to Celebrate Birthday Girl Annie Ross

[article as originally published in Theater Pizzazz, July 30, 2017.] July 25, 2017 really is the 87th birthday of Annie Ross and marks the 11th year of regular appearances at the venue by this actress and jazz musician. The celebratory vibe at the Metropolitan Room this fine summer evening is deep and buzzy—Ms. Ross hasn’t been

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Linda Lavin and the Women Who Haunt Her

[image caption: Billy Stritch and Linda Lavin. Photo: Stephen Sorokoff.] [article as originally published in Theater Pizzazz, July 30, 2017.] Linda Lavin is a New York City girl who holds audiences rapt by comedic and dramatic performances on television, film, and stage. What cabaret lovers have discovered over the years is that that she brings all her

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Karrin Allyson Swings Low

[article as originally published in Theater Pizzazz, July 30, 2017.] The scene at Birdland this steamy July evening skews young—tables of college-aged pals, a large group of teens from Britain. The bubbling young crowd, perhaps here on a first visit to this venue, perhaps a first visit to the city, could perhaps have come on a

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Barb Jungr and John McDaniel Find the Zing in Sting

[caption: John McDaniel and Barb Jungr at Joe’s Pub. Photo: Richard Hillman.] [article as originally published in Theater Pizzazz, June 30, 2017.] British-born Barb Jungr is often described in creative cross-breed superlatives: Edith Piaf meets Carmen McRae, jazz meets blues, pop rock meets the Great American Songbook. She is, in fact, an absolutely charming raconteur with a

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Seth Sikes Embraces His Divas

[article as originally published in Theater Pizzazz, June 29, 2017.] I am a fan of the divas that inspire the passionate fandom Seth Sikes revealed in his June 24 cabaret show. I’ve wondered, as I’ve read reviews of his tribute show appearances over the past few years, whether his performance style would land as gushing

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Hal David’s Magic Moments in Memory and Song

[article as originally published in Theater Pizzazz, June 22, 2017.] We make our way to the second floor Buttenwieser Hall at the 92nd Street Y on a sultry June evening without benefit of functioning elevators. Our goal: an upper floor concert hall in which we are promised recollections of the life and legacy of lyricist

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