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Book review: “The Last Word” by Quentin Crisp

November 28, 2017

The only thing in my life I have wanted and didn’t get was to be a woman. It will be my life’s biggest regret. If the operation had been available and cheap when I was young, say when I was twenty-five or twenty-26, I would have jumped at the chance. My life would have been simpler as a result. I would have told nobody. Instead, I would have gone to live in a distant town and run a knitting wool shop and on one would ever have known my secret. I would have joined the real world and it would have been wonderful. [more]

Spotlight Cabaret: Ella At 100

May 29, 2017

It's Ella Fitgerald's centennial. She influenced more than a generation of singers and musicians. The lady called the “Queen of Jazz” or “The First Lady of Song” would have turned 100 this year. Her bounty is unmatched. Among her musical gifts, Ella was an exceptionally well-rounded musician, a pristine vocalist and impeccable improviser. She was jazz. There have been many first ladies of this or that but Ella was an original, clarion-voiced swing singer in a league of her own. [more]

Cabaret Spotlight: Hey There, Good Times

February 21, 2017

The measure of a singer's worth is in the ear of the beholder. What is one person's Piaf is another person's Barbra. There's no magic formula to being one of the great ones. All one can do is be dedicated to the art and have a willingness to experiment and keep at it come rain or shine. The rest is a matter of luck and timing, talent and tenacity. For some, the call might come late. But when answered, there's no turning back. [more]

Joe Franklin and Me

January 25, 2017

Darryl Reilly, Critic SUNDAY With the countenance of a vintage stuffed owl and that of a [more]

Cabaret Spotlight: Two Good To Be True

July 17, 2016

If you're stuck in the city in the hot summer, there's good reason to come to the cabaret. All the Manhattan clubs have impressive lineups for the summer months. Some of the most entertaining and musically refined engagements can be found at Feinstein's/54 Below as they offer rosters that are hard to top. Two recent engagements stand out. [more]

Woman in the Auditorium

June 27, 2016

So, throughout the rest of the tour when we were waiting for and riding on subway trains, the vibrant and spry Ms. Wallace recounted the story of how she made her Broadway debut at the age of 72. [more]

Cabaret journalist/actor Andrew Martin found dead in his home on June 7, 2016

June 9, 2016

A chatty, openly gay bon vivant over the years, Andrew Martin had his feet in many waters; all of them related to show business. He was proud of his long-winded stories and exceptional knowledge of trivia about the famous and infamous. He had many followers on Facebook where he shared sometimes painful stories of his family and personal angst. He wrote openly about being troubled by strained relations within a divided family at times. [more]

Saloons: Some Enchanted Evenings

May 14, 2016

Cabaret has always been a mixed bag. The golden age is gone. However, in today's schizo world of nightclubs, things are looking pretty good. It is a milieu unique in the entertainment industry. And, it continues to reinvent itself. The late cabaret critic Martin Schaeffer wrote in Back Stage in 1993,“There cannot be a better night of classic American music than a Bobby Short gig at The Carlyle.” He was right; especially if you're a purist of the Great American Songbook. [more]

On Set for Grave Secrets

May 3, 2016

Before the cameras started rolling, there was this anxiety and doubt, but I began to really focus and believe in myself, in my ability, in my technique, and in my drive, and that put me in the zone. [more]

Anne Jackson: A Personal Remembrance

April 14, 2016

“I made Anne Jackson laugh!” was the euphoric finale to my story of auditioning to get into her scene study class in the early 1990’s. She sat at a small wooden desk in one of the creaky classrooms of the Bank Street building with her red hair and beaming face. [more]

Blue Surge

September 23, 2015

Directed by Joseph Hayward, "Blue Surge" is specific and engaging, and moves at a brisk pace which deceives the nearly-two-hour run time. The lighting design (Jason Fok) is particularly impressive for such a small and aged theater space, and much of the intrigue derives from the varying lighting techniques and bold color scheme employed. Given the limited budget and resources with which Brooklyn Repertory Theatre’s latest production was mounted, commendable acting, direction, and design serve as a reminder that the actual theater space becomes irrelevant when in the midst of a talented cast and crew. [more]

Linda Lavin: Starting Over

September 8, 2015

Dressed in black slacks, a sequined white blouse and a gray blazer, the svelte, energetic, and soon to be 78 year-old Tony Award-winning stage and television star dazzled in an eclectic program of songs and anecdotes. Possessed of an outstanding, expressive character voice she was supported by an accomplished band. [more]

Baba: the Show

August 26, 2015

Life comes with detours, but more important than any of that is the personal response. Instead of allowing the past to dictate the future, Mahgoub’s path is one filled with determination and perseverance. Hard work is ultimately more important than “luck,” [more]

Divine/Intervention

August 18, 2015

The cult movie star’s last hours alive are dramatized in this harrowing fantasia with two powerful actors portraying the man and his alter ego. [more]

Perfect Crime: Performance #11,568

July 3, 2015

Including me there were 28 people at the Wednesday matinee on July 1, 2015, of the 11,568th performance of "Perfect Crime." This murder mystery thriller opened Off-Broadway on April 18, 1987, and has played at several theaters since, earning it the distinction as the longest-running play in New York City history. [more]

Sinatra Paints

April 29, 2015

Art critics may certainly analyze and pontificate about the aesthetic value of these works. For devotees of his, they offer an intriguing view into his consciousness and imagination. Since he emerged as the supreme performer of the 20th Century, many have tried with varying degrees of success to fathom his inner life. These vibrant colors, shapes, and enigmatic portraits, add even more dimension to the mystery of what went on in the mind of Frank Sinatra. [more]

Not Glad We Had This Time Together

April 22, 2015

Carol Burnett was at in White Plains, on Friday April 17, 2015, to perform her show, An Evening of Laughter with Carol Burnett. Sadly there was not much laughter or much time together. [more]