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Here's what I've enjoyed seeing or reading so far...hope you enjoy them as well!

      

 

Entries in "Adaumbelle's Quest" (73)

Thursday
Dec222011

Bobby Cronin and Friends

Once again, I was seduced by the music of award winning composer/lyricist Bobby Cronin, when I attend his concert "Bobby Cronin and Friends" on Monday, December 19, 2011 at Don't Tell Mama in NYC. Bobby's music is inspiring, heartfelt, and uplifting. He really knows how to get to the core of what it means to live life and experience everything it has to offer, from love and joy to sorrow and loss.

Bring this music even more alive than it already is, Bobby assembled the best performers out there: LaQuet Sharnell ("Lysistrata Jones," "Memphis"), Jennifer Dinoia ("Wicked," "We Will Rock You"), Gerard Canonico ("American Idiot," "Spring Awakening"), Katrina Rose Dideriksen ("Hairspray," "Things to Ruin"), Brian Gallagher ("Chix6"), Jenn Furman ("Wicked" National Tour), Tricia Tanguy ("Marvelous Wonderettes"), Marissa Rosen ("My Big Gay Italian Wedding"), David Gordon ("Daybreak"), Erik Sisco (Stonewall Sensation, Suspicious Packages), Brett Teresa, Ashley Dawn Mortensen, and Nicole Hietter.

I can honestly say, every single performer blew me away with their talent and powerful vocals! I have been to many of Bobby's concerts over these past two years and this one continues in the tradition of excellent talent! The concert started off on a high note when Gerard Canonico, Erik Sisco, Ashley Dawn Mortensen, Katrina Rose Dideriksen, and David Gordon sang "Reach The Sky," from Bobby's Broadway-bound musical "Welcome To My Llife." All of their incredible voices blended perfectly together. The show continued on with the sexy and talented Brian Gallagher singing "Home For Christmas." Brian's voice is a pleasure to listen to because he can be very soft and other times very rock like. He often makes me think of Adam Pascal and I like that a lot! Next up, was Tricia Tanguy who sang "Make My Heart." This was my first introduciton to Tricia and gosh, I'm so glad I got to hear her sing. She has very controlled vocals with a great belt. After Tricia, Marissa Rosen to the stage to sing one of the more fun songs of Bobby, "The Understudy." Like Tricia, this was my first introduction to Marissa and I was very impressed. She has a big voice and knows how to use it! She made "The Understudy" quite enjoyable. A very delightful surprise of the evening, was the premiere of a brand-new Bobby Cronin song "Across The Sea" which was sung by the talented Brett Teresa. I haven't had the chance to hear Brett sing many solo songs over the years, but on Monday, I got a full dose of the talent that is Brett Teresa. He hit and belted all the right notes! His vocals were so strong that the amount of cheering and applause stopped the show for several minutes.

Coming back to the stage after Brett, was Erik and Ashley again. This time around they sang "Here In Our Home," from Bobby's musical "'Til Death Do Us Part." I've heard Erik and Ashley sing separately and they are amazing, but together, they raised the roof. Their voices are so rich, it's always enjoyable to hear them sing. This was a good song for them to duet on. Taking the stage next, was the extraordinary Jenn Furman, who's vocals are explosive! She sang a very fun song called "Oh Facebook," all about one girl's obession with the social media mogel. Almost everyone in today's society can relate to this song. Then Erik, Brett, Jenn, and Nicole burst out in "Lucky In Love." Once again a great mix of voices.

Keeping with the love theme, David came back to the stage along with Jennifer Dinoia when they sang "Then I Met You," a beautiful song about meeting the love of your life. Jennifer and David sounded great together, each also getting their moment to shine. They had great chemistry which really came through, especially when David flashed his big, sexy, winning smile! It added so much to the song. Katrina got another chance to shine, this time as a solo when she sang "Wilted." Katrina certainly got into this song of heartache as she demonstrated with her strong vocal skills. After Katrina, Brian and Ashley returned to the stage to sing "Is This Love," a song about wondering if you are in love with the person you are dating. Bringing more of his rock voice to this song, Brian radiated as he sang alongside Ashley, who's vocal quality is like no other (which I guess is why she just got cast as the understudy of "Elphaba" in the First National Tour of "Wicked"). Jennifer once again scored big points singing "Rain."

The next part of the show was truly remarkable. Jenn Furman and LaQuet Sharnell took to the stage to sing/belt out "You Deserve Better," one of my all-time favorite Bobby songs, about two friends who remind each other they deserve better than the last loser they just went out with. This song is SO TRUE, SO RELATABLE, and SO UPLIFTING! Everytime I hear it, I am reminded that I do deserve the best and not to settle for less! Jenn and LaQuet have such great chemistry on this song because you can tell just how wonderful their real friendship is. It really comes through! I hope they always perform this song together because I love it best when they do.

Since it is the holiday season, Bobby put in one more holiday song called "Ready For Christmas" which brought Gerard back to the stage, for another great song. Bringing down the house yet again and closing out the show was the amazingly talented LaQuet Sharnell who triumphantly belted out another one of my favorite Bobby songs called "Move On," all about leaving behind a bad situation. Another very inspiring song, LaQuet is the best singer for this song. Her vocal capability is beyond wonderful. She really knows the meaning of control and her talent always shines through!

Because no Bobby show is complete without it, there was an encore. Singing the title song from Bobby's brand new original musical, "Daybreak" (which just won the 2011 NJ Playwrights Contest) were Erik, Jennifer, Tricia, and David. This was the perfect way to end Bobby's show because this song is so uplifiting. It really reminds you that if you can just make it through the night to "Daybreak," things do start to get better because there is another day to make it so. Having these four performers sing it was brilliant! They sounded amazing together.

2012 is going to be a big year for Bobby! He's going to London to premiere "Daybreak," writing a song cycle while he's there as well, and will continue to move "Welcome To My Life" to Broadway. With so much of Bobby's music getting out there even more, I highly, highly suggest getting to one of these events or another one of his concerts. Bobby's positive energy is so welcoming in today's world. It's that positive energy that lends him to writing such heartfelt, inspiring, and relatable music! If you've never heard Bobby's music, then I suggest picking up his debut CD "Reach The Sky," visit his website, follow him on Twitter and Facebook, and read my 2009 interview with him (a new one coming soon)! The world should know Bobby Cronin, his music, and these amazingly talented performers above!

Sunday
Dec182011

NY Pops Holiday Concert: John Pizzarelli and Jessica Molaskey Wish You a Swingin' Christmas

On Friday, December 16, 2011, I was treated to a truly delightful evening of holiday music at Carnegie Hall when I attended the NY Pops Holiday concert "John Pizzarelli and Jesicca Molaskey Wish You a Swingin' Christmas." This was my first time seeing the NY Pops and I was entranced, engulfed, and mesmerized by their talent!

Musically directed and conducted by Steven Reineke, this joyous evening consisted of holiday songs performed by the NY Pops, world-renowned jazz guitarist and singer John Pizzarelli, critically acclaimed actress and singer Jessica Molaskey, and Essential Voices USA (a choir that promotes the love of music and the art of ensemble singing comprised of professional singers, auditioned volunteers, and high-school students). Some songs they performed individually and others were a group effort, but all of them were wonderful!

One of the highlights for me was when 9-year-old pianist, Adam Tannenbaum took the stage to perform "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. I'm not sure there are enough words to describe just how incredible Adam was. It was one of those moments, I felt lucky to be around for. Some of my other favorite moments of the night included Essiential Voices USA singing "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" and "We Need a Little Christmas" from "Mame," Jessica Molaskey singing Joni Mitchell's "Circle Game," and John Pizzarelli singing "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" and "White Christmas." Each time, these great performers were accompanied by the NY Pops, which was always a welcomed delight! I also really enjoyed watching Steven Reinke conduct the evening. It was evident that Steven loves what he does. He is energetic, interactive, and knows how to have fun, while moving the evening along.

The NY Pops Holiday Concert was another great way to get into the holiday season. I would definitely suggest next season to take in this enjoyable and upbeat holiday concert! If you can't wait until then to see the NY Pops, then I would check out their remaining concerts at Carnegie Hall (57th Street & 7th Avenue): "Patti Austin Sings Ella Fitzgerald's Gershwin Songbook" on March 16, 2012 and "Hollywood Award Winners" on Friday, April 13, 2012!

Sunday
Dec182011

Lettuce Rejoice 2011

Me, Hedda Lettuce, & PaulOnce again I was put into the holiday spirit when I attended Hedda Lettuce's hilarious, smart, and stupendous holiday show "Lettuce Rejoice" on December 18, 2011 at the Metropolitan Room in NYC. With her signature comedy style and original parody songs, Hedda easily won the sold-out crowd over from the moment she took to the stage! Hedda sang a host of holiday favorites including "Frosty The Snowman," and "'Twas The Night Before Christmas," as well as debuting some new songs including "Here Comes Tranny Clause," "Do You Think That He's Queer," and a special holiday song about "Grindr." One of the things I really like about "Lettuce Rejoice" is that Hedda was very inclusive of everyone, especially when she performed a funny parody Chanukah song set to the tunes of Madonna's "La Isla Bonita" and Ricky Martin's "Livin' La Vida Loca."

What makes Hedda such a strong comedian is the way she interacts with the audience. Hedda's quick wit adds to her already brilliant comedic skills! Another reason Hedda is such a great talent is because she is not afraid to take risks with her comedy. One never knows how something will go over, but Hedda hits the nail on the head almost everytime! It's rare when a Hedda joke does not get a laugh.

With just 3 chances left to see "Lettuce Rejoice," I would highly suggest taking in this very fun, enjoyable, and feel good show on either December 21, 23, or 28 at the Metropolitan Room in heart of Chelsea, NYC's gayborhood (34 West 22nd Street, between 5th & 6th Avenue).

Monday
Dec122011

ICONS

Dennis Williams as "Tina Turner"On November 28, 2011, I saw Madonna, Tina Turner, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, The Spice Girls, and Cher take the stage at the Snapple Theatre in NYC's hottest new drag show "ICONS," which took Provincetown by storm this past summer! Produced by Tom D'Angora and Michael Duling, "ICONS" is an amazing tribute to some of music's biggest artists!

All of these artists are phenominally performed by Brianna Andrews/Ricardo Torres and Dennis Williams! These guys really have mastered each of the singers they portray from their manerisms to their dance moves to their energy. Performing hit after hit, with new songs thrown in, "ICONS" is a dream concert happening live. 

Brianna Andrews/Ricardo Torres as "Madonna"Dennis Williams/Brianna Andrews/Ricardo Torres in "ICONS"Hitting all the right notes, "ICONS" celebrates the powerful, influential musical artists who have paved the way for so many. It really highlights the contribution these "ICONS" have made to the music industry and reminds us of why they have made not only a name for themselves, but have made music history!

For a concert like you've never seen, featuring the music industry's biggest names and hits, "ICONS" is the show to attend! Playing every Friday and Saturday night at 10:45pm at The Snapple Theatre in NYC (1627 Broadway, corner of 50th & Broadway), "ICONS" is the perfect way to start your weekend off right! Click here for tickets!

Saturday
Dec102011

James Barbour: Holiday Concert

I truly got into the spirit of the holidays on tonight (Saturday, December 10, 2011), when I attended James Barbour's "Holiday Concert" at NYC's famed venue Sardi's. This was my first time ever attending a concert at Sarid's and it was a truly wonderful space for it's intimate nature made me feel even more engulfed in the show than I was.

While I've followed his career via various theatre news sites, tonight's concert was actually my first time seeing James peform live and let me say James Barbour's vocal skills are magnificent! He has great range and really knows how to belt out a tune and when to keep it more reserved.

Performing mostly holiday tunes (such as "Have Yourself A Very Merry Christmas," "White Christmas," "Dreidel, Dreidel," "Oh Chanukah, Oh Chanukah"), James did treat the audience to one song off of his new CD "Bring Me Giants," and a beautifully moving song about his mother who passed away in 2005. What made James' concert even more enjoyable was his humorous banter in between songs. James really knows how to connect with an audience, making everyone feel welcome.

One of the most fun parts during the concert was when James sang "12 Days of Christmas" because he makes this song very interactive with the audience. Without giving too much away, whoever is the most interactive of those who volunteer, wins a prize (in tonight's case it was one of three CDs featuring James Barbour). For those of you who have seen his previous concerts, you know how fun much this is. Tonight, I was the lucky winner. It was really wonderful! I won a copy of James' new CD "Bring Me Giants," which is a collection of songs based on a classic literary character.

Another part of James' Holiday Concerts that is truly wonderful, is that James always enlists a special guest to sing a few tunes. Thursday's guest was Broadway and TV star Paige Davis, Friday's guest was rising performer and fellow "Adaumbelle's Quest" participant Andrew Samonsky, and tonight's guest was rock legend Tony Harnell (of 80s hard-rock band TNT). Tony and his wife peformed two songs together which were just great!

James has one more show tomorrow in NYC at Sardi's and then he's taking the show to CA on December 16-17at The Coterie at The Renaissance Hollywood Hotel (1775 North Highland Avenue, CA). If you have never seen James Barbour live, this is a great time to do so for much joy will be brought into your soul after seeing such a talent as James!