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

      

 

Entries in Cabaret (52)

Monday
Aug282017

Adam's Call: Liz Callaway: The Beat Goes On at Feinstein's/54 Below: Hits a Home Run with Every Song

Liz Callaway at Feinstein's/54 Below, Photo Credit: James GavinThis past July I got to attend Liz Callaway's concert, The Beat Goes On at Feinstein's/54 Below. Over a month later, I'm still thinking about this magical evening! It was that inspiring! Liz's show was a master class in music, singing, and cabaret! With every song, Liz taught the audience how to pick music that not only speaks to the artist, but how to share it with an audience. She demonstrated time and time again how one truly connects to a song. When I say connect, I mean, having every fiber of your being invested in what you are presenting.

It's impossible to pick favorite songs because every song was a winner! Liz took us on a musical journey of the 1960s, a decade in which she grew up. I learned so much about Liz through this show, from her fears to her success, Liz didn't hold back. She not only opened up her mouth to sing, Liz brought us in to the inner depths of her soul, revealing so many personal details of how she became the legendary singer she is. I was mesmerized from start to finish!

Liz Callaway at Feinstein's/54 Below, Photo Credit: James GavinLiz Callaway at Feinstein's/54 Below, Photo Credit: Photo by Maryann LopintoMy favorite story was hearing about how as a child, Liz was shy to sing in front of people. I mean, seeing her perform, especially at Feinstein's/54 Below, I still have a hard time believing that, as she was flawless in her performance. She makes singing look like second nature, which to me, is the true sign of a goddess. Knowing about her shyness, only made me appreciate her talent that much more.

While many of the songs performed in this concert were from Liz's CD The Beat Goes On, there is nothing like hearing them live (I know because I've been listening to the CD almost non-stop since the concert, and yes, the album is fantastic, but seeing Liz sing these songs in person is a whole different ballgame (like the 1969 World Series winning Met's game to be exact)! 

Liz Callaway at Feinstein's/54 Below, Photo Credit: Photo by Maryann LopintoLiz Callaway at Feinstein's/54 Below, Photo Credit: Photo by Maryann LopintoIf Liz were a baseball player, she hit a home run with every song, making her batting average over .400!

Luckily, there is another opportunity to see this show. Liz will be returning to Feinstein's/54 Below (254 West 54th Street, between Broadway & 8th Avenue) with The Beat Goes On on Sunday, September 10 at 7pm! Click here for tickets!

If you missed my interview with Liz about The Beat Goes On, click here to watch it!

That's Adam's Call and I Stand For Entertainment!

Saturday
Aug262017

Adam's Call: Michael Feinstein's "Showstoppers" at Feinstein's/54 Below: Hits all the right notes and then some

Michael Feinstein performing at Feinstein's/54 Below, Photo Credit: Stephen SorokoffTwo weeks ago I got to attend Michael Feinstein's Showstoppers at Feinstein's/54 Below. What an exquisite evening of talent, music, and stories this was. Michael hit all the right notes and then some! Michael was on fire and I think he almost caused the smoke alarm to go off, he was so smoking hot! 

From the minute the orchestra started, I knew I was in for a special night as they started playing all the big numbers I love from Gypsy to Rent. While not every song from that intro was actually sung, Michael did take the audience on a musical journey of Broadway's showstoppers. But what truly made this concert so special was Michael's interpretation of showstopper. Most people consider a showstopper those big, upbeat numbers that bring the house, but Michael reminded us, that a showstopper can be a quieter, softer moment, and Michael shared that intimacy with us.

Michael Feinstein performing at Feinstein's/54 Below, Photo Credit: Walter McBrideMichael Feinstein performing at Feinstein's/54 Below, Photo Credit: Walter McBrideFrom his vocal quality to the way he connects to the audience, Michael defines showman. He has the talent, appeal, and variety one needs to be entertained. Whether it's a big band number or a gentler, quieter piano only song, Michael reels you in making you want more. And it's not just his singing that gets you. The stories he tells are so captivating. He has worked with everyone!

I could go on and on about how terrific Michael's show is, but I will leave the rest for you to experience! Michael Feinstein's Showstoppers plays Feinstein's/54 Below through September 3! Click here for tickets!

If you missed my interview with Michael about this show, watch it here!

That's Adam's Call and I Stand For Entertainment!

Thursday
Jan192017

Adam's Call: Melinda Hughes: Cheers Darling: Right Track Baby

Call Me Adam and Melinda Hughes, Photo Credit: Joe LoBianco PhotographyFor British satirist Melinda Hughes, the trip over to NYC from England was well worth it because her new cabaret show Cheers Darling is fantastic! It's funny, timely, and full of original tunes. It also shows Melinda's excellent trait of being able to laugh at herself and everything she talks about.

Her opening number, simply titled, "This is my opening song," is a great farce about any cabaret singer's first number. It's right on the mark! The night takes off from there. She has a hilarious song entitled "Tweets in the Night," about Donald Trump tweeting, a laugh out loud diddy, "Selfie Song," about taking selfies, and "Britannia waives the rules," a great tune about the differences between the US and the UK. Just when you think you can't laugh anymore, Melinda fills the moments between songs with patter that is relateable. She has a keen outlook on the state of the world both stateside and across the pond. While the topics Melinda discusses might be ones we've heard time and time again, Melinda's fresh take on them, makes it seem like this is the first time someone has discussed them.

Melinda Hughes, Photo Credit: Joe LoBianco PhotographyMelinda Hughes, Photo Credit: Joe LoBianco PhotographyFor as funny as this show is, there is also a lot of heart, and the one tear-jerker song "We've been here before." It's a heart-wrenching song about a woman who has lived long enough to see history repeat itself. With the state of the world today, it's a song a lot of people can relate too, especially when are soon-to-be president opens his mouth and speaks.

Melinda Hughes, Photo Credit: Joe LoBianco PhotographyMelinda Hughes, Photo Credit: Joe LoBianco PhotographyWhat more can I say about Melinda's show Cheers Darling? Just go see it, she's on the "right track baby!" Melinda has one more performance, tomorrow, Friday, January 20 at 9:30pm at The Metropolitan Room (34 West 22nd Street, between 5th & 6th Avenue). Click here for tickets (It's one purchase you won't regret (it's also the only way you'll get yourself to smile tomorrow).

That's Adam's Call and I Stand For Entertainment!

If you missed my interview with Melinda, click here to read it!

Thursday
Jan122017

Adam's Call: Tracie Thoms: Feinstein's/54 Below: Everybody Loves a Winner!

What an incredible night seeing Tracie Thoms make her Feinstein's/54 Below debut! She was on fire! From her opening number to her numerous standing ovations & super special surprise guest, Tony Award winner Billy Porter (who was also the show's director). The evening was everything I wanted & more!

Tracie took us on a journey of love...from meeting a potential mate to dating to the struggles of a relationship to realizing it's time to move on to learning you are enough, the theme of the evening couldn't come at a more perfect time. I related to it all!

Tracie Thoms and Call Me Adam at Feinstein's/54 BelowThis was my first time seeing Tracie perform her cabaret act and I'm already excited for a new one! Tracie is a great singer, performer, and entertainer. She really gets the crowd going. From her powerhouse vocals to her patter to her energy. She engages everyone right from the get go.

Some highlights of the show were Al Green's "Let's Stay Together," John Legend's "Ordinary People," Blood, Sweat, and Tears' "I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know," "Maybe This Time" from Cabaret, and the pumping "Ain't Nobody" by Rufus & Chaka Khan. With every song, Tracie hit all the right notes along with my heartstrings. She got us moving, clapping, and feeling emotional.

Tracie Thoms at Feinstein's/54 BelowMy top two favorite numbers were Tracie's cover of Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me," which she really made her own, singing a version I have never heard before. I hope Tracie considers releasing this as a single. I also loved the ORIGINAL song Jeremy Schonfeld wrote for Tracie called "Falling Apart." What a beautiful song about the ending of a relationship. Let me say, Tracie knows how to sing with emotion!!

As the show is going along, Tracie announces that it was time to introduce a very special guest. And all of a sudden she introduces Tony Award winner Billy Porter! I have not heard Billy sing since seeing him in Broadway's Kinky Boots. It was great getting to hear Billy perform a song from his forthcoming album, Billy Porter Presents The Soul of Richard Rodgers (Billy puts a soulful spin on the songs of composer Richard Rodgers). Billy delighted us with a brand new interpretion of "Edelweiss," (from The Sound of Music, just as an aside, this was the last song Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II wrote together). Billy's version was out of this world and I'm beyond excited for this new album, which is slated for release in April. If that wasn't enough, Billy stayed on stage and sang Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On," getting everyone involved. Not only did Billy go out into the audience, but some other special guests joined in the fun including Altar Boyz alum, Ryan Duncan, and Tracie's Falsettos castmate, Anthony Rosenthal, who played "Jason." 

Tracie Thoms and Billy Porter at Feinstein's/54 BelowIf all of this wasn't enough the evening wrapped up with a very special encore..."Seasons of Love" from Rent. It was the perfect ending to a spectacular night of love, talent, and music! Thank you Tracie for sharing your talents with us and for reminding us that no matter what happens with love, we have to love ourselves first and remember we are enough! I can't wait to see what you do next!!

There's one more chance to catch Tracie's show, this Saturday, January 14 at 7pm! Feinstein's/54 Below is located at 254 West 54th Street (between Broadway & 8th Avenue). Click here for tickets!

That's Adam's Call and I Stand For Entertainment!

Tuesday
Jul122016

Adam's Call: Charles Busch: The Ultimate Playlist at Feinstein's/54 Below: An Evening Filled with Laughter, Smiles, and a Walk Down Memory Lane

Charles BuschThis past June I had the pleasure of seeing Charles Busch's newest show The Ultimate Playlist at Feinstein's/54 Below. It's always a joy when Charles and his musical director Tom Judson return to Feinstein's/54 Below because I know I'm going to have an evening filled with laughter, smiles, and a walk down memory lane, well Charles' memory lane to be exact. 

Charles has a way of captivating the audience with his stories. Whenever he tells a story, it feels as though we are seated in his living room around his fire place. He has excellent story telling skills, hence why he's been such a successful playwright. My favorite story Charles told that night was about his Aunt Lillian and how when he was a little boy, she took him in, because she was the only person who truly understood him. Though Charles was a bit rebellious at first, he ended up having a very special and wonderful relationship with his Aunt Lillian. He learned a lot about himself, life, and theatre from her. He had so many fond memories of their time together. It made me think of the great relationship I had with my grandparents, whom have passed, but have left me with a lifetime of loving memories to remember.

Charles Busch performing "The Ultimate Playlist" at Feinstein's/54 Below, Photo Credit: Maryann LopintoI also really enjoyed Charles' re-enactment of "Miriam Passman," the character who inspired him to write his Tony-nominated play The Tale of the Allergists Wife. While I've heard him tell this story in some of his other cabaret shows, it's still enjoyable to hear how he came up with the character and then developed the play around her. But what's even more fun is getting to watch Charles become "Miriam" and do a skit he used to do back in the day. What a treat to get to see a Charles Busch classic skit!

It's always great to hear Charles sing. Until Charles started doing his cabaret shows more regularly, the only time I had ever heard Charles sing was during his annual Christmas Show Times Square Angel. The first time I attended a Charles Busch cabaret show, I remember going into it not fully knowing what to expect, but I ended up leaving with a huge smile on my face from having such a good time. Since that first cabaret show, I have been excited for every one ever since. In this particular show, I enjoyed Charles' varied set list. Charles opened the show with such energy singing "Taking A Chance on Love," a great song about new love. It was the perfect opener because it is such a positive song that it automatically put me in a mood to enjoy the evening set before us.

My favorite song of the night was Those Were The Days. I remember when Dolly Parton released her version of the song back in 2005. It was full of such energy that I was immediately hooked on it. Well, Charles' rendition of this song was just as fun! He got the whole audience singing along with him and he relished in the audience's energy and excitement over the song. He did such a great job with it, I didn't want the song to end!

Charles Busch performing "The Ultimate Playlist" at Feinstein's/54 Below, Photo Credit: Maryann LopintoCharles also did a beautiful mash-up of "The Summer Wind" and "That Sunday, That Summer." Two very sad songs about lost loves, but recalling happier times of each. Charles really brought such heart to these songs. I could feel his relationship to these songs and the sadness one can feel when you lose someone close to you.

Supporting Charles throughout the whole evening was his longtime musical director Tom Judson. I adore Tom! Him and Charles have terrific chemistry together. They play off of each other very well and I love whenever they do a duet together. They sound great! 

This show made me so happy and brought back some wonderful memories for me. I can't wait for Charles' next engagement at Feinstein's/54 Below and I encourage everyone to go see him the next time he's in town!

That's Adam's Call and I Stand For Entertainment!