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

      

 

Entries in Cabaret (50)

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!

Monday
Jun062016

Adam's Call: Barrett Foa: Grin and Barrett is Unforgettable

I had the complete joy of getting to attend Barrett Foa's newest cabaret show Grin and Barrett which made it's New York City debut on Friday, June 3 at Feinstein's/54 Below. It was GREAT to see Barrett back on stage, singing his heart out, and enjoying the live audience he loves performing for.

Barrett's show was the perfect blend of music and behind-the-scene stories from his theatrical endeavors and time so far on NCIS: Los Angeles. From musical theatre numbers to standards, pop, and rock covers, Barrett wowed the crowd throughout the evening! A few musical moment highlights were his "BFoa Medley" which comprised of songs by Madonna, Coldplay, Cher, WHAM!, Bryan Adams, The Beatles, and a few musicals as well as his "Underdog Medley," "Finale," and "Encore." I don't want to give too much away, but after the show, I told Barrett that he NEEDED to record his encore and release it as a single (I hope you listen to that advice)!

Barrett Foa and Call Me Adam at "Grin and Barrett" at Feinstein's/54 Below in NYCWhat makes Barrett such a dynamic performer is the way he seamlessly moved between songs and stories. He had a great flow to the evening. My favorite story of the night was, what I felt to be, his most personal story of the show. He talked about the "hardships" of growing up with a name like Barrett Foa and how the kids at school teased him a lot. I related a lot to that story, not because people made fun of my name growing up, but because they made fun of me and my personality traits. But what an amazing feeling it is to get past those days and realize what a unique gift we each are to this planet. And when you are able to turn that hurt into laughter and learn how to truly be the joke a step ahead of everyone, well, that is the greatest moment of strength there can be.

Barrett may have been cheated by many as a kid, but he made up his mind and had it come to end. Look at him now, starring on a hit TV show, delighting audiences over the years on stage, and now, creating this cabaret show as a love letter to himself is probably the biggest reward he can give to both himself and to us, the audience!

Barrett FoaGrin and Barrett will play one last performance here in New York City at Feinstein's/54 Below on Tuesday, June 7 at 9:30pm! Click here for tickets, if you can still grab one!

For those of you on the West Coast, Barrett will be coming your way on June 24 and June 25 at Feinstein's Nikko in San Francisco! Click here to get tickets!

If you missed my interview with Barrett about this show, you can read it here! 

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

Saturday
May212016

Adam's Call: Seth Sikes Sings Liza Minnelli at Feinstein's/54 Below: Sing Happy

There are many performers out there who attempt to sing the songs of Liza Minnelli. Seth Sikes is one of the few singers who CAN sing the songs of Liza Minnelli. In fact, he does such a wonderful job, that I'm sure Liza herself would endorse him, if he decided to record an album of her music.

Seth Sikes Sings Liza Minnelli which I saw at Feinstein's/54 Below a few weeks ago, has everything a tribute show should...a terrific singer, a great set list, and lots of personal stories. Seth really knows his stuff! My favoirte story was the first time Seth met Liza and how tongue twisted he got when trying to speak to her because he was so excited to meet her, he ended up not being able to say anything. It was sweet, funny, and heartfelt all at the same time.

Seth Sikes performing "Seth Sikes Sings Liza Minnelli" at Feinstein's/54 BelowI could easily tell just how much Seth adores Liza and her music. He has put a lot of time and energy into making this show perfect. He never missed a beat and belted every note just as powerfully as Liza. He may sing the songs of Liza Minnelli, but he also makes these songs his own. While Liza's voice may have been ringing in my head at first note, by the second note, it was all about Seth from there on out.

Liza has quite the music catalog and Seth sang a lot of my favorite songs including "Liza with A Z," "Old Friends," "Maybe This Time," "Some People," "Mein Herr," and "Cabaret." Seth sang his heart out on each one of these iconic songs and really defined them like no one else. I love how he played with the lyrics of "Liza with A Z" to suite his name as I have done with my own friends. My favorite Liza song Seth introduced me to was "Sorry I Asked," a really heartbreaking song about a woman finding out her husband was cheating. Seth hit all the right notes and emotions with this song.

Seth Sikes performing "Seth Sikes Sings Liza Minnelli" at Feinstein's/54 BelowHow do I wrap up this review? Simply by saying it's been six years since Liza Minnelli has released an album, I think now would be a good time for Liza and Seth to make a double duets album...one of him and Liza singing her music and then a second disc recreating the duets of Liza and Judy Garland (I mean Seth also has a critically acclaimed show singing the songs of Judy Garland). So, here's my official request for that! 

For those of you wanting to see this triumphant show, Seth Sikes Sings Liza Minnelli will be returning to Feinstein's/54 Below on Wednesday June 8 at 7pm (254 West 54th Street, between Broadway & 8th Avenue). Click here for tickets!

Seth is also bring this show to Feinstein's at the Nikko in San Francisco, CA on June 16 (click here for tickets) and The Mansion Inn in Saratoga Springs, NY on June 23 (click here for tickets).

If you missed my interview with Seth about this show, click here to read it!

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