Patina Miller at Strathmore gala (review) proves she’s ready for her next Broadway show

If that long-promised revival of Smokey Joe’s Cafe does come to Broadway this year, the producers could do worse than to put Patina Miller front and center — assuming they can afford her now that she’s got a Tony Award, a TV series and a couple of Hunger Games blockbuster credits under her belt.

Tinseltown: A Hollywood Cabaret from Congressional Chorus (review)

A slew of clichés are at my fingertips, wanting desperately to open this review. “The silver screen comes alive on stage!” “Hollywood meets Broadway at the Atlas thanks to the Congressional Chorus!” “Let’s go to the movies with the Congressional Chorus – that’s entertainment!”

Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs (review)

The real fun of a cabaret is in the surprises. Not the necessary moments, as when a Karen Akers rolls out “Marieke” or a Patti LuPone throws an Argentine bone to the fans worshipping at her balcony, but the inspired and unexpected ones — think of Elaine Stritch, heaven rest her, ruefully admitting “The Party’s […]

Brooklyn to Broadway with Randy Graff (review)

“Made in Brooklyn…Bound for Broadway” is the cabaret performance by Randy Graff that played Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater as the most recent entry in its Barbara Cook Spotlight series.

Terri White says farewell with special Kennedy Center concert (review)

You might not expect a highlight of a cabaret concert to include the singer passing off her mic to the piano player, revealing a row of variously filled Makers Mark bottles, pulling out a pair of spoons, and accompanying a version of “Under the Sea” with a calypso-sounding percussion turn. But that happened Friday night […]

Faith Prince in Barbara Cook’s Spotlight

Memory is a powerful thing in music. When I was young, one of my first exposures to musical theatre was the 1993 Broadway revival cast recording of Guys and Dolls. Mostly known for introducing an unsuspecting world to the force of nature that is Nathan Lane, its highly colorful, stylish take on the Damon Runyon […]

The Capital City Showcase

Since the entertainers who make up The Capital City Showcase change from production to production, the only useful thing a review can do is address broad themes. The broad themes to The Capital City Showcase are this: DC’s got funny, and DC’s got music. My review is: yeah.

Megan Hilty a smash at the Kennedy Center

I’m not one who is prone to turning into a “fanboy.” Part of my joy in seeing cabarets in the Barbara Cook series at the Kennedy Center has been the “Stars, they’re just like us!” vibe that comes from everyone’s presence in the small Terrace Theatre (or, for Mandy and Patti, the Eisenhower, a.k.a. the […]

Barbara Cook’s Spotlight: Brian d’Arcy James

In every trip I make to a cabaret performance, I pay particular attention to the personal connection the performer wants to make with his or her audience. It’s the classic actor question: Ok, you’ve been given a stage, and an audience full of people here to watch you do whatever you want…and, go!

An Evening with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin

In my other reviews, I’ve made mention of cabaret as a fascinating opportunity with a name artist. Tonight, it’s just artist and audience, me as me, you as you, and we will share something directly, it seems to promise. There is a sense of palpable excitement at the opportunity of receiving this vulnerability before the […]

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