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

Entries in Feinstein's at Loews Regency (5)

Friday
Nov302012

T. Oliver Reid: Drop Me Off in Harlem: T. Oliver scores big with this show

Dressed in a top hat and tux, T. Oliver Reid made his Feinstein's at Loews Regency debut when he took me on a musical ride through 1930's Harlem when I attended the premiere of his new show "Drop Me Off in Harlem" on Wednesday, November 28, 2012. With his exhilarating performance, T. Oliver really brought this period in time to life by recreating what it was like to go club hopping on a Saturday night in 1930's Harlem. Featuring the songs of Duke Ellington, Harold Arlen, Andy Razaf and many others, T. Oliver highlighted the joys and the struggles of the time.

T. Oliver was on fire! His voice was strong and his soul was alive as he commanded that stage. As soon as T. Oliver started singing, I was hooked. In between songs, T. Oliver enlightened us with historical facts and stories of the time. I particularly enjoyed "Take the 'A' Train," "Drop Me Off In Harlem," "S'posin'," "Happy as the Day is Long," "Doin the Crazy Walk," "As Long as I Live," "If I Can't Sell It...," and "Sweet & Hot."

What I loved most about this show, aside from T. Oliver's glorious voice, was the mixture of humorous and seriousness in music. T. Oliver did a great job of switching between the two. My favorite moment was seeing T. Oliver's comedic side shine on "Doin the Crazy Walk" and "If I Can't Sell It..." From his physical comedy to his vocal inflection, T. Oliver sent the audience into a laugh out loud frenzy on these two numbers. It was during "Sweet & Hot," that T. Oliver really heated things up as his sexy/suave side of performing came out.

"Drop Me Off in Harlem" was the second show of T. Oliver's that I have seen and it's evident how much he has grown as a singer. I loved hearing and learning about this genre of music and feel T. Oliver scored big with this show. The amount of time and effort that was put into this show is clear from start to finish. If you've never seen T. Oliver Reid perform then now is a great time to go see him.

With just three performances left, "Drop Me Off in Harlem" plays December 2nd, 3rd, and 9th at 10:30pm at Feinstein's at Loews Regency (540 Park Avenue at 61st Street). For only $20 + 1 drink minimum, "Drop Me Off in Harlem" will be a night to remember. Click here for tickets!

Thursday
Aug302012

Love Songs: A Musical: Always and Forever

With the potential to make its way to Broadway, "Love Songs: A Musical" is Steven Cagan's new musical in development, written and composed by Steven, directed by Lynne Taylor-Corbett, and musical direction by Gerald Sternbach. On Tuesday, August 28, 2012, I was fortunate enough to see an hour-long version of this new work and I'm sure glad I did. 

Starring Tony Award winner Debbie Gravitte ("Jerome Robbins' Broadway"), Drama Desk Nominee Bryce Ryness ("Hair"), Kevin Spirtas ("Dr. Craig Wesley" on "Days of Our Lives"), Fleur Phillips, Ken Clark, and Ashley Kate Adams, "Love Songs" tells the story of a wedding weekend at the Loews Regency Hotel with the groom stuck out of town, the bride discovers she's pregnant, and two other couples, both in the wedding party, appear to be mismatched and ill-fated. What ensues is an evening of laughter, fun, and figuring things out.

Cast of "Love Songs", Photo Credit: Jim BrammerSteven assembled a terrific cast of actors whose vocals blended together wonderfully and on-stage chemistry sizzled! It was great to see Debbie on stage and I hope this is the show that brings her back to Broadway! She has such power in her voice that is always a delight to hear! I had never heard Kevin sing prior to this show and let me say, he's got it! He has a wide vocal quality that puts him in my category of performers I go see even if they sang the phone book. Bryce is always a delight to see, he has a terrific singing voice in addition to his fine acting skills! He really knows how to use his voice to get that perfect feeling out to the audience. As for Fleur, Ken, and Ashley, this was my first introduction to them, and I must say, I'm a fan! The vocal range of Fleur and Ashley were out of this world! I was amazed at the high notes they could hit. Ken was able to stand his own and delighted me with his talent.

Adam Rothenberg and Kevin SpirtasSteven has written some fantastic songs. He knows how to use a lyric to tell a story. My favorite numbers were "Lo & Behold," "Love Me," "I Am In Love With You," "I'm Rose," "Pitter Patter," "Carpe Diem," "Without You," "Sweet Tomorrow," "So It Seemed," and "Always and Forever." I thought "Lo & Behold" and "Always and Forever" were great ways to open and close the show. They featured the whole cast and were uplifting songs. I loved "I'm Rose" because Debbie Gravitte got to really show her stuff. To me, "Pitter Patter," is a tribute to one of our greatest composers/lyricists of our time, Mr. Stephen Sondheim and Bryce nailed it, proving yet once again, the amazing talent that is Bryce Ryness. I loved Kevin's voice on "Carpe Diem," just one of the songs that got to showcase his great voice.

This presentation of "Love Songs" was only an hour. The complete show is done in two acts. It would be interesting to see the full two acts. While most of the story was told with in this hour production, I definitely thought there were some pieces missing, but this shorter version works. I am also intrigued to hear the songs that were left out. This version did contain a lot of ballads with a few upbeat numbers mixed in. I would like to see a few more upbeat songs in it only because there were a few moments my mind wandered with so many ballads.

Steven Cagan and Adam RothenbergI have to say, Steven definitely has something special on his hands with "Love Songs." Overall, I had a great time and this hour long version did leave my mouth watering for more. I do hope this show has more of a life because Broadway can always use a show that makes people feel good and that is what "Love Songs" does.

With just one performance left, "Love Songs: A Musical" plays at Feinstein's at Loews Regency (540 Park Avenue at 61st Street) through August 30th! Click here for tickets! 

For more on "Love Songs: A Musical" visit http://www.lovesongs-amusical.com and follow the show on Facebook!

Thursday
Jul122012

Will and Anthony Nunziata: Make Someone Happy at Feinstein's is The Start of Something Big

I first saw Will and Anthony Nunziata perform last year at Feinstein's at Loews Regency in NYC and I was instantly hooked on them, their sound, and their show (click here for that review). Well, almost a year to the day later, I revisited Will and Anthony at their new show at Feinstein's at Loews Regency, "Make Someone Happy," which is celebrating the release of their debut CD of the same name.

A year can do a lot for a performer, and in the case of Will and Anthony, this past year has proven to be a great one! Their show is much tighter, their banter more fluent, and their voices are stronger! It's evident the past year on the road has made them more confident as well. It was a true joy to see!

One thing I love about Will and Anthony's show is the fact that for as much as they perform together, they each get equal time singing alone, allowing both of them to shine brightly! Tuesday night's show was no exception.

Opening their show with "Everybody Says Don't," Will and Anthony started off the show with a bang and it just went up from there! They then went into "This Could Be The Start of Something Big/A Lot of Livin' To Do." I was thrilled they did this mash-up (as I love these two songs) and found it an interesting choice because I feel these two songs really define where they are at in their career. Last year was their introduction and now a year later, I see two performers who really have grown along with their exposure. From their CD release at Barnes and Noble to touring the US to an appearance on "Rachel Ray" to being interviewed on NBC Nightly News at the beginning of this week, Will and Anthony are really getting out into the world. (I feel fortunate to have still been able to interview them, click here for our most recent interview). For Will and Anthony, this is the start of something big which will lead them to have a lot of living to do.

Next they sang the title song "Make Someone Happy." It was great to see them interact with the audience more easily during this song. They also triumphed together on "Lullaby of Broadway/Brotherhood of Man," "Funiculi Funicula," "Smile/That Smile," and "The Prayer." My favorite thing about "The Prayer" is the story they tell before they go into this song. It's very touching and personal and always brings a tear to my eye. I would love to actually tell the story, but since it's their story, I think it would be better if you went yourself to hear it.

While Will and Anthony are great together, they are also fantastic separately! It was a pleasure to see them hit all the right notes during their solos. Will flourished on "The Way You Look Tonight" and "Pure Imagination" (one of my personal favorite songs), while Anthony radiated on "Teach Me Tonight" and "Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me)/What Kind of Fool Am I?"

It's great to see two young, talented guys preserving the music from the Great American Songbook and early Broadway. This genre fits their vocals perfectly! This year has been a big one for Will and Anthony. Their growth is evident from the moment they hit the stage! This really is the start of something for Will and Anthony and I am excited to see what's next for them and hope to continue to be able to be part of their exposure! I think they deserve all the success they've gotten thus far and will continue to get!

Will and Anthony Nunziata's "Make Someone Happy" plays at Feinstein's at Loews Regency through Saturday, July 14! Click here for tickets!

Wednesday
Mar142012

Linda Eder: Songbirds

When Linda Eder takes the stage, a hush comes over the audience as they eagerly await to first note to radiate out of Linda's angelic voice. Tonight, at Feinstein's at Loews Regency in NYC, was no exception. Linda Eder is once again bringing her latest show, "Songbirds," to one of the few cabaret rooms left in the city. Singing selections from Ella Fitzgerald, Barbra Streisand, Adele, Dolly Parton, Judy Garland, and many others, Linda is dedicating the evening to the female singers who inspired her.

From the opening number, "At Last" to closing the night out just like Dolly with "I Will Always Love You," Linda sparkles for the full hour plus show! When Linda Eder sings, there is not one disturbance in the audience because people give her respect she deserves because that is what she gives back to the audience. In between songs, Linda gets personal with the audience, telling funny and heartfelt stories about the songs she is performing.

Photo Credit: Stephen SorokoffPhoto Credit: Stephen SorokoffLinda Eder knows how to control her voice perfectly, from a quiet whisper to her signature belt, Linda is one of those rare singers who always hits all the right notes. No genre is off-limits for Linda and I love that this show consisted of multiple genres from country to jazz to showtunes to pop. I think it's also great that Linda pays tribute to singers both past and present. I give her much credit for tackling Adele's "Someone Like You" and "Rolling In the Deep," for which she triumphed on because Linda has the vocal power to match Adele's. The audience agreed as big cheers and applause came directly after Linda finsihed the songs. I was so happy that Linda included some of the songs that she's known for including "Someone Like You" and "Man of La Mancha." Her version of "I Will Always Love You," blew the audience away. If Dolly's looking for someone new to record "I Will Always Love You," Linda is the woman for the job!

What makes Linda's shows so great, besides her voice, is her humbleness and honesty in the way she performs the songs she sings and in the way she interacts with the audience. Linda is a talent to be reconed with! She is a success because of her dedication to her craft!

If you are looking to be dazzled and delighted, then I highly suggest going to see Linda Eder's "Songbirds" at Feinstein's at Loews Regency in NYC (540 Park Avenue at 61st Street). "Songbirds" plays through March 17. Click here for tickets!

Wednesday
Oct122011

Betty Buckley at Feinstein's at Loews Regency

Adam & Betty BuckleyPhoto Credit: Myriam SantosI have seen many performers over my lifetime. Like that famous saying, "Some people come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime," I feel that can apply to performers as well. On Wednesday, October 12, 2011, I saw one performer who is definitely around for a lifetime, the legendary Betty Buckley! 

Betty's new cabaret show, "Ah Men! The Boys of Broadway" is at Feinstein's at Loews Regency in NYC until October 29! In this new show, Betty sings men's songs from Broadway shows that she has always wanted to sing, including numbers from "Sweeney Todd," "West Side Story," "Guys and Dolls," "On A Clear Day You Can See Forever," "Pippin," and "La Cage Aux Folles."

What distinguishes Betty as a lifetime performer is that her talent has stayed with her since she first stepped into the spotlight! Betty captivated the audience from the moment she sung her first note. Betty's vocal quality is powerful with a belt that would leave most singers gasping for air.

It was such a treat to hear Betty sing some of my favorite male showtunes such as "Maria" (from "West Side Story"), "Younger Than Springtime" ("South Pacific"), "Not While I'm Around" (from "Sweeney Todd"), and "Hey There" (from "The Pajama Game") as well as introduce me to new ones: "Corner of the Sky" ("Pippin") and "A Hymn To Her" (which was one of my favorite moments in the show). The most special moment of the evening came at the very end when an audience member requested Betty sing "Memory" from "Cats" (the show which won her a Tony Award). Betty was so great to oblige! It was pure delight to see and hear Betty embody this song as she resurrected her chacter of "Grizabella" to do it.

Betty's show "Ah Men! The Boys of Broadway" is a must see for two major reasons: One is Betty's talent and two because it's like a master class combined into a show. I saw first hand what education, hard work, and passion does for someone and for Betty it has created a lifetime career!

The evening was extra special for me because I was fortunate to have been given the opportunity to meet Betty after the show. She was so kind and gracious. I got to personally thank her for doing an interview with me for my blog a few weeks back (click here for my interview with Betty Buckley). As appreciative as I was of Betty for taking time out of her busy schedule to do the interview, Betty was equally appreciative of me conducting the interview of her.

With just two weeks left, the time to see Betty Buckley "Ah Men! The Boys of Broadway" is now! Betty Buckley "Ah Men! The Boys of Broadway" plays at Feinstein's at Loews Regency through October 29! Click here for tickets!