Category: Editorial

Cabaret Review: Ben Vereen

Ben Vereen’s new cabaret act at 54 Below resembles his debut club act several years ago at Feinstein’s, but is sufficiently different to meet the venue’s “all new acts” policy. It’s across-the-board jazzier, and Vereen, who has a reputation for a high level of professionalism, in now much more attuned to the intimate cabaret setting.

Loosely organized around Vereen’s own career, the first part of the show finds him singing the songs of his early successes in Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar and Pippin – he opens the show riffing on the latter’s “Magic to Do” – but with an off-the-cuff improvisatory flair; they are similar to his more famous renditions only in the fervent energy he lends them.

Vereen’s patter is laced with great good humor – especially relating self-deprecating anecdotes about encounters with Bob Fosse and Andrew Lloyd Webber – and he still moves and dances with fantastic commitment and vigor. I am very pleased that this act, like the earlier one, also has an extended tribute to Sammy Davis Jr., again a definite high point, especially in a passionate rendition of “Mr. Bojangles”.

After singing the praises of the arts in a version of “Stand By Me” that morphs into “Stand by the Arts”, Vereen returns to autobiography near the end of the act. He details his difficult return to health – and Broadway – after a 1992 car accident that resulted in multiple injuries and a stroke. This leads into “For Good” from Wicked (Vereen went in as the Wizard some time back), a song that makes even more emotional sense here than in the musical. Vereen is one of musical theatre’s master performers, and this is not to be missed.

For tickets, click here.

For more reviews and interviews by Jonathan Warman, see his blog Drama Queen.

Daily Dapper: Tumblr Account is Spot On With Opinion of Gays

Truth be told, I don’t get Tumblr. I usually see it as a tool for expressive people to collect and share multiple forms of multimedia such as pictures, videos, GIFs, quotes and so forth (which doesn’t really keep me engaged) but one Tumblr account specifically caught my eye after I was given a link recently. I do not know who is in charge of it but it it nothing short of pure wit and genius in my eyes for pin-pointing the actions and personalities of the gays here in New York City.
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Cabaret Review: Jackie Hoffman

Jackie Hoffman, one of the city’s best comic singing actresses, creates cabaret acts that tell hilarious self-deprecating tales about the sad state of her career. It really doesn’t matter if she’s actually doing fine career-wise, she always manages to find the wickedly funny downside. The first number in her act at 54 Below – which actually opened the space two days before Patti LuPone, she hastens to point out – is punningly called “Bottom” and sarcastically celebrates climbing her way up to the basement (of Studio 54).

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Daily Dapper: Hipsters Party Hard On the Rooftop

 

Stumbling home off the L in Bushwick two weekends ago, I was surprisingly sober (for the most part) until I got to my apartment. I live on the third floor of a converted factory and all is quiet for the most part. Nobody in my building pays any mind to each other and it feels like one giant soulless hole filled with individuals who do not acknowledge reality. Upon unlocking the door I was hit with a giant bass thump. “What the hell was that,” I thought. Just then my doorbell rings. Get more…

We're back!

We’re back! After the last few days off, we’re ready to hit the ground running!

What happened you might ask….

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