KT Sullivan in cabaret

KT Sullivan, the chanteuse exceptionnelle was back in town at Beach CafĂ©, New York City. By Michael Reubens On this occasion and in front of a jam-packed audience over dinner and drinks recently, KT entertained, joked, sang, and recited poetry & prose. A Swing Time Kern-U-Copia featured works by Jerome Kern, Dorothy Fields, Johnny Mercer, P.G. Wodehouse, Oscar Hammerstein II to name but a few that filled the room with songs-a-plenty, from I’m Old Fashioned to Can’t Help Loving That Man to A Fine Romance to The Last Time I Saw Paris to Old Man River. KT brought life and…

Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin

Off Broadway Theatre Review By Michael Reubens Run, don’t walk to the 59E59 Theatre, to see the remaining few weeks of a very talented writer/performer Hershey Felder as he recreates his one-man show on the equally talented American composer and lyricist, Irving Berlin. The Scenic Design, also by Felder, says it all: a grand piano, a Christmas tree, a wheelchair – depicting the old and young I.B., amidst assorted chairs and living room furniture and large windows in which we see the snow falling. Felder unscrolls a history of the man and his music, from his Russian roots as a…

Operation Finale

Film review By Michael Reubens I’m of a certain age, but I hasten to add, not that old! Having said that, films about WWII and Hitler are everywhere globally at a cinema near you, and will continue to educate and surprise all of us with facts, fiction and even poetic license. Case in point Operation Finale, a thriller on the capture and subsequent trial of Adolph Eichmann, indisputably the chief architect of the holocaust and an amazing covert operation to abduct and capture him in Buenos Aires circa 1960, where he subsequently was brought back to Tel Aviv to stand…

Desperate Measures

By Michael Reubens, New York. Adapting Shakespeare’s plays into stage or film musical comedies has succeeded on Broadway, Hollywood and London’s West End, so it’s no surprise that this latest incarnation shouldn’t be a hit. Twelth Night (Your Own Thing), Two Gentlemen of Verona, Cole Porter’s Kiss me, Kate (The Taming of the Shrew) and even a Rockabye Hamlet come to mind. Described in the program as “a musical comedy gone wild” Desperate Measures at the New World Stages is wild, alright. In fact there’s never a dull moment as this musical farce proves. Adapted loosely from Measure for Measure,…

Velma Celli at Feinstein’s 54Below

By Michael Reubens, New York If you say Velma Celli really fast it could be easily transposed to the Italian pasta Vermicelli – and that’s done on purpose. In part, a food pun but more importantly the character, as in Velma Kelly, in the Broadway hit Chicago, immortalized by the incomparable Gwen Verdon many years ago, which Ian Stroughair aka Velma Celli as a solo performer succeeds admirably in a metamorphosis so brilliant that every song, every choreographed move, every nuance, had me spellbound from beginning to end at New York’s premiere Supper club, Studio 54 Below. This import from…

A tribute to Stephen Sondheim.

By Michael Reubens New York Musical reviews by Stephen Sondheim have come and gone and graced the world stages for decades and in many formats and languages. I, for one, grew up in London in the sixties and fondly remember Millicent Martin in “Side by Side by Sondheim”, a smash pastiche of delicious music and lyrics by America’s genius, which went onto Broadway and beyond. This latest incarnation SondheimMontage: 40 songs in 7 pieces in 70 minutes does wonders and more as we are given a relaxing musical evening of 7 pieces, as illustrated in the title above, at the…

Dietrich, a play with music

By Michael Reubens It is a rare find to have a talent that can channel a superstar from the past and, like magic, transform the off-Broadway cabaret room, The Triad into the Tatania Palast Theater, Berlin, cerca 1960. Cindy Marinangel does just that in the guise of Marlene Dietrich as she sweeps us back in time from her perspective backstage in her dressing room in Berlin. In conversation with an American journalist, a suspicious man appearing at her door and numerous telephone calls, she reminices about her life in Germany, fleeing tbe Nazis and her film career including “The Blue…