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My View: “This Is The Greatest Cabaret Show I’ve Ever Attended”….Stephen Holden

My View: “This Is The Greatest Cabaret Show I’ve Ever Attended”….Stephen Holden

“This is the greatest Cabaret Show I have ever attended!”  Stephen Holden the esteemed New York Times critic (retired) gave me that quote at the conclusion of Jeff Harnar’s Sondheim show at the  Laurie Beechman Theatre last night.  Mr. Holden exquisitely painted pictures with a minimum of well chosen words in his reviews of cabaret performers,  and the legendary writer was responsible for launching many careers.

Mr. Harnar needs no launching, he’s a Cabaret superstar and in this show directed by Sondra Lee with musical direction by Jon Weber he cleverly put the Sondheim Songbook into a whole new context. This was one of the smartest, freshest shows I have ever attended and it gave me a whole new comprehension of  Stephen Sondheim’s words and music.  My quote…” if you can only attend one cabaret show…I KNOW THINGS NOW- Jeff Harnar sings Sondheim is the one.”

A word about Jon Weber.  The virtuosity of Jon goes without saying and he is capable of stylistically becoming any type of pianist, be it jazz, ragtime, theatrical, or classical.  At times his notes almost spoke the words of Sondheim and his accompaniment was a work of art.  The dialogue between between piano and vocalist was breathtaking at times.

Mr. Harnar had lots of “company” at the Laurie Beechman Theater.  The audience was a who’s who of the Cabaret world and at times I had to remind myself I was not in the audience at a Mabel Mercer Cabaret Convention.  Check out the photos:

Stephen Holden & Jeff Harnar

Jeff Harnar

Jeff Harnar

Laurie Beechman Theater

Jeff Harnar

Jon Weber & Jeff Harnar

Jeff Harnar

Jeff Harnar & Marilyn Maye

Eda Sorokoff, Eleanor Morgan, KT Sullivan

Eleanor Morgan & Howard Morgan, Chairman of the Board Mabel Mercer Foundation

Stephen Holden & Marilyn Maye

Stephen Holden & Sondra Lee

Sondra Lee & Jeff Harnar

Jon Weber & Sondra Lee

Tova Feldshuh & Jeff Harnar

Valarie Lemon & Jeff Harnar

Eda Sorokoff Raissa Katona Bennett, Jeff Harnar

Jamie deRoy & Jeff Harnar

Richard Holbrook & Ken Starret


Linda Kahn & Jeff Harnar

JP & Marilyn Maye

Craig Rubano

Jeff Harnar

Jeff Harnar

Jon Weber & Jeff Harnar


Stephen studied at the Manhattan School of Music. Besides being a pianist, Stephen’s business career was in the Fashion Industry. He was CEO of a textile manufacturing facility and President of an international textile machinery company. Stephen was on the Board of Directors of the “First All Children’s Theatre” which brought the Stephen Schwartz musical The Trip and Captain Louie to the Kennedy Center in Wash DC. His wife Eda, an interior space designer and classical pianist was on the Board of Barrington Stage Company and is still active at BSC. Stephen’s photographs, videos and articles appear on, and The New York Observer. He is active in the entertainment events at the Friars Club, where he is a member. Stephen is also an Honorary Board Member of The Society For The Preservation of The Great American Songbook. Stephen

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