Reeve Carney: Singing The Divas
After countless sellout performances, Reeve Carney returned to The Green Room 42 to play another solo concert while starring in Hadestown on Broadway. He is best known for his portrayal of Dorian Gray on Showtime’s “Penny Dreadful,” Riff Raff in Fox’s Rocky Horror Picture Show Reimagining, as well as originating the role of Peter Parker in Julie Taymor/U2’s Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. For one night only Reeve performed a collection of songs traditionally sung by Broadway and vocal divas. Starting out was the perfect song to make us take notice. “Ladies Who Lunch” from Company, never sounded so nuanced, poignant or jazzy.
Next up was “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music, “Beauty School Dropout” from Grease and “Losing My Mind” from Follies. Reeve’s girlfriend Eva Noblezada talked him into doing the later song. Reeve has a style that combines rockabilly flare with jazz and rock. It is unique and this spin adds a new take on these familiar songs.
Having shared a dressing room with Patti LuPone “Anything Goes” was sung as a tribute. Not leaving out the great Ethel Merman “”I Got the Sun in the Mornin’ (and the Moon at Night)” from Annie Get Your Gun was delivered ala Reeve Carney.
Dame Shirley Bassey’s “Goldfinger” was a tribute to the 007 genre and brought back memories of Jeff Buckley.
In high school Reeve was not in the schools plays but played “Whatever Lola Wants” for a production of Damn Yankees.
Judy Garland’s iconic “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” was done with pop excellence and a sweetness that made this song his own.
It was at this point that unfortunately I had to leave, as the concert started a half an hour late and if you take a bus out of the city on Sunday, the last one leaves at 11pm. I apologize profusely to Reeve, but was able to critique the rest of the show from a livestream.
Lena Horne’s jazzy, soulful version of “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess hit all the right notes. Liza Minnelli’s “Maybe This Time” from Cabaret was subtle and powerful.
On piano he brought Carol King’s,”Natural Woman” to life, but this version was inspired by Ms. Aretha Franklin.
Still on piano and singing one of his own songs “Up Above The Weather,” a hauntingly wonderful composiition. I look forward to when Reeve does write a Broadway musical.
Back on guitar a tribute to Angela Lansbury “Rose’s Turn” from Gypsy. If you have never heard Reeve’s take on these classic songs, you will hear a fresh, new and really different, but oh so unique vibe.
Closing out the night “There’s A Place For Us” from West Side Story.
Reeve is a musical genius, whose prowess on the guitar, piano and vocals is otherworldly.
You can catch Reeve on April 23, 2023 at 9:30 at The Green Room 42 singing his own music. Ask for “Resurrection,” this is one fabulous song.
Broadway’s A Doll’s House Meticulously Stunning Revival Soars Like a Birdie Above That Clumsy Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
For a revival to find its footing, it has to have a point of view or a sense of purpose far beyond an actor’s desire to perform a part, whether it suits them or not. It needs to radiate an idea that will make us want to sit up and pay attention. To feel its need to exist. And on one particular day in March, I was blessed with the opportunity to see not just one grande revival, but two. One was a detailed pulled-apart revolutionary revival of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House that astounded. The other, unfortunately, was a clumsy revival of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof that fell lazily from that high-wired peak – not for a lack of trying, but from a formulation that never found its purpose.
Relevantly Tuneless Fairytale Bad Cinderella Isn’t Bad, It’s Forgettable
You are seriously asking for it, when you make the title for your musical Bad Cinderella, however the show is not bad, it’s just seriously lacking. For an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, which is normally rich in melody, the only song that has any kind of hold is “Only You, Lonely You” sung by Prince Sebastian (Jordan Dobson or in my performance the wonderful Julio Ray). The lyrics by David Zippel and book by Emerald Fennell, adapted by Alexis Scheer are inane. It doesn’t help that the cast for the most part speaks and sings with mouths full of cotton. The orchestrations sound tinny and computerized, The lead Linedy Genao has no charisma or vocals that soar musically, instead she is rather nasal, like Bernadette Peters with a cold. Why this show is two and a half hours long is beyond me.
The show is based in a town called Belleville (beautiful town en Francais), that is based solely on looks and prides itself on its superficiality. The opening number starts with “Beauty Is Our Duty,” the Queen (a fabulous Grace McLean) is into her hunks including her missing son Charming (Cameron Loyal).
And the fairy godmother (Christina Acosta Robinson) is a plastic surgeon who sings “Beauty Has a Price”. In a day and age, where we are suppose to see past all that, this show is politically incorrect.
Cinderella a Gothic, and a graffiti artist, naturally does not fit into the town’s mold of beauty, which is how she earns her nickname. Her rebel move happens when she defaces a memorial statue of Sebastian’s older brother, Prince Charming. Sebastian is more of a geek, and he and Cinderella are in the “friend zone,” since both lack communication skills in admitting their love.
Sebastian is being forced by his mother, the Queen to find a wife at a ball and invites Cinderella. Cinderella’s stepmother (the always remarkable Carolee Carmello) blackmails the Queen to get one of her daughters Adele (Sami Gayle) or Marie (Morgan Higgins) the gig.
McLean and Carmello are the bright spots in the show and if the show had been about these two, maybe we would actually have a show that could work. These two steal the show.
Cinderella has not one, but two what should have been show stopping numbers “I Know I Have A Heart (Because You Broke It)” and “Far Too Late,” but she does not have the vocals, the character development or the star power to carry them off.
The set and the revenge porn costumes by Gabriela Tylesova, are just over the top, with the storybook set faring much better than the over complicated flowered pastels that waltzed across the stage.
The direction by Laurence Connor is just dull and lacks oomph.
If you like buff men and Chippendale type choreography this is the show for you.
Bad Cinderella, Imperial Theatre, 249 West 45th Street.
Did You Know There Is A Kander & Ebb Way?
On Friday, March 24th, the 96-year-old John Kander was given a Mayoral Proclamation from Mayor Eric Adams in celebration of the first performance of his new Broadway musical New York, New York. Following the proclamation, Lin-Manuel Miranda unveiled the sign renaming 44th Steet ‘Kander & Ebb Way. On hand was the Manhattan School of Music to performed the iconic Kander & Ebb song “New York, New York.”
New York, New York opens Wednesday, April 26, 2023 at Broadway’s St. James Theatre (246 West 44th Street).
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