Gina Gershon with Eli Brueggeman, piano



By Sandi Durell


Aptly titled, I’ll cut to the chase – Gina Gershon is a wild woman! Tossing that mane of hair with moves that convey their own meaning, she’s one sexy lady opening with the title song (“Wild Women Don’t Get the Blues”) by Ida Cox.

Her debut at the Café Carlyle was nothing less than notable as the actress/songwriter/singer/musician (she plays the Jew’s Harp) rounded up an eclectic mix of blues, jazz, country and pop. She has a way of slurring her voice reminiscent of Eartha Kitt, especially evident on Cole Porter’s “My Heart Belongs to Daddy.” Her sound is her own and uniquely stylized, with a little rasp that goes a long way, aided by great acting chops, and especially alluring when she sings the blues: “I Don’t Know” (Brook Benton, Bobby Stevenson), “In The Dark” (Lillian Green), “I Need Your Love So Bad” (Mertis John Jr.).


Gina Gershon


The theme centered around Grandma Pearl, a wild woman, married, divorced, married; she was a gambler who had a lover. . . only on a Thursday! Grandma Pearl’s housekeeper (another wild woman) was a bookie. Then there was Grandma’s sister Aunt Ida (always wearing a mumu), who taught her all about sex – Gina thought maybe she was a hooker (a real wild, wild woman). So it was a natural flow when Gina launched into Jessie Mae Robinson’s “I’m Gonna Catch Me a Rat.” (oh, well, you had to be there!)

She’s funny and clever – “Pretty Girls on Prozac” (self-penned), raunchy and wild on Kenny Rogers’ “Just Dropped in (To See What Condition My Condition Is In)” and a good storyteller. She surrounds herself with some of the best musicians one could hope for – – Steven Bernstein, Musical Director/Trumpet (and oh what a trumpeter he is!), Eli Brueggeman on piano, Brad Jones on bass and Jerome Jennings on drums.


Gina Gershon, Eli Brueggeman, Steven Bernstein


Most of us remember Ms. Gershon on the Broadway stage (2001) as Sally Bowles in Cabaret and alongside Mark Rylance in Boeing Boeing. She’s got film credits galore and gets a big kick out of telling the story about her first film under the direction of Dutch director Paul Verhoeven where she danced naked but he asked for so much more (you’ll have to see her show to find out what!)

This is not your everyday Café Carlyle kind of show as Gina Gershon definitely has an edge.


Photos: Ellen Qbertplaya


Gina Gershon, Café Carlyle (a Rosewood Hotel), 35 East 76 Street at Madison Ave. NYC 212 744-1600 or Ticketweb.