NY Cabaret Review Paulanne Simmons
Sunday, Aug. 24 was the second week of The NYC Cabaret Festival, which 54 Below has inaugurated this year. With over 70 artists, including veterans and rising stars, performing in this beautifully appointed venue with its superb acoustics, this event is not to be missed.
During the 9:30 Sunday night show, thirteen performers enthusiastically introduced each other in loving terms. Then each of these artists easily lived up to expectations. Because the bar was set so high, I can only highlight my own personal favorites.
There were masterful interpretations of standards and Broadway favorites. Christine Pedi gave the audience a wonderful taste of her Mama Morton role in Chicago. Jana Robbins took a break from producing to belt the Sondheim classic “Im Still Here.”
And for those who like to get a glimpse of what’s newly recorded, the incredible guitarist Sean Harkness played an original composition.
In a sexy dress reminiscent of the roaring twenties, Carole J. Bufford bowled the audience over with her slowed-down version of the Beatles “Oh! Darlin’.” Nicholas Rodriguez brought us back to the 70s with “Leaving on a Jet Plane,” while Kat Gang proved scat is alive and well with “Old Devil Moon.”
It was an evening that deserves an encore. And indeed The NYC Cabaret Festival runs for one more weekend. This means two more opportunities to see some of the coolest cabaret stars performing some of the hottest numbers with accompaniment by Barry Levitt.
The NYC Cabaret Festival, continues on Sun. Aug. 31 at 7pm & 9:30pm at 54 Below, 254 West 54 Street, www.54below.com.