Norm Lewis brings on the leading man charm

Oct 21

Norm Lewis brings on the leading man charm

More than two dozen songs and four standing ovations later, Norm Lewis has officially made his San Francisco splash. The Broadway leading man and golden-voiced baritone made his long-overdue Bay Area concert debut Sunday night at the Fairmont's Venetian Room as part of the Bay Area Cabaret's 10th anniversary season.

Most recently, the 50-year-old Lewis nabbed a Tony Award nomination opposite Audra McDonald in The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, but his impressive resume also includes Javert in the revival of Les Misèrables, King Triton in Disney's The Little Mermaid, the Sondheim revue Sondheim on Sondheim and Side Show. He also has a recurring role as a senator on ABC's "Scandal" and will be starring opposite Bernadette Peters and Jeremy Jordan in A Bed and a Chair conceived by Sondheim and Wynton Marsalis. So all of that to say: Norm Lewis has chops, and he's not afraid to use them.

Read More

Wesla Whitfield’s dazzling Street of Dreams

Sep 05

Wesla Whitfield’s dazzling <i>Street of Dreams</i>

Wesla Whitfield and Mike Greensill are better than ever, which is saying something as they've been better than most for quite some time. The singer and her husband, the arranger/pianist, haven't been seen regularly here in San Francisco since they moved north a few years back, but anytime they return is cause for attention and celebration, especially when they're part of an auspicious launch of a new cabaret room.

The lovely space is called Society Cabaret, and it's tucked away in the Hotel Rex, right off Union Square.

Read More

Donna McKechnie charms in uneven cabaret show

Aug 17

Donna McKechnie charms in uneven cabaret show

Broadway legend Donna McKechnie, the original Cassie in A Chorus Line, has talked and sung about her life in San Francisco. In 2001, she brought Inside the Music to the Alcazar Theatre. The Tony Award-winner is back in town, still chatting and warbling about her storied life, but this time in a much smaller (and shorter) show in a much more charming room (Feinstein's at the Nikko).

Read More

Sutton Foster charms at swanky new Feinstein’s

May 10

Sutton Foster charms at swanky new Feinstein’s

San Francisco Bay Area cabaret lovers drooped a little when The Rrazz Room, after attempting to make a go of it after departing the Hotel Nikko, finally packed up and headed out of town earlier this year.

But as Maria von Trapp is fond of saying, "When the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window." In this, case credit is due not so much the Lord (apologies) but to Michael Feinstein, one of this country's greatest natural resources and practically a one-man juggernaut in celebration (and preservation) of the Great American Songbook.

Read More

LuPone-a-palooza!

Mar 21

LuPone-a-palooza!

Need your Patti LuPone fix? You've come to the right place.

We have for you an interview with Ms. LuPone in connection with the San Francisco debut of her latest cabaret show, Far Away Places, at the newly configured Live at the Rrazz performance space in the Cadillac Building. We also have a review (spoiler alert: it's a rave) of that show.

Read More

Ah, Men! Betty Buckley tackles the boys of Broadway

Oct 29

Ah, Men! Betty Buckley tackles the boys of Broadway

In 1985, Betty Buckley was sensational as a boy in the Rupert Holmes musical The Mystery of Edwin Drood (which happens to be back on Broadway at the moment in an all-new production). She was playing Alice Nutting, a famous male impersonator, and the trousers role fulfilled a long-held fantasy of being a boy on Broadway (as a kid growing up in Texas she longed to be a Jet in West Side Story).

Well the 65-year-old Buckley is getting back to the boys in her new cabaret show and CD, Ah, Men! The Boys of Broadway in which she sings more than a dozen songs originally sung by male characters in shows. San Francisco audiences will experience the boyish side of Buckley when she brings Ah, Men! to the Rrazz Room this week (Oct. 30-Nov. 4).

Read More