Giselle Wolf: Love: A Celebration

| May 14, 2015

Giselle Wolf

Love: A Celebration

Metropolitan Room, NYC, May 9, 2015

Reviewed by Michael Miyazaki for Cabaret Scenes

Photo: Kenneth Dolin

Photo: Kenneth Dolin

After opening with a rousing version of the Schmidt/Jones song “Celebration,” Giselle Wolf introduced the theme of her show, saying, “Tonight, we are addressing love: the bitter and sweet, the highs and lows.” Over the course of the act, she performed material exploring various aspects of love, strung together with an autobiographical narrative of an initial youthful romance that did not work, followed by a more mature romance that did.

As a performer, Wolf projects the same no-nonsense attitude as her ensemble of black sequined top and black slacks. Her direct, uncluttered approach worked well for standards such as “I Wish You Love,” and less-well-known songs such as “Golden Rainbow.” Her deftness as an actress and gifts as a storyteller enabled her to give clear takes on material, such as her medley of “What’s New?” and “I Get Along Without You Very Well (Except Sometimes)” sung in response to encountering an old flame.

Wolf worked to establish a rapport with the audience, and the audience particularly responded to the gimlet-eyed wit of her “Could I Leave You?” Being Mother’s Day Eve, her celebration of a mother’s love for a child in the Lithuanian lullaby “Rozhinkes mit Mandlen” (“Raisins and Almonds”) was particularly moving. Her encore of “On My Way to You” seemed a fitting acceptance of the importance of all experiences, bitter or sweet, in life.

Musical director Mark Hartman, drummer Daniel Glass, and bassist Tom Hubbard provided their usual fine support, although it occasionally felt like there was a disconnect between the ensemble and Ron Abel’s arrangements. The show had a pacing and cohesiveness that is a credit to director Karen Ludwig, and Wolf greatly benefited by the always-sensitive work on lights and sound by the Metropolitan Room’s Jean-Pierre Perreaux.

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Category: Cabaret Reviews, New York City, New York City Cabaret Reviews

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