Barbara Brussell: This Moment

| November 4, 2017 | 1 Comment

Barbara Brussell

This Moment

Don’t Tell Mama, NYC, October 20, 2017

Reviewed by Peter Haas for Cabaret Scenes

Barbara Brussell

“Don’t ask the lady what the lady’s done before … ask what the lady’s doing now!” 

That line, from a song by Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh, could well apply to the inimitable Barbara Brussell. Absent from New York and living in California for the past ten years, she returned to sing in the Cabaret Convention and, the night after it ended, to perform her own solo show at Don’t Tell Mama.

At DTM, the room was jam-packed, with the audience responding to Brussell continually throughout the evening with applause, cheers, laughter, and love. Accompanied by the ever-masterful Jon Weber on piano, hers was a generous program: some two dozen songs—most of them in full, some in snippets and in medleys—all delivered with her special heart-on-the-sleeve warmth and not-infrequent ad-libs and strands of mischief.

The first half of the evening offered a variety of numbers. Included were two treasures written by the sorely missed John Wallowitch—“This Moment” and “I See the World Through Your Eyes”—as well as Bob Merrill’s “Mira,” from Carnival; Billy Barnes’ classic, “Something Cool”; Meredith Willson’s “Till There Was You”; Burke and Van Heusen’s “But Beautiful”; and Lane and Lerner’s “It’s Time for a Love Song.”

The second half was more show tunes, with a focus on songs by Rodgers and Hart from several of their Broadway musicals. Among the numbers: “Falling in Love with Love”; “My Heart Stood Still”; “This Can’t Be Love”; “I Wish I Were in Love Again”; and, from a film version of Too Many Girls, “You’re Nearer.”  

It’s not usual to review the food and drink service at a show, but, considering Brussell’s jam-packed room, a word of appreciation is due for the unflappable bar and wait-staff.

Who will start a petition to bring Barbara Brussell back to town before another year flies by? I’ll sign.

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

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  1. chuckiepie says:

    “Don’t ask the lady what the lady’s done before … ask what the lady’s doing now!” should be Barbara Brussell’s theme song. If she doesn’t sing it in her act now, she certainly should in the future.

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A delightful program.

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