Doris Dear: The Doris Dear Christmas Special

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Doris Dear

The Doris Dear Christmas Special

The Triad, NYC, December 14, 2017

Reviewed by Bart Greenberg for Cabaret Scenes

Doris Dear

Inspired by classic Christmas television specials of the 1960s, Doris Dear’s newest holiday show was a delightful mixture of tribute and satire. Making her entrance in diamonds and a bathrobe, before revealing more festive attire, Dear proved to be the hostest with the mostest, charming her audience and her special guests, and blithely sailing through the show with good cheer and slightly acid opinions as befit a drag artist.

Much of the song stack was exactly what you would expect, from the opening medley of “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and “A Marshmallow World” through “We Need a Little Christmas” and to a sing-along of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.

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” All were delivered with a joy that makes them fresh. More surprising were bassist Steve Doyle having great fun with “Blue Christmas” and musical director Rick Jensen offering his original “You’d Better Say Yes (to Christmas),” which could become a standard.

Dear’s special guests delivered some surprises as well.

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Lina Koutrakos offered the most sultry rendition of “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” heard in many a year, and joined Doris for the very silly “I Wouldn’t Trade Christmas” (Sammy Cahn/Jimmy Van Heusen). Lisa Yeager performed a lovely “It’s Christmas Time” and joined Dear for the classic counterpoint medley of “Happy Days Are Here Again” and “Get Happy.” Guitarist Sean Harkness skillfully added to the pleasure with another medley: “Silent Night” and “Christmas Time Is Here.”

Holding it together was the delightful Dear, sharing memories of a childhood on Staten Island, affection mixed with sardonic humor, commenting on the perfect housewife of the period, quoting from old magazines. She was the perfect hostess for this delicious Christmas party.

Bart Greenberg

Bart Greenberg first discovered cabaret a few weeks after arriving in New York City by seeing Julie Wilson and William Roy performing Stephen Sondheim and Cole Porter outdoors at Rockefeller Center. It was instant love for both Ms. Wilson and the art form. Some years later, he was given the opportunity to create his own series of cabaret shows while working at Tower Records. "Any Wednesday" was born, a weekly half-hour performance by a singer promoting a new CD release. Ann Hampton Callaway launched the series. When Tower shut down, Bart was lucky to move the program across the street to Barnes & Noble, where it thrived under the generous support of the company. The series received both The MAC Board of Directors Award and The Bistro Award. Some of the performers who took part in "Any Wednesday" include Barbara Fasano and Eric Comstock, Tony Desare, Andrea Marcovicci, Carole Bufford, the Karens, Akers, Mason and Oberlin, and Julie Wilson. Privately, Greenberg is happily married to writer/photographer Mark Wallis, who as a performance artist in his native England gathered a major following as "I Am Cereal Killer."