New York City Master Chorale: Springtime in New York

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New York City Master Chorale

Springtime in New York

The Duplex, NYC, May 23, 2018

Reviewed by Chris Struck for Cabaret Scenes

New York City Master Chorale

The New York City Master Chorale wrapped up its 12th season with its fifth annual individual showcase at The Duplex. From a larger chorus of roughly 70, the group that presented some spring-themed songs comprised 12 of director and founder Thea Kano’s favorites from a series of post-rehearsal solo events. The other key theme of the evening was the opportunity to promote the great work that the Chorale does, and the obvious part was that there is a plethora of talent to choose from to curate a solid cast for a cabaret showcase.

The evening started off well, but without much overt personality, until it blossomed when Nate Andersen took control of the piano and sang a tribute to spring baseball while dressed in a San Francisco Giants jersey. Not only was he an electrifying pianist, but he put a ton of passion into a song about being selected last as a kid playing ball. That is until “Right Field” (Willie Welch) went from “watching the dandelions grow” to “it’s important, you know.”

Following were additional strong individual performances by Mark Salzwedel, Matthew Wroda, Colleen Meade, and Allison Gray. Each song choice showed off a little bit of the individuality that makes up the larger chorus. Salzwedel chose “Spring Is Here” (Rodgers & Hart), a timeless classic about missing out on love, adding a bit of theatrics to his searching of the crowd. Wroda took the cake on interesting choices by belting an extraordinary rendition of Jessie J’s “Big White Room.”

Meade had my favorite voice of the evening, performing Sara Bareilles’ “Bluebird.” A great choice, especially the introduction of “I usually do not send letters to me that are mine.” Gray performed “The Lusty Month of May” to close out the terrific evening, which also included Micah Payson-Lewis, Jim Longo, Esther Lee, Sarah Bonner, Erika Fritz, Katie Kita, Michelle Gala, and Faith Muschong. After finishing off her song which spins the tale of a much more exciting May than mine, she praised pianist Laura Berger, who certainly deserves the high praise. Get ready for another exciting season of the NYC Master Chorale!

Chris Struck

Chris Struck's debut novel, Kennig and Gold, is due to be officially published in June 2019. He's written reviews for Cabaret Scenes since August of 2017. For more information about the writer, see

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