Nov. 11: Ann Hampton Callaway

  • Post author:
  • Reading time:5 mins read

Ann Hampton Callaway

November 11 at 8:30 pm

Austin Cabaret Theatre
8611 N. MoPac Expwy, Austin, TX

Ann-Hampton-Callaway-Cabaret-Scenes-Magazine_212Ann Hampton Callaway heads to the Austin Cabaret Theatre in Texas. Here’s Annamaria Alfieri’s review of Ann’s recent show at NY’s Birdland:

With this double bill, Ann Hampton Callaway continues her new radio program on NPR. These performances at Birdland will be aired on public radio stations nationwide this coming January. Callaway’s stated goal is to present “cabaret as an emotionally engaging experience rather than a place.” She intends to use the emotional power of her guest artists and the heartfelt qualities of the music itself to accomplish this.

The show will cover the panoply of American musical genres: jazz, Broadway, folk, blues…you name it.

Add to all this the power and warmth of Callaway’s singing and stage presence and you can up the odds for the program’s success, even given the fact that all those gifts have to come through on the radio.

This first episode of tonight’s two shows got matters off to a great start.

Following a theme song of “Lullaby of Birdland” with Callaway singing special introductory lyrics, no one went to sleep. First up was Tony Award-winning Christine Ebersole, who —after an enticing snippet of “I Only Have Eyes for You”– sang a gorgeously phrased, clear-voiced, and dramatically moving “The Folks Who Live on the Hill.” It will raise gooseflesh on NPR’s listeners.

Between numbers, Callaway and Ebersole chatted like old friends about Ebersole’s career, early days trying to break into Broadway, and her first successes. They reminisced about Ebersole’s television and film performances and talked about her star turn on Broadway in Gray Gardens; following this, Ebersole presented that musical’s first act closer—the lovely “Will You?.” A paean to Eartha Kitt ended with a hilarious “Mink Schmink.” All of Ebersole’s talents—including a voice as comfortable with operetta as it is with comic turns—were on display. What the radio audience will not see is how beautiful she looks and how magnetic she is in person.

To finish off her appearance, she and Callaway sang a fabulous duet of “Love Is Here to Stay.”

The taping of episode two featured Curtis Stigers, a man with broader, if shorter, experience. A saxophonist, guitarist, as well as a songwriter, Stigers sings jazz, rock, and blues. His crossover possibilities have given his career its breath and filled him with funny and touching war stories. He began with a heartfelt rendition of “I Keep Going Back to Joe’s.

online pharmacy no prescription

” The rest of his song selections showed off his vocal range and gave emotional depth to his biographical anecdotes, most tellingly in “I Never Saw a Miracle.”

He raised the musical and emotional stakes with “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight,” and then showed off his chops on the sax during his rendition of “Hooray for Love.” Two sure-fire audience pleasers ensued: “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning” and “You Make Me Feel So Young.”

His duet with Callaway—“Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye”—showed them both to be more than crooners. Their musicianship became the center of attention and then reached its peak in “How High the Moon” and “They Can’t Take That Away from Me.”

Throughout the evening, Bennett Paster (piano), Martin Wind (bass) and Paul Wells (drums) provided a splendid musical base, all the more impressive since the headliners admitted they had had very little time to rehearse with their back-up trio.

Ann Hampton Callaway described the goal of her new radio project: “In a world of increased alienation, an artistic experience of intimacy can be quite healing to the heart. A room full of strangers can feel like a family.

online pharmacy no prescription

”  The folks on stage for this taping made it seem entertainingly so.