Magdalena/John Deola

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Magdalena/John Deola

The Duplex, NYC, August 19, 2017

Reviewed by Chris Struck for Cabaret Scenes


Magdalena (pictured) and John Deola presented an evening of their (mostly) original songs at The Duplex—she performing hers, he performing his—sometimes with back-up help by the other.

Well-dressed in a stunning black dress with silvery embroidery, Magdalena brought high energy to her fabulous set from the start.

With a combination of a fun attitude, sass, and enthusiastic shimmying, she held the spotlight as well as any seasoned performer delivering material mostly written by herself. While her cover of Adele’s “Someone Like You” (co-written with Dan Wilson) was one of the best of the evening, she stunned with her own wonderfully well-written lyrics.
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For example, in “Tango” she crooned, “I don’t know why I keep choosing to dance with the devil, but it takes two to tango.

” She has an inviting nature and I enjoyed her pieces tremendously. Songs with more simple choruses, like “Soaring”—which she saved for last—and “Blinded by the Gold” were fan favorites. Look for recordings of this talented, young artist to be available for purchase soon!

Deola’s material contained lyrics which were very descriptive, with some numbers being catchier than others. Both he and Thomas Peruggia played noteworthy guitar solos throughout the evening.
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The musicians, dressed in black shirts with red ties, switched between the bass and the guitar almost every other song, which seemed like an intriguing way to segue.

The songwriters could have shared more about the impetus in writing or how the selections related to the context of the show.

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