Frederick Mann White: There’s No Place Like Home

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Frederick Mann White

There’s No Place Like Home

Metropolitan Room, NYC, September 11, 2017

Reviewed by Bart Greenberg for Cabaret Scenes

Frederick Mann White

Frederick Mann White’s new show is a model in how to structure a cabaret program. Choose a subject close to your heart.

Pick songs that illustrate the theme and at the same time suit your musical abilities.

Surprise an audience with a few numbers that either aren’t well-known or are re-purposed in interesting ways. And collaborate with a musical director who helps to illuminate the purpose of the show through sensitive musicianship and, in this case, welcome backup vocals. It really is that simple.

As the title says, White talks about the importance of home in his life.
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That is both his physical homes in New York City and New Hope, and the home he has found with his husband, Greg (who was in beaming attendance). After reflecting on the gay single scene (“The People That You Never Get to Love,” the lyrics imbued with new meanings coming from a male-seeking-male perspective), he moved on to the wonders of meeting his heart’s desires (“What More Do I Need?” with each word zinging out).

Domesticity is evoked surprisingly with “There Won’t Be Trumpets,” rethought to express the feelings of a devoted spouse waiting for his mate to get home from work. This freshness of approach to often-done material brought an additional level of delight to the act.

Throughout, White projected a pleasure in performing that invited the audience to relax and enjoy themselves as well.
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He was ably assisted by his accompanist, Michael Ferreri, who also arranged a delightful New York City medley that involved a host of melodies ranging from “The Sidewalks of New York” to both songs with “New York, New York” in their titles.

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."