Jeremy Sussman: Sings More of the American Songbook and Other Curiosities

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Jeremy Sussman

Sings More of the American Songbook and Other Curiosities

Don’t Tell Mama, NYC, September 14, 2017

Reviewed by Bart Greenberg for Cabaret Scenes

Jeremy Sussman

Jeremy Sussman loves old and obscure songs and shares that passion with his audiences with great charm and enthusiasm. Kicking off his show with Fats Waller’s delightful “You Meet the Nicest People in Your Dreams,” he moved on to a wry “Blame It on My Youth,” happily contrasting his age without comment, and “I Like You” by the unexpected songwriter, actor Alan Arkin.

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Two talented associates joined Sussman on stage: Wendy Russell and Lisa Viggiano, for both duets and solos. Russell united with him for a deliciously deadpan “I Am Adolpho” from The Drowsy Chaperone, and then, on her own, offered up a gently swinging “A Sleepin’ Bee.” Viggiano and Sussman offered up a dandy combination of two numbers sharing the same title, “It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie” and, after, she gave us a moving “Stop, Time.”

Sussman introduced many of the selections with “liner notes” which were most welcomed, especially when introducing such novelties as “The Thousand Island Song” (Bob Hilliard/Carl Sigman) and “Baia” (Ary Barroso/Ray Gilbert), or humorously apologizing for not having Barbra Streisand’s roller skates as he launched into “I’d Rather Be Blue Over You (Than Be Happy with Somebody Else).” He also ventured into surprisingly darker territories with Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Lonely Room” and Sting’s “Practical Arrangement” with impressive results.

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Throughout, he was ably supported by musical director/pianist Ricky Ritzel and drummer Mary E. Rodriquez, under the direction of Colette Black.

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."