Deborah Stone: Siren Song

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Deborah Stone

Siren Song

Don’t Tell Mama, NYC, October 24, 2017

Review by Bart Greenberg for Cabaret Scenes

Deborah Stone

Glamour is back in New York. Coiffed, bejeweled, and begowned, Deborah Stone evokes the cabaret goddesses of the past, such as Julie Wilson and Polly Bergen. Her secure vocal style can range from jazz to grand opera, and she can deliver a sexy lyric and make it saucy, but never slutty. With a natural penchant for the songs of Cole Porter and Noël Coward, Stone takes her time in delivering the delicious words, finding all their meanings.

The evening was devoted to sirens, through fatal females that go after what they want and get it. The vixens of Broadway were all present, from Lola to Elvira to Carmen to Venus to Norma Desmond. Through subtle shifts in voice and body language, Stone embodies each of these eternal women with just the right degree of maturity and attitude.

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The show, directed by Ann McCormack and with musical direction by Daryl Kojak, is incredibly intelligent and well thought-out.

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Blending “Follow Me” and “Bali Ha’i” into a seductive invitation to a magical world bestows both songs with new intention. A medley of Porter’s “I Concentrate on You” and “You Do Something to Me” is a shimmering examination of romantic obsession.

Stone is so self-assured she can open her program with “Indian Love Call” without any camp or irony before moving on to a swinging “You’ll Never Get Away from Me.” As the diva finished Stephen Sondheim’s “Sooner or Later,” reclining against the piano with the utmost in seductiveness, the gentleman at the next table summed it up perfectly with an unrestrained “Yeaaaaahhhh!”

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."

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Deborah Stone

    Thank you so much, Bart!

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