Nicholas Connors & Michael Wysong: Hangin’ in There

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Nicholas Connors and Michael Wysong

Hangin’ in There

The Duplex, NYC, October 13, 2017

Reviewed by Chris Struck for Cabaret Scenes

Nicholas Connors
& Michael Wysong

Nicholas Connors and Michael Wysong are two performers/songwriters to keep your eyes on. From similar Midwestern roots, they’ve meshed well into the theater culture of New York City and have put together a couple of cabaret shows with each other. Each competent on the piano, they tried out some new material from a handful of their own in-the-works musicals on a seemingly captivated audience.

Perhaps a little cliché, but fittingly close to home, one of each writer’s projects featured a small Midwestern town and the angst involved in going out be somebody. Despite the similarities in theme, their different writing styles and approaches to their stories gave each song fresh nuance. The two switched off playing piano for their work, typically with other singers joining in.  

What was probably most impressive about most of these performers was their ability to come out onto the stage and not need a song to hit their best notes. Alexis Floyd started the group out strong on Connors’ “A Voice in the Air” from Here, in the Park. Molly Griggs followed that up with her beautiful voice alongside Sam Leicht in the duet “Add Another Color” from the same musical. Zanny Laird joined Connors for “The Magic of a Song” from his Midwestern town project, Ten Long Years, which does sound like it has some potential. This one was the best of those he shared from it.

Wysong’s project about presidential mistresses, Affairs of State, sounded the most complete. Though still needing a little work, his songs about timid, vivid, and imagined affairs were both funny and relevant. He was also aided by terrific performances by Julia Geisler and Richard Spitaletta. Geisler absolutely killed on the sultry “It Never Happened,” sung by “Marilyn Monroe” about her fantasized fling with JFK. Spitaletta also stepped up as a paranoid Woodrow Wilson for “Wilson’s Letters,” where he played the role of a man whose secrets could be spilled by a pen pal to ruin him and his marriage.

Better yet, Connors and Wysong dominated a duet of Taylor Swift’s hit, “Look What You Made Me Do,” even switching positions on the piano multiple times. They were talented, professional, and each have meaningful pieces in progress. Look out.

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