Marnie Klar: Bedtime Stories

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Marnie Klar

Bedtime Stories

Don’t Tell Mama, NYC, November 8, 2017

Reviewed by Bart Greenberg for Cabaret Scenes

Marnie Klar
Photo: Russ Weatherford

Having admitted that her previous four shows, all with director Tanya Moberly, were based on very personal matters, Marnie Klar jubilantly announced that her new show had absolutely no connections to her own life. Instead, it dealt with the dreams, desires, and sex life of a wide variety of characters, each brought to life by this actress/singer.

The show was simplicity itself. After a brief introduction of its theme, Klar simply sang. Shifts in character and mood were indicated by adjustments in her hairdo. Some songs were cleverly linked together to create complete one act plays—“The Boy From …” (Mary Rodgers/Stephen Sondheim) and “Runaway” (Nik Kershaw) about an innocent and impulsive young woman caught up in unrequited love.
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And other works commented on the previous melodies in surprising ways; the aching “Something Cool” (Billy Barnes) was followed by a stark delivery of “Eleanor Rigby” (Paul McCartney). Throughout, the singer shows enormous sensitivity for those who live at the margin of society.

Klar possesses a strong and flexible voice and incredibly precise diction. And when she connects with devastating material such as “I’ll Be Here” (Adam Gwon), portraying a 9/11 widow struggling with new love, it is thrilling indeed. Not that all of the evening emphasized the darker side of life. Cole Porter’s “The Tale of the Oyster” is given a delightful delivery, and “100 Years” (John Ondrasik) it an upbeat ending for the evening.

Throughout, strong musical support came from musical director Steven Ray Watkins and bassist Matt Scharfglass.
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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."