Amanda Shechtman: Amanda Shechtman Hates to Sing

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Amanda Shechtman

Amanda Shechtman Hates to Sing

The Duplex, NYC, December 4, 2017

Reviewed by Chris Struck for Cabaret Scenes

Amanda Shechtman
Photo: Sub/Urban Photography

Amanda Shechtman may hate to sing, but she’s pretty good at it. She may not like to wear high heels either, but she did that, too, even if she did kick them off near the end of the show for a barefoot acoustic guitar song. Cliché as that and other aspects of this cabaret were, Shechtman’s guided tour through her early career as a singer still felt refreshing. By covering some of her favorite “kid classics” from the beginning of this century, such as Avril Lavigne’s hit “I’m with You,” she found a way to escape Broadway and New York to discover what took the rest of the country by storm.
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An even better  throwback from that era was a jerry-rigged projector showing her original American Idol audition! Guess what? Simon Cowell hemmed and hawed and passed her in the end.
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Weren’t those good times?

Suddenly stepping into the “Where are they now?” moment, young Shechtman once said that she wanted to find her voice, and, well, maybe she didn’t. Henry Koperski, her talented pianist and musical guru, pushed her toward a fun medley of vocal impressions that were decent overall. That was her shtick on American Idol, too. Her talents in mimicry are certainly worth a double take, but my favorite moments were when she dug deep into her material or sang originals. When she reached inside during that bare-footed guitar song to belt “Once I met a monster, he taught me how to love,” I knew she had what Cowell, too, had probably once seen a glimpse of: Shechtman’s inner voice dying to get out. Perhaps originals are the way to go for her, though, hopefully, her lyrics will be a little more complicated now that she’s no longer 19. Here’s hoping that when she said, “I won’t quit after all,” she meant it.

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