Eddie Bean: Original Songbook

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Eddie Bean

Original Songbook

Don’t Tell Mama, NYC, December 30, 2017

Reviewed by Bart Greenberg for Cabaret Scenes

Eddie Bean

Eddie Bean is a fresh, young talent, a composer, lyricist and singer, and he offered up a variety of his material, assisted by some amazingly talented and attractive young friends as musicians and vocalists. Less a cohesive show than a sampler of his various styles, the program was tied together by Bean’s charm as host.

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The material spanned from his college rock band to projects he is working on with various collaborators.

The best of the material came from the latter work. Adult Stuff, a musical Bean is working on in collaboration with Ellen Jacobs, inspired by his time as a camp counselor, had both the emotional heft and the specificity that marks the best of theater writing. From a sad letter home written by a misfit kid (“Dear Mom,” charmingly performed by Josh Greenblatt) to the fury of the secret fears of the popular girl (“Fuck This Shit,” given a blistering delivery by Alexia Sielo) to a trio for the kids (“Adult Stuff” with Marissa Miller joining in), a strong dramatic arc can be seen.

Two other excellent songs, a romantic Christmas number (“You’re My Holiday” sung by the charming Miller) and the heroine’s wanting song from a yet-to-be-produced epic Disney film (“Burning Shadow” blasted by the gorgeous Emily Grace Tucker) featured lyrics by playwright (and Bean’s roommate) Nathan Dennis.

The last, and tallest, of the soloists was Trevor Dorner, who confidently delivered two songs with both music and lyrics by Bean: the interestingly odd “Extraterrestrials (Can Feel Alone Sometimes)” and a different take on unrequited love, “Feels So Safe with You.”

Bean is an unpolished talent, but unquestionably adept and with something to say. His future should be very interesting.

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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."