Samantha Braga: You, Me, and Samantha B

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Samantha Braga

You, Me, and Samantha B

The Duplex, NYC, March 16, 2018

Reviewed by Chris Struck for Cabaret Scenes

Samantha Braga

Samantha Braga entertained as she took the lead in her first full show and demonstrated, once again, her consistent ability to bring a playful combination of intensity and levity. The show spun its loose theme primarily around songs that she likes to sing and featured, again, her excellence through a new musical classic, Come from Away’s “Me and the Sky” (Irene Sankoff/David Hein). Despite a taste for musicals and a pair of lighthearted duets, Braga’s show took on more of a classy, lounge singer feel.

This upscale feel may have also been partly influenced by the stylish attire that Braga brought once again to The Duplex, along with the jazzier vibe of some of her slower-tempo songs like “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?” (Gerry Goffin/Carole King). I was a little surprised by the down tempi, given Braga’s ability to sing crisp and quick songs. However, some were very impressive.

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Who knew the rock song “Time After Time” (Cyndi Lauper/Rob Hyman), would develop on its somber tone so well when set against the piano, but lines like “If you fall, I will catch you, I’ll be waiting, time after time” really hit home.

Of Braga’s fellow artists, her pianist, Justin Ward Weber, should receive the highest praise. When needed, he struck notes delicately or forcefully to exude a stellar ambiance behind solid performers. Braga was joined for the first duet, “Taylor, the Latte Boy” (Marcy Heisler/Zina Goldrich), by special guest (and internet sensation) Nicholas Pollina. She took the first portion and he spurned her with the comical response.

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For the second duet, she was also joined by Allie Wing for “Freedom” (Kait Kerrigan/Brian Lowdermilk from The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown).

Of all the voices, Braga was my favorite, but Pollina had some especially strong moments, and Wing also had decent range and volume. Wing also performed a solo, “I Can Cook Too,” a particularly fun song of sexual innuendo with the kitchen references.

Braga mentioned she would be on a short hiatus from performing. But, as always, I look forward to future engagements!

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