The 6:22 Revue

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The 6:22 Revue

The Duplex, NYC, April 11, 2018

Reviewed by Bart Greenberg for Cabaret Scenes

Mickey and Judy put on their own show in a barn. The kids in Merrily We Roll Along did so in a downtown boîte. And Betty Comden and Adolph Green launched themselves and some friends in Greenwich Village dives in revues of their own creation. Two of these three groupings were evoked in the delightful 6:22 Revue, a showcase for four talented, young musical theater performers. The program centered on songs and scenes about New York City drawn from an interesting mix of Broadway, off-Broadway, and even operatic works.

The driving force behind the show seems to be Daniel Sefik, who serves as director and co-pianist (along with fellow cast member Jason Weisinger), as well as taking on some of the goofier numbers of the evening and exhibiting an ear for various outlandish accents.

Weisinger has an impressive wide-ranging voice, and did some fine work on the keyboard as well. Melissa Weisbach is a mix of ingenue and soubrette with a sweet soprano, while Alison J. Freeman handled the humor and tougher broads. They all sang sans microphones.

The material was separated into four segments: The Start; The Thrill; The Isolation; The Connection. Within those topic headings, the songs often blended one into the next and were linked either via the theme or the setting. Kicking things off was an extended sequence from Wonderful Town about the sister act of would-be actress and writer, that slid easily into Merrily’s “Opening Doors.” Also clever was the blending of two songs sung on subways: “Ride Through the Night” (Subways Are for Sleeping; Jule Styne/Comden and Green) and “(Who, Who, Who, Who) Who Is She?” (The Apple Tree; Jerry Bock/Sheldon Harnick). Some true rarities during the evening included “New York Lights” (William Bolcom/Arnold Weinstein), from the operatic version of A View from the Bridge, and “Coney Island” (Gabriel Kahane) from February House.

A few things could be improved upon: the cast stayed in black clothing throughout—dashes of color would be most welcome to enliven the evening.

And it would be great if the cast actually introduced themselves at the top of the show to personalize the performances.

But these are quibbles over a very satisfying show.

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."