Ronni Faust: Gravity Is a Bitch!

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Ronni Faust

Gravity Is a Bitch!

Don’t Tell Mama, NYC, April 21, 2018

Reviewed by Bart Greenberg for Cabaret Scenes

Ronni Faust

Ronni Faust is the hip, swinging grandma who’s been there and done that and retained her sense of humor. Looking younger and more vital than the years she acknowledges throughout her show, complete with a whimsical dotted top and reddish hair, she brings zest and a passion for life to the stage.

The performer has a small but sure voice with the ability to swing once she warms up, and she wisely never pushes it beyond what she can capably handle vocally.

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Her strongest suit is upbeat songs with some humor, including the title song by Miranda Lambert and “My Give a Damn’s Busted” (Tom Shapiro/Tony Martin/Joe Diffie). With ballads such as “When I Look in Your Eyes” (amusingly delivered to a cut-out stand-up of her beloved dog) and “Come in from the Rain,” she needs to dig a bit deeper and make an emotional connection with the lyrics. She proves herself capable of this in a medley devoted to her adored husband, “For Once in My Life” and “Just the Way You Are,” so it may be just a matter of a bit more work.

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Cabaret multi-hyphenate Lennie Watts directed the show with an eye toward humor and happily utilizing the whole stage, though Faust needs to work on smoothly working from one point to another. Music director Steven Ray Watkins (who helped create a clever medley of “Thank God I’m Old” and “No Time at All”), Don Kelly on drums, and Dan Fabricatore on bass, provide excellent support. Faust needs to smooth out the rough edges of the act, but she’s already well on her way to a delightful 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."