Women Who March

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Women Who March

The Duplex, NYC, April 27, 2018

Reviewed by Chris Struck for Cabaret Scenes

Women Who March was as much a cabaret about stepping up for each other as any show could be. Sarah Burke and Hayley Ardizzoni, a dynamic duo, produced yet another powerful platform for sharing tough stories in a safe space. Pushing internal boundaries in front of strangers and friends, a cast of new performers got a chance to spill their souls. Out of respect for the performers, I won’t share anything further than that, but each story was pretty meaningful and the courage that it had to take to share it must have been only accomplished due to the respectful and supportive atmosphere created by the co-performers.

Out of a cast of 12, I’d have to say that Angelica Toledo and Cassidy Layton were my favorite performers whom I hadn’t seen yet. With that slight caveat, Toledo’s surprisingly large voice made for a strong start to the show, as she impressed with Alicia Keys/Linda Perry/Steve Mostyn “Superwoman.” What an awesome choice. Layton’s immediate follow-up and choice of “Recovery” (Ryan Scott Oliver), which she referenced as being about forgiveness, spoke to a larger theme of the evening: strength of perseverance in life. Though forgiving other people might be in some cases impossible, I do hope that none of these women blame themselves for anything that may have come their way.

The impressive duo of Burke and Ardizzoni deserve a lot of credit for consistently putting together cabaret shows, as well as for challenging friends to break out of their comfort zones. Their fabulous voices and ample chemistry, exemplified during the duet of “I’ll Cover You” (Jonathan Larson, Rent), make for great stage moments that erupt in exuberant “awwws” from the crowd.

Next up, Ashely Ryan (MD) deserves high praise. Her abilities were put to the test by the series of performers taking center stage, and she responded with enthusiasm and strong work from behind the piano. Her performance of Paul Simon’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” also hushed the crowd. It couldn’t have been more stunning.

Ciana Proto’s original song struck me deeply, too.

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Out of a lot of originals I’ve heard this past year, I think she definitely has something worth copyrighting and sending around. Maybe with a few additions of other instruments she’ll have herself a hit. The lines were thoughtful, easy to sing along to, and not too cliché. Hopefully, good things will come her way.

Other performers—Megan Falcone, Lauren Kwei, D’yshe Mansfield, Faith Pasch, Alia Shawa, Angelica Teixeria, and Jade Thomas—all did well. Each had a slightly different style and brought comfortability to the stage.

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Their strength and collective message of camaraderie inspires one to push through the tough times. Look for the next Burke and Ardizzoni production soon!

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 StruckChris.com