Michael Kirk Lane: Glass Half Full

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Michael Kirk Lane

Glass Half Full

Don’t Tell Mama, NYC, May 27, 2018

Reviewed by Bart Greenberg for Cabaret Scenes

Michael Kirk Lane

When Michael Kirk Lane is on stage, there is certainly no lack of energy. He is generous, open, and joyous, even when dealing with some darker aspects of life today.
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Reflecting the title of the show, the performer even found something humorous to say about the current political situation (adding additional lyrics along with Elaine Brier to the Peggy Lee classic, “He’s a Tramp [Trump]”). He also turned darker for a moment with a deeply felt rendition of Paul Simon’s “My Little Town.

But it was the joyous Lane that held court: a celebratory “High Hopes” and a delicious “Motherhood March.” And, best of all, an epic “Epic Broadway Medley,” assembled by him and music director William TN Hall, that looped together an endless flow of musical theater snippets like YouTube on steroids.
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It was musical comedy heaven.

The star brought along two very talented “back-up” singers who got moments to shine of their own. Laura Pavles has great pipes and a sense of humor, while Sean Bernardi made a great partner for Lane on a delicious “Class.

” Strong support was provided by director Jay Rogers; his wry sense of humor was evident throughout.

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."