Ronny Dutra: Wave

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Ronny Dutra


The Duplex, NYC, September 8, 2018

Reviewed by Chris Struck for Cabaret Scenes

Ronny Dutra

In an exceptional cabaret set at The Duplex, Ronny Dutra weaved his story well with songs from past musicals. Narrating the life of a Brazilian with big goals turned competitive ball room dancer, he was able to capture our imaginations with depictions of moonlit beaches and sizzling samba lessons set to a Broadway soundtrack fit for an epic tale of someone’s life. Complete with a soul-searching return to Brazil to rediscover his passion for the big city, Dutra has an eye for more and a talent for delivering the zest necessary to hold an audience’s attention. Focusing on his strengths, he is able to weave dancing and choreography into the lyrics and movements of his song assisted by a voluptuous Julia Juliati for a sequence of tangos to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “I’d Be Surprisingly Good for You.”

As for the song choices, there were a couple of uncommon items that had an excellent nostalgic fit to his set. These were “Fathers and Sons” (Stephen Schwartz) and “Fight the Dragons” (Andrew Lippa).

Centering on his father-like relationship with his younger brother while growing up and comparing it to the relationship he once had with the father he lost, “Fathers and Sons” rang true from beginning to end.

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Set on the opposite side of his soul searching for a reason to return to the chase of fame in NYC, “Fight the Dragons” became a rallying war cry inspired by his brother who showed him that chasing his dreams meant others could live vicariously through him. These made for a stellar combination, made all the more spectacular when split by Los Hermanos’ “O Vento” with guitarist and fellow Brazilian, Vinnie Moreira, strumming sweet licks.

Dutra was also aided by MD and pianist Jonathon Lynch, drummer Tristan Marzeski, and bassist Joseph Wallace. This was a crisp set, I could easily see it being performed again.

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