Eric Comstock & Barbara Fasano: Take Love Easy

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Eric Comstock & Barbara Fasano

Take Love Easy

The Cabaret at Germano’s, Baltimore, MD, October 26, 2018

Reviewed by Michael Miyazaki for Cabaret Scenes

Barbara Fasano & Eric Comstock

Take Love Easy has Eric Comstock and Barbara Fasano in charm mode (in Charm City), with a jaunty, breezy set of generally relaxed love songs. 

Perhaps it was the knowledge that the team would be teaching a master class the next day that made their performance seem like its own master class in the art of cabaret. They had a wide variety of material ranging from familiar standards such as “It’s Only a Paper Moon” to lesser-known gems such as Billy Strayhorn’s “Still in Love with You.” They had individual successes in both the intimate mode (Fasano’s take on Joni Mitchell’s “Marcie”) and the rabble rouser (Comstock’s “Tomorrow Mountain”).

Comstock’s arrangements brought clarity to the lesser-known material and original hooks to familiar standards. Particularly notable was a medley of “I Know a Place” and “I Only Want to Be with You” that morphed from adolescent longing for a larger world to committed young love. 

However, it is in their work together that make them arguably the First Couple of American Cabaret. Their duets employed harmonies that illuminated the material, whether synchronously in a song like “Haven’t We Met” or in counterpoint in the John Pizzarelli/Jessica Molaskey “I Wouldn’t Trade You.” One of the most fascinating moments of the evening was a sequence of blues songs contrasting Comstock’s wolfish “I Want a Little Girl” with Fasano’s sinuous “Hurry on Down.”

More than just musically, the duo projects an ideal of two people who are connected. Just to see Fasano gazing across the piano at Comstock or nestling next to him on the piano bench as they combine music and lyrics is to share that connection as an audience.

Michael Miyazaki

Michael Miyazaki is a Washington DC/Baltimore area-based performer, director, and writer. He has performed at various venues in the DC area, and his most recent show is Thanks for the Memories: The Musical Legacy of Bob Hope. He has appeared with numerous local theater troupes including Scena Theatre, the Source Theatre, and Fraudulent Productions. He has attended the Perry-Mansfield Cabaret Workshop (working with master teachers Andrea Marcovicci, Karen Mason, Barry Kleinbort, Christopher Denny, Shelly Markham, and David Gaines), and has also studied under Sally Mayes, Tex Arnold, Lina Koutrakos, Rick Jensen, Amanda McBroom, and Alex Rybeck. He is the creator of the blog The Miyazaki Cabaret Update: DC & Beyond (currently on hiatus) and is a member of the DC Cabaret Network and the Arts Club of Washington.