Gina Santare: Optioning Up

  • Post author:
  • Reading time:4 mins read

Gina Santare

Optioning Up

The Green Room 42, NYC, December 5, 2018

Reviewed by Bart Greenberg for Cabaret Scenes

Gina Santare

Somewhere within this show at The Green Room 42 was a very talented young singer—Gina Santare—making her solo debut in cabaret. Unfortunately, it was difficult to find her among six backup singers, four musicians, four more young musicians (more about them in a bit), and a far too intrusive music director.

online pharmacy no prescription

buy synthroid online no prescription

Every so often, when things quieted down, we could spot a fine young singer/actress with a remarkable range from a too infrequently-used lower register to a belting top.

There were certainly moments of magic.

online pharmacy no prescription

Gentle, sweet versions of “A Quiet Thing” and the rarely heard and appropriately titled “Something Beautiful” (Lynn Ahrens/Stephen Flaherty) showed a real musical theater artist at work.

And her next-to-closing rendition of “The Story Goes On” was fresh and thrilling in a way that evoked, but was totally different, from Liz Callaway’s—the special talent of reinventing a song that certain performers’ have.

online pharmacy generic

However, on other high-energy, contemporary numbers, such as “Queen Bee” from Streisand’s A Star Is Born and a Sia medley, the emphasis was on belted high notes that tended to obliterate both lyrics and interpretation. Santare’s rendition of “Rainbow High” seems to be a tribute to both Patti LuPone’s legendary vocal pyrotechnics and her notorious lack of enunciation.

The bigger problem with the show was music director Trapper Felides. It’s not because he lacked musical abilities—his talent was impressive—but because he insistently drew focus away from the singer with personal comments, fussing around the stage as he shifted microphone stands and a stool, and at one point, intruding by apologizing for a trio on “Three Friends” (Richard Maltby, Jr./David Shire) that was a bit of a train wreck that might have worked better at a slightly slower pace.

Others participating in the show were singers Hillary Fisher, Daisy Carnelia, Katharine Brunner, Aury Krebs, Casey Wenger-Schumann, and Sarah Cetrulo, as well as musicians Stefano Di Blasio (guitar), Tim Lappin (bass), Derek Stoltenberg (drums), and Jessie Reagan Mann (cello).

online pharmacy generic

A special treat was a second group of young musicians who both backed up several numbers and provided a joyful improvisational pre-show of a mix of rock, jazz, and standards.

These high schoolers whose talents belie their ages were Ethan Khusidman, Cormac Cullinane, Adam Dorfman, and Nicky Torchia, all of whom showed their versatility by jumping from instrument to instrument.

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."