Adrienne Haan: White Christmas at The Triad

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Adrienne Haan

White Christmas at The Triad

The Triad, NYC, December 10, 2018

Reviewed by Peter Haas for Cabaret Scenes

Adrienne Haan

Customarily performing an international repertoire to packed-houses around the globe, Adrienne Haan changed pace in early December by stopping in at The Triad in New York to deliver a warm-hearted evening of familiar American songs. Her program: a tribute to the quintessential American writer, Irving Berlin, which offered a lovely selection of his songs while commenting on his career.
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Dressed in a white furry jacket atop a simple dress that highlighted her height, her blonde hair cut in a saucy short style, she delivered a mellow program. With Richard Danley at the piano and often joining her on her vocals, Haan opened with a hearty “There No Business Like Show Business,” following up with “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” (the latter was the writer’s first international hit). Next, in a detour that echoed the songwriter’s original European roots, she performed “Oyfn pripetshok”, written near the turn of the 20th century by Mark Warshawsky. Then it was back to Berlin’s American hits with “Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor,” from the musical, Miss Liberty, followed by his first published song, “Marie from Sunny Italy.”

With bio notes about the songwriter interjected along the way, Haan saluted Berlin’s military service with upbeat renditions of “I Paid My Income Tax Today,” “Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning,” and “This Is the Army, Mr. Jones.” Then it was on to several of the writer’s later hits, including “The Hostess with the Mostest on the Ball” and “Lichtenburg,” both from Call Me Madam—a show written by Berlin when he lived in his East Side mansion, which is now home to the Luxembourg Embassy.  

During his career, Berlin wrote for Hollywood and Broadway—exemplified by Haan’s charming renditions of such hits as “Blue Skies,” “They Say It’s Wonderful,” “Cheek to Cheek,” “I’ve Got the Sun in the Morning,” and “Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep)”, along with the famous love song written by Berlin for his wife, “Always.”  With the Christmas holidays about to appear, Haan saluted the season with “White Christmas,” as a sing-along (and, alas, a clap-along). The show’s conclusion: “God Bless America.”

While an all-American program is an interesting change of pace and an audience expander for an international star such as Adrienne Haan, it is her European programs—for example, her treatment of Kurt Weill’s material—that highlight her freshness and her uniqueness as a performer, particularly to an American audience. That’s when this reviewer will join her crowds of fans to hear her again.
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Peter Haas

Writer, editor, lyricist and banjo plunker, Peter Haas has been contributing features and performance reviews for Cabaret Scenes since the magazine’s infancy. As a young folk-singer, he co-starred on Channel 13’s first children’s series, Once Upon a Day; wrote scripts, lyrics and performed on Pickwick Records’ children’s albums, and co-starred on the folk album, All Day Singing. In a corporate career, Peter managed editorial functions for CBS Records and McGraw-Hill, and today writes for a stable of business magazines. An ASCAP Award-winning lyricist, his work has been performed at Carnegie Hall, Feinstein’s, Metropolitan Room and other fine saloons.