Shana Bousard & Brian Runbeck: A Swinging Christmas…Too

Shana Bousard & Brian Runbeck

A Swinging Christmas…Too

Tempe Arts Center, Tempe, AZ, December 18, 2019

Reviewed by Lynn Timmons Edwards for Cabaret Scenes

Shana Bousard & Brian Runbeck

Shana Bousard is why Arizona cabaret artists need to be in Cabaret Scenes. She radiates talent, elegance, and style that are every bit as strong as her counterparts in New York.

She is an Equity actress and has entertained on cruise ships and stages throughout the world but now calls Arizona home. 

She teamed up with Brian Runbeck, also an Equity actor with comic timing and a gorgeous deep baritone voice, to deliver an updated version of their 2017 holiday cabaret. His “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” (Theodor Geisel/Albert Hague) was sublime and his Bing Crosby to Shana’s Rosemary Clooney is worthy of its own entire show.

He shined on “White Christmas” (Irving Berlin), and their duet, “(I’d Like to Get You on) A Slow Boat to China” (Frank Loesser), was perfect. It wasn’t all nostalgia; “Text Me Merry Christmas” (Adam Schlinger/David Javerbaum) paid tribute to the millennials in the audience.

The show contained original songs by pianist and co-arranger Joe Bousard including “A Swingin’ Christmas,” “When Christmas Comes,” and “The Beginning of Magic.” He is the pianist every singer covets. He has a comic character baritone and can play any song in any key. He entertained with parody songs to allow for the few costume and prop changes needed. The setting was simple, which kept the focus on the music. Bousard was joined by drummer Scott Hay who showed off his skills particularly in a medley that opened with “Mary Boy Child” (Jester Hairston). Every medley and musical moment was delightfully honest and Arizona cabaret artists should take note.

Lynn Timmons Edwards

Lynn writes and performs themed cabaret shows based on the songs of the Great American Songbook throughout Arizona. She has had three short plays produced in the Theatre Artists Studio Festival of Summer Shorts and is working on a full length play, "Fairy," based on the life of Mary Russell Ferrell Colton, a founder of the Museum of Northern Arizona. In addition to writing and singing, Lynn plays bridge and tennis and enjoys traveling with her husband and artistic companion, Bob. Born in Ohio, Lynn is a graduate of Denison University (BA), Arizona State University (MPA) and has lived in Arizona since 1977.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. eadie scott

    hi. Brian’s last name is Runbeck. Thanks!

Comments are closed.