Jill Eikenberry: Here I Go Again!

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Jill Eikenberry

Here I Go Again!

Feinstein’s/54 Below, NYC, January 15, 2019

Reviewed by Bart Greenberg for Cabaret Scenes

Jill Eikenberry

The delightful actress Jill Eikenberry has returned to the cabaret stage to sing about love. While she showed a wide range of musical styles and song choices, what remained consistent were her taste, her wit, and her solid acting ability, all of which underlined each number she delivered (along with the sweet shy smile that came as she finished each song that went well). Clearly using her theater training, she could be a swinging jazz artist (“Taking a Chance on Love”), embody a folk singer (Janis Ian’s “Jesse”), or become a full-out musical theater diva (“Pirate Jenny”).

Between the melodies, the star shared charming stories about her almost 50-year romance and marriage to actor Michael Tucker.

Making the family theme even stronger was their son, Max Tucker, who joined her on stage as the drummer in her back-up quartet (along with music director/pianist James Horan, bass Mike Keunnan, and guitarist Lee Weissman). They all offered strong musical support.

Papa Tucker joined his spouse on stage for a hysterical delivery of “Cabaret” in Italian and a lovely “I’ll Be Home” by their good friend Randy Newman.

Speaking of friends, Eikenberry was joined by good buddies and Broadway icons Joanna Gleason and Randy Graff for a delightful bubble-gum delivery of “Mr. Sandman,” and by David Rasche for a funny number he also authored, “Opening Night.”

One last lovely surprise was her skilled piano playing, as she accompanied herself on one more Randy Newman song, “Feels Like Home to Me.” She indeed turns the large room into an intimate club with her warmth and humanity; we felt like we were visiting her at home.

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."