Steve Ross: April in Baltimore

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Steve Ross

April in Baltimore

The Cabaret at Germano’s, Baltimore, MD, April 12, 2019

Reviewed by Michael Miyazaki for Cabaret Scenes

Steve Ross

In this show, Steve Ross explores Paris from the perspective of the many ex-pats who have been influenced by the city—including Americans as far back as Benjamin Franklin and Abigail Adams. Quoting A.J. Liebling, he posits that the fact that “pleasure is the business of life in Paris” explains the enduring attraction of the city.

Of course, Cole Porter has pride of place in this exploration, with choices such as a Can-Can medley, “Let’s Do It,” and “The Tale of the Oyster,” among others. He included an extended set of Jacques Brel (a visitor from Belgium) and a number of songs from Gigi. Delightful surprises included the second verse of “The Last Time I Saw Paris” and “Vincent,” inspired by the Dutch impressionist Vincent Van Gogh.

It is a given that Ross’ boulevardier persona makes these selections fit in a way that transforms prêt-à-porter songs info couture material. His unaffected vocal delivery and deep commitment to a lyric convey the wisdom of a life lived, especially in a number like “The Song of Old Lovers.” Being a singer-pianist allows him to minutely shade material for dramatic or comic effect, whether going through a wide range of tempos to support the jokes in “Can-Can” or dropping the piano part entirely so that the lyric “that day” can have full import in the song “Fanette.” Ross also offered several piano solos, including a Paris song overture and his classic medley of material associated with Edith Piaf.

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.