Nick Cordero

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Nick Cordero

Feinstein’s/54 Below, NYC, April 10, 2019

Reviewed by Chris Struck for Cabaret Scenes

Nick Cordero

Nick Cordero’s first foray into the cabaret world was a massive success. His song list covered his career to date as a Latin-Canadian to “Italian” New Yorker in an entertaining manner, and each song, combined with his stories, made his theater life as interesting as the theater itself can be. His calm, smooth demeanor made him instantly likeable. Cordero, whose career has taken off recently, brought great friends to the stage to entertain and astound along with him. However, it was clear that this was his show, and the spotlight always featured this talented singer as he breezed through his set.

My favorite songs of his were most definitely “Oye Como Va” (Tito Puente), “Ain’t Nobody’s Business” (Everett Robbins/Porter Grainger), and “The Men that Drive Me Places” (Benjamin Rector). Each of these was refreshing and well executed. Perhaps it’s a shame that more performers don’t perform in Spanish, because rhythmic songs with catchy choruses such as “Oye Como Va, mi ritmo/Bueno pa’ gozar, mulata” make a great addition to a song set.
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Putting this one alongside a classic standards such as “Ain’t Nobody’s Business” allowed for the contrasting styles of each song to change the atmosphere. Meanwhile, the lyric “If I should take the notion to jump into the ocean” (“Ain’t Nobody’s Business”) seemed to speak to the daring aspect of Cordero’s personality, one that’s served him well in his career. In contrast, “The Men that Drive Me Places,” which had the lyric “I’m half the man of the men that drive me places” shined a light on this great performer’s humility.

Joining him for a variety of songs were Kathryn Gallagher, Sara Chase, Drew Gehling, and Zach Braff. Each was the type of stalwart performer the club’s guests have come to expect from this high-caliber venue. Gallagher joined for a spirited, “If I Ain’t Got You” (Alicia Augello-Cook). As emotional and romantic as that song is, “Hot Toxic Love” (David Bryan/Joe DiPietro), from a musical earlier in Cordero’s career, took a much different angle. During what seemed to a set up for a sultry song of hot love, Chase, who played a blind woman, walked off the stage, out of the room, through the kitchen, back into the room through a different entrance, and then back onto the stage while singing the song.
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It was a funny moment, and it highlighted a show that was filled with little gems like this. Another such moment came when Braff joined Gehling and Cordero while they were mid-song on “You Matter to Me” (Sara Bareilles). He sang from the house, and then headed to the stage while serenading a baby doll. Certainly interesting.

Cordero was backed by an impressive band, led by MD/pianist Michael Moritz with bassist Larry Cook, guitarist Kenny Brescia, percussionist Marcos Torres, and drummer Billy LaGuardia. Keep an eye out for Cordero.

Chris Struck

Chris Struck's debut novel, Kennig and Gold, is due to be officially published in June 2019. He's written reviews for Cabaret Scenes since August of 2017. For more information about the writer, see