Taylor Beyer: and the Spoon ran away with the Spoon

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Taylor Beyer

and the Spoon ran away with the Spoon

Don’t Tell Mama, NYC, June 12, 2019

Reviewed by Bart Greenberg for Cabaret Scenes

Taylor Beyer

The pixyish Taylor Beyer kicked off her evening clad in a fur coat and feline ears as she swung her way through “Everybody Wants to Be a Cat,” sung partially with her back to the audience—certainly an unconventional way to kick off her unconventional show. She happily declared that every person involved in the show is a queer woman and self-identifies as a lesbian and a pansexual (because she’s attracted to cookware). Making her political points and telling the story of her life, the vocalist, a finalist in last year’s Mama’s Next BIG Act!, kept the laughter coming via well-chosen parody lyrics, mostly written by her and her director Jordi Coats.

Beyer’s sole heterosexual encounter was described in a mix of original and new lyrics to the melody of “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” to hilarious, and rather ribald, results. “I’m Not That Girl,” on the other hand, was used to express her moving tale of coming out to her family.

Guest stars Lena Barsky (on clarinet) and Maritza Bostic (vocalist) delivered a wonderful riff on “Mama Will Provide” with lyrics by Barsky, who wisely advised the audience that “a clarinet should not be used as a sex toy.”

Credit should be given to wardrobe mistress Christine Barringer, who designed and created a series of costumes for Beyer to change into, climaxing with a fabulously theatrical jacket for Beyer’s grand finale, “One.” Backing up the singer were music director/pianist Marissa Davis, guitarist Meghan Rose, and percussionist Ann Hairston, whose aggressive playing often threatened to drown out the light-voiced star. Bostic and Nayem Cardenas-Lopez offered back-up vocals.

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."