Crystal Cimaglia

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Crystal Cimaglia

Feinstein’s/54 Below, NYC, June 14, 2019

Reviewed by Chris Struck for Cabaret Scenes

Crystal Cimaglia
Photo: Michael Cinquino

Crystal Cimaglia impressed with a “Hollywood”-themed set. Donning a sparkling red dress and opera gloves, she certainly fit the leading-lady look with red carpet-esque glam, and her rocking band supported her well. A solo show appears to come naturally to her.

in this setting she held our attention as if she were striking a gavel in a courtroom. A partial downside of taking songs from movies is that many of them are fairly common cabaret songs, but her performances were strong, as were those of her guest stars.

The two top performances of the evening were her “Diamonds Are Forever” (John Barry/Don Black) and guest star Shane Hampsheir’s “Theme from New York, New York” (Fred Ebb/John Kander). Cimaglia truly captured the simultaneous longing for love and fierce independence of the classic James Bond song, showing impressive depth on the lyric “they won’t leave in the night, have no fear that they might, desert you.” Hampshier, Cimaglia’s request, hrew in high kicks at the end of the song as he melted the small-town blues away and crooned, “I want to wake up in a city that never sleeps.” With the show going past midnight, sleep was not a priority for these New Yorkers.

Cimaglia was also joined by guitarist/music director, David Cordeiro on a strong performance of “Shallow” (Andrew Wyatt/Anthony Rossomando/Mark Ronson/Stefani Germanotta); then she ended the show with a thrilling pair of songs associated with Celine Dion. Two of her best songs this night were “Ashes” (Jordan Smith, Patrick Martin/Tedd Tjornhom) and “My Heart Will Go On” (James Horner/Will Jennings). Cimaglia had us singing along with her moving finale.

She looks to develop an upcoming Celine Dion show, which makes her one to watch for. She’s most certainly good-hearted and entertaining, two things that make an evening out enjoyable.

Her band featured Robert Buonaspina on keys, Samuel Gelfer on bass, Fabio Rojas on drums, and Gustavo D’Amico on sax, as well as guitarist Cordeiro, whose strong performance as MD and band leader deserves high praise.

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