Eva Noblezada

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Eva Noblezada

The Green Room 42, NYC, September 15, 2019

Reviewed by Joel Benjamin for Cabaret Scenes

Eva Noblezada

Eva Noblezada (Hadestown and Miss Saigon) is a livewire—young, beautiful, and incredibly talented. Her show at The Green Room 42 was dedicated to the works of the late Amy Winehouse, who sadly died at age 27 after a whirlwind career.

Most of Winehouse’s songs, at least the ones Noblezada chose, are dark, usually in the “my-man-left-me-and-I’m-feeling-so-sad” mode.

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At one point, Noblezada even dedicated the songs to “all those who wake up and feel defeated,” an odd sentiment emanating from such a successful young artist.

She was helped on her mission by her music director Rodney Bush who supported her at every depressing turn.

“Love Is a Losing Game” (Winehouse) was a prime example. Beautifully sung and acted by Noblezada, who caught Winehouse’s bittersweet relationship with romance. “Back to Black” (Winehouse/Mark Ronson) was even more depressing.

Wearing a sexy black two-piece outfit, she opened, after a longish discourse on Winehouse, with “Fuck Me Pumps” (Winehouse/Salaam Remi), about a woman’s kvetching about how men moved on from her. Winehouse’s “Me and Mr. Jones” had a more defiant tone, caught in Noblezada’s powerful voice.

An audience participation quiz lasted far too long, lightened only by the inclusion of her Hadestown co-star, Reeve Carney. She did, however, score well with an anecdote about how badly she was treated by the costume lady when she appeared in Miss Saigon in London and with a very funny bit about an audition for The Phantom of the Opera in which she was put on the spot vocally.

Two songs not from the Winehouse catalog were “The Girl from Ipanema” (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Norman Gimbel) and “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” (Gerry Goffin/Carole King), her encore.

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The former was given a light jazzy lilt, and the latter a full-throttle, passionate interpretation that made for an impressive ending to a dark but exciting performance.

Why, at age 23, Noblezada wanted to do pretty much an entire show about the bleakness of love is a conundrum, but there’s no denying she found something in the material’s emotional darkness to inspire her to heights of great singing.

Joel Benjamin

A native New Yorker, Joel was always fascinated by musical theater. Luckily, he was able to be a part of seven Broadway musicals before the age of 14, quitting to pursue a pre-med degree, which led no where except back to performing in the guise of directing a touring ballet troupe. Always interested in writing, he wrote a short play in high school that was actually performed, leading to a hiatus of nearly 40 years before he returned to writing as a reviewer. Writing for Cabaret Scenes has kept him in touch with world filled with brilliance.