Adrienne Haan: One World

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Adrienne Haan

One World

Triad Theater, NYC, August 17, 2021

Reviewed by Bart Greenberg

Adrienne Haan

Looking like the wayward daughter of Karen Morrow and clad in what can only be described as cabaret’s version of glam rock, Adrienne Haan barged onto the stage of the Triad Theater to deliver what may be the fastest ever version of the title song from Cabaret, complete with various voices and accents, establishing herself immediately as both a fine vocalist and a delightful comic. She followed this up by declaring that the show was “about me, myself, and I!
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” Actually, it was about her many journeys around the world, which she celebrated in songs in 11 languages and almost as many voices to go with them.

Beginning and ending her guided tour in New York City, she offered up a rich-voiced “Only in New York” that was half celebration and half seduction. There was no doubt that her musical-theater training was substantial.
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She returned to this joyous style for her extended encore that included Gershwin, Kern, and Arlen. Between these numbers, there were visits to France, Germany, Israel, South America, Sweden (a cruise ship encounter with the prototypical American tourist was a highlight of the stories she shared), Turkey, Luxembourg, China, and Italy—quite the Cook’s Tour.

She revealed her chanteuse-qualities in a passionate delivery of “La Vie en rose” and then hopped off the stage to vamp male audience members (including a confused gentleman who didn’t know the difference between Spanish and French) with “Milord.” Then on to Germany for both the birth of Kabaret (“Ich Bin Von Kopf bis Fu Baud Liebe Eingestellt,” better known as “Falling in Love Again”) in the sultriest of tones and with a mix of talk and song. She paid tribute to the German passion for American show music with a supersonic delivery of “Supercalifragilistiscexpialidocious” that was the comic highlight of the show (and very likely the season) as if she were possessed by a demented version of Julie Andrews on speed.

A very different aspect of her life was revealed in her discussion of her devotion to the Holocaust Remembrance Organization with a very quiet and moving delivery of “Bokserboym” in Yiddish, demonstrating that her passion can be understated as well. On a much bigger scale was the Holocaust Liberation Museum anthem “Rikmah Enoshit Achat (One Hundred Tissues)” sung in Hebrew. To brighten the mood again, she launched into “Besame Mucho,” complete with a beautifully controlled vibrato, some dancing and swaying, and a terrific piano solo by music director Richard Danley. Later, in another effective variation, the Turkish “Yigidim Aslanim” was presented with a full orchestral track in a stirring arrangement by Danley that also showed off Haan’s powerful top range.

Later in the evening, she was joined on stage by the handsome Bart Shatto (dressed far more traditionally than his co-star) for two romantic duets, “The Prayer” (sung in English and Italian) and “Con te Partiro (Time to Say Goodbye)” (in Italian). The chemistry between the two artists was thrilling as they seemed to be sharing silent jokes even as they sang beautifully together.

Obviously, Haan made a real commitment to offer a highly varied show; if there was one flaw in the evening, it was that there was a bit too much of it. A bit of editing would have focused the highlights even more.

Praise must be given to the fine work of Danley as accompanist and arranger, as well as the skill of Mike Campenni on drums.

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."