Tom Culver

  • Post author:
  • Reading time:2 mins read

Tom Culver

The Gardenia, West Hollywood, CA, May 4, 2024

Reviewed by Mary Bogue

Tom Culver

Tom Culver’s recent performance at The Gardenia in West Hollywood was nothing short of spectacular, as it made for an unforgettable evening of cabaret bliss. Backed by the talented Karen Hernandez trio, Culver kicked off the night with the timeless classic “Without a Song” (Vincent Youmans/Billy Rose/Edward Eliscu) and instantly captivated the filled-to-capacity crowd of singers and patrons.

One of Los Angeles’ favorite crooners, Culver knows just how to command the stage and capture the hearts of his adoring audience. With his devilish humor, velvet voice, and effortless charm, he smoothly weaved his way through a repertoire of beloved tunes, including a magical interpretation of “This Is Always” (Harry Warren /Mack Gordon) that showed why he is a cherished fixture on the local music scene.

From swinging, Latin up-tempo numbers to soul-stirring ballads, Culver’s performance was a masterclass in entertainment. Each note was delivered with a precision and passion that drew the listeners in and held them captive until the final chord of “Forever Didn’t Last” (Effie Joy/Tom Culver). It was so gorgeous that hushed sighs and gasps were audible throughout the room.

What set Culver apart was his undeniable connection with the audience. As he crooned his way through each song, it seemed as though he was singing directly to each and every person in the room, creating an intimate and unforgettable experience.

With a big finish that left the crowd on its feet clamoring for more, Culver proved once again why he’s a force to be reckoned with in the world of cabaret. His performance at The Gardenia was nothing short of extraordinary, and it left both longtime fans and newcomers alike longing for the next opportunity to bask in his musical brilliance.

In addition to Hernandez on piano were Gary Wicks on bass and Dori Amarillo on guitar. Look for Tom Culver’s long-awaited book, a historical recollection of his time in costuming the stars, They Did It with Their Clothes On.

Mary Bogue

Born to upstate New York parents Nelson Binner and Gladys Witt, Mary Bogue was the fourth of five children. Her love of acting was apparent early in her life, when she acted out imagined scenes in the second story hallway of their home on Division Street. Moving to California in 1959 only fueled the fire and soon she tried out and got the part in Beauty and the Beast, a children's production at The Old Globe Theatre in San Diego. The bug followed her into junior and high school productions, but when she struck out on her own in the early 70s, she found it wasn't as easy as sitting at the world famous Schwab's on Sunset. Her first audition stopped her dead in her tracks for years when the "casting director" expected nudity. It was only in 1990 that she returned to her first love, albeit slowly as she was a caregiver to 16 foster daughters. Only when she was cast in Antonio Bandera's directorial debut, Crazy in Alabama (1999)(which she was cut from) did she pursue this dream.