All stories by Marilyn Lester on BroadwayStars

Friday, November 26, 2021

Andrea Bell Wolff’s Vegas Adventure Offered a Peek Into a Sin City That Once Was, with Plenty of Humor and Pizzazz by Marilyn Lester

One of the launching points of Andrea Bell Wolff’s Vegas Adventure at Don’t Tell Mama is an admission of age by the singer-actress. She just celebrated a birthday that’s quite a few de…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 04:20PM
Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Budding Jazz Star Anaïs Reno Blasted the Roof Off Birdland Theater with Her Debut CD Celebration by Marilyn Lester

Fast-rising jazz star AnaÏs Reno came home to Birdland to celebrate her debut CD, Lovesome Thing, the music of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, released during pandemic lockdown. As expe…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 01:13PM
Monday, October 25, 2021

Klea Blackhurst’s “One of the Girls” Opened Wonderful New Windows at Birdland Theater by Marilyn Lester

Actress-commedienne-vocalist extraordinaire Klea Blackhurst is certifiably “one of the girls”—Jerry Herman’s girls, that is. Blackhurst earned the title playing Dolly Levi at Goodspe…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 06:07PM
Friday, October 15, 2021

Kelli Rabke Proved Herself a Mighty “Tiny Giant” of Song at The Green Room 42 by Marilyn Lester

Broadway star Kelli Rabke, a singer-actress of petite stature, got to thinking; it occurred to her that an abundance of legendary singing stars, particularly those who’ve even become iconi…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 03:13PM
Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Nicole Zuraitis Brought a Wonderful World to Her Set at Birdland Theater by Marilyn Lester

More and more Grammy Award-nominated jazz singer Nicole Zuraitis has been widening her presence in the jazz and popular music spheres with original material. Her recent album release on the …

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 03:15PM
Friday, October 1, 2021

Sue Matsiki Had Her Broad’s Way with Humor and Plenty of Love at Pangea by Marilyn Lester

Who doesn’t love a good pun? And who doesn’t love a creatively put together cabaret show featuring a warm-hearted, multi-award winning singer and her long-time award-winning music direct…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 07:30PM
Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Violinist Marissa Licata’s “Strings on Fire” Burned Up the Birdland Stage with Joyful Passion by Marilyn Lester

The air was super-charged at Birdland Theater as violinist Marissa Licata presented Strings On Fire, with a program of eclectic work that dazzled. She wasn’t kidding, either, when she name…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 09:16AM

Jason Kravits’ “Off The Top!” Was Side-Splitting Improv—On Steroids! by Marilyn Lester

What kind of mind does Jason Kravits have, anyway? His popular improv show, Off the Top! readily reveals the answer to this burning question. Kravits has a quick mind—on steroids. It’s p…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 09:16AM
Monday, September 20, 2021

Catherine Russell’s Return to Dizzy’s Club Delivered a Full-Bodied Set of Jazz and Blues Riches by Marilyn Lester

There’s no question that Grammy Award-winning vocalist Catherine Russell is the queen of any stage she’s gracing. After all, she is jazz royalty, the daughter of Luis Russell, pianist-le…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 06:40PM
Monday, August 23, 2021

Norbert Leo Butz and “Torch Songs for the Pandemic” Soared to Dizzying Heights at Feinstein’s/54 Below by Marilyn Lester

Two-time Tony Award® winner, Norbert Leo Butz, commanding the stage at Feinstein’s/54 Below, was downright mesmerizing. In Torch Songs for a Pandemic, Butz created an entertaining, fully-…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 02:26PM
Thursday, August 19, 2021

The 62nd Edition of Siegel’s Broadway’s Greatest Hits Lobbed a Grand Slam-Plus Out of the Park by Marilyn Lester

Scott Siegel’s Broadway’s Greatest Hits series always offers a good time. Host, writer, producer Siegel has a stellar track record of finding sublime talent from Broadway, cabaret and op…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 06:48PM
Monday, August 9, 2021

Magic Was in the Air at Billy’s Place—A Glorious Post-Pandemic Evening at Birdland by Marilyn Lester

What a joy to hear Billy Stritch’s album Billy’s Place come to life at Birdland Jazz Club. The euphoria of live performance and of coming home to the venue was palpable for everyone in t…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 10:58AM
Tuesday, July 27, 2021

David Sabella Exits the Pandemic with “Relief” and a Heck-of-a Show About It by Marilyn Lester

The multi-talented David Sabella is a performer who walks his talk. He’s the author (with Sue Matsuki) of “So You Want To Sing Cabaret,” a comprehensive study of the genre, and clearly…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 09:47AM
Friday, July 9, 2021

America Gets a Grand Birthday Salute from Scott Siegel and Company by Marilyn Lester

Scott Siegel and company celebrated The 4th of July at Feinstein’s/54 Below with pure Americana—a Siegel version of Walt Whitman’s I Hear America Singing, with music from Broadway, Hol…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 07:08PM
Monday, December 14, 2020

Take Action—A Cabinet-Level Arts and Culture Department May Become a Reality by Marilyn Lester

By Marilyn. Lester***As we’ve written about many times in these pages, short-shrift is given to culture and the arts in this country, despite the important economic engine this sector driv…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 09:25PM
Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Art and Cultural Matter—New Jersey Shows the Way for Right-Thinking About the Importance of the Arts by Marilyn Lester

An Arts and Culture Trust Fund has been proposed by New Jersey Mayor Steven M. Fulop of Jersey City as a financially feasible way to ensure that the arts sector has the resources it needs to…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 06:41PM
Wednesday, May 13, 2020

The Mayor’s Office of Nightlife: A Pre-Pandemic Report Card—But Now What? by Marilyn Lester

From time to time we’ve covered the news about the Mayor’s Office of Nightlife since its inception two years ago. At that time, in response to increasing complaints about late-night dist…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 06:05PM
Monday, April 13, 2020

Let’s Go to a Virtual Party—So Many of Our Friends Will Be There! by Marilyn Lester

By Marilyn Lester****“Laughter the Best Medicine.” The Reader’s Digest ran this column for years. And it’s true, particularly through the lens of lyricist Michael Colby‘s new “I�…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 12:36PM
Monday, January 20, 2020

Australian Fires: Bravo to Broadway for Enlightened Philanthropy by Marilyn Lester

Hats off and applause to the Broadway and theater community for their outpouring of love and for their actions in response to the devastating bush fires in Australia. As a result of record …

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 12:20PM
Monday, December 30, 2019

Ad Lib on NLE: Upper Westside Jazz Club Cleopatra’s Needle: Another Cultural Casualty Among Many by Marilyn Lester

They’re toppling like dominoes—long-established restaurants and institutions that can’t keep up with the rising costs of doing business in Manhattan. Lately, the Boat Basin Cafe at 79t…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 05:47PM
Saturday, November 23, 2019

Those Show Broads Leave ‘Em Wanting MORE! by Marilyn Lester

What fun! Marta Sanders and Leanne Borghesi sure know how to put on a show and leave ’em wanting more. Their Showbroads was a powerhouse of entertainment, as you’d expect from two broads…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 07:29PM
Sunday, October 20, 2019

In Soul Searching, Mark Arthur Miller Has Found Some Answers by Marilyn Lester

Sometimes it’s not easy to walk in parental footsteps, especially for gifted children of the famous. But if they’re fortunate, their own art can be a guide out of the shadows. This is th…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 06:50PM
Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Part Two of Songbook Summit, The Andersons Spotlight Armstrong—Well, Hello Louis! by Marilyn Lester

Reed-meisters Peter and Will Anderson‘s second installment of their annual Songbook Summit directed the spotlight on the life and music of the trumpeter/vocalist/composer Louis Armstrong�…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 01:23PM
Thursday, August 8, 2019

Ad Lib on NLE: Richard Skipper Celebrates and Is Heartily Celebrated by Marilyn Lester

What can you say about a five year-old on a tobacco farm in South Carolina who thinks he’s Carol Channing, and who plays to the tombstones in a local cemetery as his audience? Only that he…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 03:22PM
Monday, July 29, 2019

Jazz in July Pays Tribute to Clifford Brown with Plenty of Brass by Marilyn Lester

The wall of sound that brass can create in simultaneous play is an experience high on the scale of titanically thrilling. This adrenaline rush is exactly what trumpet masters Jeremy Pelt, Wa…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 01:57PM
Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Ad Lib on NiteLife: The House Concert Goes Casually Glam with Broadway Veteran Carole Demas by Marilyn Lester

In the world of entertainment, the venerable house concert is an institution long enjoyed from the beginnings of music itself. From the caves of early humans to the courts of royalty and the…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 06:18PM
Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Sarah DeLeo: A Heartfelt Tribute to Judy Garland by Marilyn Lester

To mark the 50th Anniversary of the passing of Judy Garland, the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, and the 80th Anniversary of the release of The Wizard of Oz, singer Sarah DeLeo was …

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 02:33PM
Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Ad Lib on NiteLife: The Future of the Arts: Anxiety, Questioning and—Hope by Marilyn Lester

Chances are if you’re reading you’re already a champion of the arts—and therefore understand the vital necessity to cultivate and teach the arts to succeeding gene…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 01:27PM
Monday, May 6, 2019

Review: Julie Budd Takes a Walk Down Memory Lane at Birdland by Marilyn Lester

From the Catskills to Las Vegas and back again, singer Julie Budd is one of the last performers standing from the glamorous age of nightclubs and variety television. She’s got quite a foll…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 01:07PM
Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Ken Peplowski and Big Band Wowed ‘Em at Birdland by Marilyn Lester

Clarinetist Ken Peplowski is not only a virtuoso of the licorice stick, but a darn good leader too. His assembled big band at Birdland on the eve of Duke Ellington’s 120th birthday (April …

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 02:29PM
Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Daryl Sherman: A Breath of Spring Warming a Chilly April Night by Marilyn Lester

Singer-pianist Daryl Sherman has been a long-time fixture in the international and New York City jazz world. Her endurance as a favorite is well-founded in her talent and charm. She’s full…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 01:26PM

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