- CHARITY BENEFIT
Reviewed by: Sandi Durell
Now this might not be a very uplifting title for a show; especially from the musically extraordinary Christine Ebersole. But it becomes evidently clear, early on, that there’s genius operating during this one hour treasure trove of fanciful enlightenment at the Café Carlyle.
Swinging hot and heavy, Ebersole marched into “Strike Up The Band,” as she gathered her eager followers at the Carlyle Tabernacle – - Amen! If we’re to meet our maker, it might as well be at this sumptuous location, listening to one of cabaret’s best talents.
It’s obvious that the effect of world politics, wars and technology are driving all of us just a little bit bonkers – insecurity, anxiety and pill poppin’ everyday companions. Should we hide and stick our heads in the sand or sing about it? The latter seems more appropriate. And so Ms. Ebersole shared personal life stories and situations and confronted the Grim Reaper intelligently – “Show Me the Way to Get Out of This World (Cause That’s Where Everything Is)” says she.
Known for her colossal vocal range and consummate dramatic abilities, she easily runs the gamut between passionate, loving and tender, “Right As The Rain” to rip roaring gospel “I’ll Fly Away” and everything in between, including a quiet, soulful “I Love You, Porgy.” “Brother, Can You Spare A Dime” brought tears as it built sadly, ploddingly, rhythmically.
Noel Coward’s “What’s Going to Happen to the Tots?” was wacky humor, only topped by Sophie Tucker’s double entendre “Max From the Income Tax.”
Backed by the ultra-talented John Oddo, Musical Director and his band, and directed by the exceptional Scott Wittman, my Brothers and Sisters, get thee to the Café Carlyle for a real piece of heaven on earth – Christine Ebersole! Thru February 25th.
*Photo courtesy of Stephen Sorokoff