Andreas Pays Tribute to Broadway
By David Roberts for Theatre Reviews Limited
Paying tribute to "the ladies who led [her] to the stage," two-time Tony Award nominee Christine Andreas has returned to the Café Carlyle with "Here's to the Ladies," her tribute to the legendary leading ladies of Broadway. With fourteen songs and intelligent, witty patter from Ms. Andreas, this show should be at the top of any cabaret afficionado's "must see" list.
There are many words one could use to describe Christine Andreas. Certainly she is talented and has a wonderful voice with a distinctive tremolo which is completely under her control. Clearly she knows how to sell any song with unique styling and appropriate interpretation. Many vocalists can give a song a "one of a kind" interpretation; however, all too often the result has little or nothing to do with the lyric being sung. In the case of Christine Andreas, the interpretation always has integrity and the styling is always singular.
The non-technical word that would depict Christine Andreas is "classy." Whether she is honoring Mary Martin with her wonderful rendition of "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" (Cole Porter) or reminding the audience of the important contribution to musical theatre made by Helen Morgan (1900-1941), Ms. Andreas does what she does with impeccable taste and class. The way she sings, the way she speaks, that way she moves sets her apart as a performer with excellent credentials, impeccable instincts, and unrivaled class.
Christine Andreas' respect for Julie Andrews is daunting and it is a joy to listen to her sing "Show Me" and "I Could Have Danced All Night" (Frederick Loewe/Alan Jay Lerner). Other highlights of Ms. Andreas' Carlyle show are two wonderful songs from Jerry Herman's "Mame" "My Best Beau" and "If He Walked Into My Life" which she delivers with delicious diction and timbre. What a beautiful tribute to Angela Lansbury and composer Jerry Herman! Ethel Merman and even
Barbara Streisand (too often maligned by her contemporaries) are appropriately remembered with Irving Berlin's "Moonshine Lullaby" and Jule Styne and Bob Merrill's "The Music That Makes Me Dance" from Funny Girl.
For this reviewer the trademarks of a true vocal artist are integrity and honesty (they are different). Christine Andreas exemplifies both and that is no more apparent than in her encore song "Storybook" (Nan Knighton, Frank Wildhorn), the song which she gave breath and life to as Marguerite in The Scarlet Pimpernel. The Café Carlyle is firmly rooted on 76th Street; however, listening to Ms. Andreas sing this signature song, one would imagine the room turning in euphoric circles of unabashed joy. Christine Andreas and the Café Carlyle: perfect together.
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