Review: Christine Andreas’ Cabaret show is transportive

Posted by admin on December 2, 2013

By Tom Alvarez, Indianapolis Performing Arts Examiner

November 20, 2013

Such was her level of passion, Christine Andreas, nearly out-Piafed, the great French chanteuse herself, when she sang “Le Vie en Rose,” during her show, “Christine Andreas: Love is Good,” Friday, the first of a two night stint at the Cabaret at the Columbia Club.

Andreas who was accompanied by her husband, composer Martin Silvestri, on piano, presented a program that consisted of songs from Broadway, the American Songbook, pop, a couple of originals and even a country tune.

Andreas whose bright lyric soprano voice with its distinctive vibrato, combined with her formidable dramatic skills, made for a theatrical performance that was often times, absorbing. Contributing to the uniqueness of Andreas’ performance was her ability to interpret each song and assign it its own individuality. No two songs delivered by Andreas, a consummate story teller, ever sounded similar.

Highlights from Act 1 included songs which showed off her Broadway pedigree. One was “I Could Have Danced All Night,” which she sang as Liza Doolittle in “My Fair Lady” and another was “What if We Went to Italy,” from “A Light in the Piazza,” in which she played Margaret Johnson.

“Love is Good,” a song written by Silvestri, that was on Andreas’ 1997 debut CD of the same title, was made all the more dramatic, probably due to the fact it was sung in French. The multi-talents of Silvestri were further displayed in his charming duet with Andreas that followed, when they sang “I Remember it Well,” from “Gigi.”

Between songs, Andreas provided information regarding the source of her songs along with stories about her career and life experiences including her relationship with Silvestri whose work figured prominently in the show and her developmentally challenged son, Mack.

Obviously proud of Silvestri’s talents and accomplishments, she informed the crowd that he is currently composing music for two shows, “Casanova,” and “The Countess of Storyville,” both of which are in the workshop stage. If the song “Is This the Way It Feels,” from “Countess,” sung by Andreas, is any indication, Silvestri’s new musical shows great promise.

Andreas further demonstrated her versatility when she sang a sultry rendition of “Teach Me Tonight,” and moving renditions of “Alfie,” and “What the World Needs Now.”

Once again, showcasing their ease together as performers, presumably informed by their obviously loving relationship, Andreas and Silvestri were very appealing in a duet of another of his original songs, “Cover Me,” a song about romantic partnerships.

Following a medley of Gerswhin songs that included “Someone to Watch over Me,” “Fascinating Rhythm,” “Embrace Me,” “Strike Up the Band,” and others, Andreas concluded the evening with a rousing encore, “The Best of Times,” from “La Cage Aux Folles, in which played Jaqueline on tour with Kelsey Grammer.

Now in its fourth season in the Crystal Terrace, the Cabaret has featured many of the world’s top cabaret performers, most of them reviewed by Examiner.com. In terms of set list, entertainment value and the high caliber of their talent, this writer counts Andreas and Silvestri in “Love is Good,” as among the best seen thus far.

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