I don’t know the reasoning behind gay men’s fascination with powerful female singers, but it’s alive and well in my generation. Fortunately for me, my friends Andrew Keenan-Bolger and Jake Wilson capitalized on this notion with “The Girly Show,” a cabaret evening filled with up-and-coming musical theater performers. Old standards by the divas of yesteryear (some still
thriving alive) like Barbara and Liza were tossed off the piano in favor of seldom-heard selections and contemporary favorites that gave the collection of women a chance to shine.
After two months in Montana, I was eager to re-immerse myself in the New York culture scene. I’d barely had time to open my suitcases before I tumbled out of my apartment into the flow of pedestrian traffic that carried me to the uptown subway platform; the girls would prove to be a welcome respite from the bombardment of senses unique to New York.
The juxtaposition inside the dimly lit Laurie Beechman Theater was a massage of the senses. My ears and eyes were delighted by each and every one of the ladies who took the stage during the hour-long set. I may have been partial to certain ladies when I arrived – after all some of them are friends of mine – but by the time I left I had discovered new talent, all while jump starting the musical theater bug that laid dormant in me during my time in Montana.
It’s confounding at times coming from a classical dance background and having so many friends in the musical theater world. Each group of friends, dancers and singers, sometimes question my fascination with either idiom, but I think if they all just let me expose them to the top tier of each world, they’d likely change their views.
(Andrew and Jake introduce some of the ladies.)
The program that Andrew and Jake lined up was one such evening. Despite having no “name” stars within the crop of eight women, each is well on her way to establishing a career in the musical theater world. What I was most impressed with was the range of humor and heartbreak that so many of them were able to find with the material. There were only one or two numbers that seemed like “throwaway” choices; even Susanne Layton’s rendition of the overdone “Taylor, the Latte Boy” seemed wholly new.
Here’s a heartfelt thanks to the girlies (and gentlemen) who made this evening possible, and helped welcome me back to the New York arts scene.
(The lovely Natalie Weiss and the dashing Andrew Keenan-Bolger.)
(The hottest boys you will ever see. Ever.)
(Dana Steingold and Natalie Weiss sing "Poor Little Patty.")
(Vanessa Ray performs a stunning rendition of Pasek and Paul's "Perfect.")
(The luminous Jessica Hershberg taps into her comic side for a delectable "I Slept With Someone...")