Chicago Theatre Review

Chicago Theatre Review

“Say Yes” to Scott Gryder and His Cabaret

July 22, 2013 Reviews Comments Off on “Say Yes” to Scott Gryder and His Cabaret

LIFE IS A CABARET! The Music and Words of Kander & Ebb

Recommended

Last Saturday night the full audience in attendance of Roosevelt University’s cabaret series was bid “Wilkommen” and treated to the charismatic exuberance that is Scott Gryder and his one-man cabaret, “LIFE IS A CABARET! The Music and Words of Kander & Ebb” accompanied by Nick Sula on piano and Phil Martin on drums. The show is a 50th anniversary tribute to the songwriters known for Broadway hits like Chicago, Kiss of the Spiderwoman, and many more.

Gryder has a knockout act put together, balancing high energy numbers like “Ring Them Bells,” funny bits (the audience went nuts for “Sara Lee,”) and ballads such as the beautifully performed “Sometimes A Day Goes By.” He’s a superb tenor, incorporating many songs actually written for female roles, and he is full of personality with a ridiculous level of stamina—as the night progressed he seemed to only acquire more energy, wrapping up with a fantastic Chicago finale.

Yet this kind of evening requires more than a great voice and a set list of favorites to be a success. Dressed in tails, Gryder walked us through the history of the show’s repertoire, providing a brief narrative before each piece and even a Liza Minnelli impression. These introductions keep us engaged throughout the concert, and some numbers like “Bobo’s” are given a fresh perspective with background stories in mind. The songs of Kander and Ebb offer more than entertainment; they lend themselves to an interesting journey through the evening with Gryder as our guide.

Although this particular performance was a one-time affair, if you’re looking for a cabaret, look no further than the expressive, funny Scott Gryder. He’s got a powerhouse voice, many schticks and sentimental moments, and an enjoyable, engaging evening perfected.

Reviewed by Darcy Rose Coussens

Additional information about this and other area productions is available at www.theatreinchicago.com.

 


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