Category: Category 1

Cabaret Scenes

The Concerts at Tudor City GreensThere is LifeTudor City Place 
New York, NY
Raissa Katona Bennett
Outdoor cabaret is glorious or risky; rain cancelled/postponed some 2011 Tudor City Greens’ dates. Happily, October’s season finale freebie (“donations welcome”) was mostly fortunate in weather and talent. Dynamic Carole J. Bufford knocked “Besame Mucho” out of the park (muchos!), despite passing hooligans hooting; she stood her ground on the gravel, turning and directly incorporated the distraction, directing the lyric “so kiss me!!!” their way. And how eerie that, when songwriter/performer David Friedman discussed metaphysical signals, introducing his inspiring “Trust the Wind,” the wind—on cue—suddenly majorly kicked up, sending leaves rustling! Breezily, delightful Christina Bianco referenced garden glories with “Hurry! It’s Lovely Up Here,” rooted in joy.

Gracious Gardens hostess Raissa Katona Bennett presides (and resides) here, across from the United Nations, with everyone united to let cabaret blossom among greenery. CDs and cabaret show passes were awarded by raffle. She chats up/plugs the guests with upcoming gigs, who included well-received returnee singers Eric Michael Gillett,Tanya Moberly and Terese Genecco (also playing drums, mastering rimshots for funny/feeble jokes). Raissa graced “What I Was Dreaming Of,” (also Friedman; this edition was named for his “There Is Life,” robustly rendered by Kenneth Gartman). October’s darkening dusk skies loomed during the longish show, it got chilly, but few despaired or departed; cooler heads and cool head tones prevailed via Scott Coulter’s warm anticipation of sun reappearing “Tomorrow” in a nicely nuanced ballad version of Annie’s anthem. A longer winter wait’s ahead ’til “Outdoor Caba-Raissa” returns: it might as well be spring 2012.

Rob Lester
Cabaret Scenes
October 5, 2011