All stories by Michael Barbieri on BroadwayStars

Friday, July 1, 2022

Danny Bolero’s “They Call Me Cuban Pete” Vividly Brought the Music and Genius of Desi Arnaz to Life by Michael Barbieri

Singer-actor Danny Bolero is Desi Arnaz! Over the years there have been many celebrity tributes and impersonations in cabaret—Liberace, Peggy Lee, Marlene Dietrich, Rita Hayworth and other…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 05:03PM
Friday, June 24, 2022

Tanya Moberly’s Beatles and Led Zeppelin Tribute Was an Eye-Opener! by Michael Barbieri

As a critic, I’m afforded the opportunity to see some wonderful performers. There are times, however, when I see someone in a brilliant new light, and their performance is eye-opening in a…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 04:22PM
Saturday, June 18, 2022

Pickled Pink: The Drag Brunch at Iridium Was Fun, Festive and Fabulous! by Michael Barbieri

What do you get when you mix entrancing drag queens, a world renowned jazz club and a delicious brunch, then pour them into a shaker and stir? You get a delectable cocktail called Pickled Pi…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 11:29AM
Friday, June 17, 2022

Julia Van Cartier Revealed Herself a True Entertainer in “I’m Not Myself Tonight” by Michael Barbieri

Julia Van Cartier is a woman of many talents! She sings, she lip syncs, she‘s a storyteller, she knows how to work an audience and she drinks her vodka from a very special…umm…vessel! …

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 01:33PM
Monday, June 13, 2022

Fabulous First Fridays Pride Edition, at Pangea, Both Entertained and Informed by Michael Barbieri

I took a trip back in time at Pangea recently. Gerry Geddes’ Fabulous First Fridays made a…well…fabulous return to the club in the East Village and as expected, the show did not disapp…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 05:27PM
Friday, May 20, 2022

Xana Du Me, Brilliantly Unique as a Tap Dancer, Is a Queen with Much More Promise by Michael Barbieri

I’ve seen a lot of drag in my day, but I can safely say I’ve never seen a tap dancing drag queen! As a matter of fact, in all my years in cabaret, I’ve only ever seen one other act fea…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 07:49PM
Monday, May 16, 2022

Josephine Sanges “The Funny Girl in Me” Was Spot-On Brilliant by Michael Barbieri

Fanny Brice is alive and well and appearing in New York City. No, I’m not referring to the current Broadway revival of Funny Girl, which has received mixed reviews at best. I’m talking a…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 05:19PM
Thursday, May 12, 2022

Gaylin English: A Personal Remembrance of a Friend to All in the Nightlife Community by Michael Barbieri

Gaylin English was known by practically everyone in the NYC nightlife community. Whether she served you dinner at The 5 Oaks or Judy’s, or cocktails at The Colosseum, or even if you just h…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 08:26PM
Monday, May 9, 2022

Amanda McBroom Stole Hearts at Birdland with the Warm Hug of “Crimes of the Heart” by Michael Barbieri

We need Amanda McBroom! We may not have realized how much we needed her, but boy, did we need her! Her mellifluous voice. Her luminous spirit. Her masterful storytelling. Her sly sensuality.…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 07:25PM
Monday, May 2, 2022

Therese Lee’s “Riding the Bus to the Red Carpet” Was a Moving and Charming Cabaret Debut by Michael Barbieri

What did Therese Lee, a Hollywood entertainment reporter, faced with a run of bad luck, do when she no longer had a way to drive to her assignments in Tinseltown? She created her own musical…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 01:32PM
Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Lennie Watts’ “Escape” Is a Fabulous and Fantastic Trip Worth Taking by Michael Barbieri

I have never seen a bad show from Lennie Watts! Now, full disclosure: Lennie is a friend and cabaret colleague. Back when I was doing tech, I did lights and sound for many of his shows. I’…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 05:10PM
Thursday, April 14, 2022

Cindy Firing’s “You and I” at the Laurie Beechman Theatre Was a Thrilling Treat of a NYC Debut by Michael Barbieri

It’s always a treat to see an artist make their New York cabaret debut, especially one as good as Cindy Firing. In this case, the treat was twice as sweet, because not only is Firing incre…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 06:53PM
Monday, April 11, 2022

“David Dean Bottrell Makes Love” Is Funny, Touching and…a Must-See! by Michael Barbieri

How on earth do I write this review?! David Dean Bottrell’s show, David Dean Bottrell Makes Love at The Triad Theater is one of the funniest, most touching and at times, one of the filthie…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 04:13PM
Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Multi-Talented Matthew Liu Deserves to “Be Here”—And Everywhere on the Cabaret Scene by Michael Barbieri

I have a confession to make. I spent Valentine’s Day with a man who wasn’t my husband! No, it’s not like that! I went to see Matthew Liu’s wonderful show I Will Be Here at the Duplex…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 07:53AM
Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Gabrielle Lee’s Tin Pan Alley Celebration of African American Artists Was An Incandescent Winner by Michael Barbieri

Every so often, a performer comes along who wins you over the minute they hit the stage and you just know that you’re in for a fantastic show. So it was with the incandescent Gabrielle Lee…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 07:24PM
Sunday, November 14, 2021

Scott Raneri’s Wonderful Extra! Extra! Pulled Out All the Stops by Michael Barbieri

In his wonderful show, Extra! Extra!, Scott Raneri sang “It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish and you’re gonna finish on top.” Well, Raneri was definitely on top! On top…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 05:51PM
Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Tin Pan Alley Day Was a Fabulous and Inspiring Celebration of Where American Popular Music Began by Michael Barbieri

October 23rd, 2021. It’s a chilly, overcast autumn afternoon in NYC. Still, some of the best and brightest in the worlds of live music and cabaret turned out to present a free concert in F…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 11:52AM
Sunday, October 3, 2021

Becca C. Kidwell Sings Her Story Through the Lens of Mary Chapin Carpenter, at Don’t Tell Mama by Michael Barbieri

*Singer Becca C. Kidwell took her audience at Don’t Tell Mama on a journey—the journey of her life. While this is nothing new in cabaret, I found it fascinating to experience Kidwell’s…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 09:31PM
Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Kim David Smith’s “Mostly Marlene” Was Absolutely FANTASTISCH! by Michael Barbieri

In my many years in cabaret, I’ve seen quite a few Marlene Dietrich tribute shows, but Kim David Smith’s intoxicating Mostly Marlene, at Club Cumming was indeed, as the Germans might say…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 09:16AM
Monday, September 27, 2021

Elena Bennett and Fred Barton Are Gloriously “Back in the Swing of Things” by Michael Barbieri

The glorious duo of singer Elena Bennett and pianist Fred Barton recently got things swingin’ at the West Bank Cafe. Together, they recreated numbers from their timeless CD A Wrinkle in Sw…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 04:57PM
Thursday, September 2, 2021

Flotilla DeBarge: Corona and Flo—A Hilarious Tale of Lockdown, Pre- and Post- by Michael Barbieri

If you want to split a seam laughing and witness a truly classic drag act, you need go no further than Pangea, where Flotilla DeBarge returned to take her audience on a journey into post-Cov…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 06:20PM
Sunday, August 29, 2021

Christina Pecce’s Bewitching “Witches, Bitches & Divas” Was Well-Worth Revisiting by Michael Barbieri

It’s not often that I get the chance to review a cabaret show a second time, but Christina Pecce’s Witches, Bitches and Divas was well worth revisiting! I had reviewed Pecce’s show a c…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 02:55PM
Monday, August 16, 2021

Wells Hanley, Brian Childers and Matt DiPasquale Presented a Wonderful Concert of Hope and Cheer by Michael Barbieri

Welcome back to Pangea and welcome back to the world!” That was how director Gerry Geddes introduced the new show by Wells Hanley, Brian Childers and Matt DiPasquale. Presented not so much…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 06:36PM
Wednesday, July 7, 2021

The Duplex Reopens with Joyful Celebration by Michael Barbieri

“We’re OPEN!” With that joyful call, pianist Gerry Diffenbach began his opening set at The Duplex Piano Bar and Cabaret. That one statement elicited shouts of happiness from the alread…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 06:57PM
Thursday, June 24, 2021

Harry Potter NYC—the New Retail + Experience Extravaganza— Is Truly…MAGIC! by Michael Barbieri

Okay. Full disclosure:I am not a Potterhead! I am not a die-hard Harry Potter fan who’s read all the books, knows which of the Hogwarts houses he belongs to or makes regular pilgrimages to…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 12:18PM
Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Daniel Joseph Baker and Miguel Angel Vasquez—Nothing Less Than Phenomenal by Michael Barbieri

In a world where opportunities to see entertainers performing live are next to nil, I felt very fortunate to have caught two wonderful young singers performing at Don’t Tell Mama on West 4…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 03:29PM
Friday, June 12, 2020

Who Was Who! Club Owner Richard Hendrickson: A Personal Remembrance by Michael Barbieri

The late Richard Hendrickson was a polarizing figure in the world of cabaret. Loved by many and reviled by others, he made a lasting mark in the New York nightlife community. Richard was…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 01:28PM
Monday, April 27, 2020

Musings: When the Play DOES Go Wrong! by Michael Barbieri

By Michael Barbieri***In the hit Broadway and West End comedy The Play That Goes Wrong, an amateur theater company presents a murder mystery beset by multiple onstage disasters. Collapsing …

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 03:40PM
Wednesday, November 6, 2019

jackbenny’s Tuneful Show Is a Smartly Delivered Crowd-pleaser by Michael Barbieri

Music that’s tuneful, entertaining and thought provoking? Oh, yeah, I’m on board for that! With All Aboard the Train of Thought, twin brothers Jack and Benny Lipson, known professional…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 01:28PM
Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Three Tall Queens Fascinates and Inspires by Michael Barbieri

These three queens are one remarkable woman! Three Tall Queens is a fascinating, often horrifying and ultimately inspiring serio-comic theater piece based on the life of Lindsey Kay—a pro…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 06:19PM
Thursday, October 17, 2019

Mama’s Boys Will Have You Cheering for MORE! by Michael Barbieri

Mama’s Boys are the perfect blendship! Four talented guys, fabulous harmonies, an eclectic mix of musical styles and warm onstage camaraderie make this a show that will have you smiling, …

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 05:33PM

All that Chat

May 30, 2023: Grey House - Lyceum Theatre
Jun 26, 2023: Just For Us - Hudson Theatre
Jul 24, 2023: The Cottage - Hayes Theater
Nov 16, 2023: Spamalot - St. James Theatre
Dec 18, 2023: Appropriate - Hayes Theater
Mar 07, 2024: Doubt - Todd Haimes Theatre
Apr 14, 2024: Lempicka - Longacre Theatre
Apr 17, 2024: The Wiz - Marquis Theatre
Apr 18, 2024: Suffs - Music Box Theatre
Apr 25, 2024: Mother Play - Hayes Theater
Jun 10, 2024: The Drama Desk Awards