HOWARD MC GILLIN MAKES OAK ROOM DEBUT IN “ISN’T IT ROMANTIC” WITH CHARM AND CONGENIALITY

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Best known for his record-setting performances as the Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, Howard McGillin has enjoyed a varied career on both Broadway and London stages. Mr. McGillin, has a winning way with his audience and a lovely and cultured tenor voice that has made him the quintessential leading man in theatre.

At his eagerly awaited Oak Room debut, (From September 13-24),  McGillin presented an evening of love songs that aptly answered the question, “Isn’t It Romantic?” Howard offers a program, with appealing patter, that explores a variety of romantic experiences, highlighted by a rendition of “All The Things You Are,” (Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein II) that was simple and without embellishments, proving that a great song needs nothing more than to be sung with sensitivity to make its point.

A combined arrangement of “A Foggy Day IN LONDON TOWN” (George and Ira Gershwin) and the lovely “A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square” (Eric Maschwitz; Manning Sherwin; Jack Strachey)  gives Howard the opportunity to fill us in on his adventures, when living in London, and a neat duo pairing, a rollicking “SHE LOVES ME” (Sheldon Harnick; Jerry Bock) with a subtle version of “Dear Friend” (Sheldon Harnick; Jerry Bock) from the same show, allows Mr. McGillin to demonstrate his dramatic range and vocal finesse.

The high point of the evening was a stunning rendering of “Putting It Together” (Stephen Sondheim) that was eclipsed by the beyond-beautiful “Good Thing Going” (Stephen Sondheim), demonstrating that some of the best theater songs come from shows that are less than memorable.

“Time” (Barry Kleinbort; Joseph Thalken), offered an appealing contemporary touch, while “Two For The Road” (Henry Mancini; Leslie Bricusse) was the perfect encore.

Beautifully accompanied by Joseph Thalken at the piano and Richard Sarpola on bass, Howard McGillin is easy to like, easy to listen to and brings a thoroughly pleasant evening of entertainment to the Algonquin’s legendary Oak Room.  

Shows are Tuesday through Thursday at 8:30 pm and Friday and Saturday at 8:30 and 11 pm. There is a $50 cover charge plus either a $60 dinner at 7 or $30 food and beverage minimum. Reservations: 212 419 9331 or bmcgurn@algonquinhotel.com.

Copyright 2011 By Punch In International. All Rights Reserved

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UPCOMING THEATER HIGHLIGHTS FOR 2011-2012 SEASON

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*Current as of September 7, 2011

(Please note that this document will be updated as new information becomes available.)

SEPTEMBER 2011

Broadway

FOLLIES

Now Playing

Opens: September 12, 2011

Limited Engagement

Marquis Theatre (1535 Broadway)

Off-Broadway

Copyright 2011 By Punch In International. All Rights Reserved

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EMILY BERGL OPENS OAK ROOM SEASON WITH A BANG IN “KIDDING ON THE SQUARE”

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In her Oak Room debut August 30,  brilliant young actress singer Emily Bergl, star of Broadway (Nora Ephron’s "Love, Loss and What I Wore,"), film (“The Rage: Carrie 2”) and TV’s Royal Pains and Desperate Housewives, roars into the Oak Room with more gusto than Hurricane Irene in the her exhilarating act: ”Kidding on the Square.”

A theatrical cabaret-act that transports the audience on a fast-paced ride through love, heartbreak and everything in between, ”Kidding on the Square” is told from the perspective of a modern girl and the eccentric characters she inhabits,

Something old (the Boswell Sisters “We Just Couldn’t Say Goodbye”; something new (Peter Brown & Robert Rans “Material Girl" by way of Madonna); something borrowed ( "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart" as an evolving Judy Garland); and something blue (as in Bergl’s deliciously compelling version of “Billy Barnes jazz classic Something Cool,”); the show features a rich array of songs that include Roy Orbison’s “Cryin’,” Fats Waller’s “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” a poignant characterization of Rodgers & Hart’s “Ten Cents a Dance as a down-and-out hostess,” Dietz & Schwartz’ Confession” and an unexpected opening number, interpreting Noel Coward’s “Mad About the Boy”  with a serious bent: the lady gets truly angry.

In ”Kidding on the Square,” Bergl does what she does best, which in the case of this hour and fifteen minutes appears to be everything. It comes as no surprise that her acting, where, comedic, dramatic or character is a paragon of perfection, but she looks terrific is a slinky gray “pull apart” gown, that becomes a sexy dress and finally morphs into leotards and tights. Her movement is as controlled as possible in these small quarters. But the big kicker is the voice: A luscious lyric soprano that can go into a metallic chest, when the material demands, as in an hilarious rendition of the vintage Andrews Sisters“Bei Mir Bist Du Schön” that is worth the price of admission.

High points test Ms. Bergl’s. comedic, dramatic and vocal abilities, which she passes with grade “A” marks. Memorable Moments: Pink Martini’s song "Sympathique" from the 1997 album Sympathique,  and you needn’t speak French to get the nuanced meaning.”

Kidding on the Square”  is beautifully directed by Sarna Lapine with G. Scott Lacy as musical director and receives outstanding backup from pianist Jonathan Mastro (Musical director of the hit revival of "Our Town,)" with the talented Ritt Henn on bass and ukulele.

After a fun closing (“Dream a Little Dream of Me,”) Ms. Bergl encores with a heart-wrenching version of the Peggy Lee hit “Is That All There Is.“ And indeed, this is one of the few times in recent memory, we felt that way too about a cabaret act: Absolutely electrifying and not to be missed. Reserve now! The show will run through Saturday September 10th.

Shows are Tuesday through Thursday at 8:30 and Friday and Saturday at 8:30 and 11 pm.   The cover charge is $50 per person plus either a $30 food and beverage minimum or a $60 prix fixe dinner.  Reservations:  212 419 9331 or bmcgurn@algonquinhotel.com

 

Note: The new menu features an amazingly tender and moist Berkshire pork chop that is in step with making the Algonquin kitchen on a par with the atmosphere, entertainment and service one encounters in this truly great New York institution.

Click Here To Visit Emily Bergl’s Official Website

Click Here To Visit Website of Oak Room Supper Club

Copyright 2011 By Punch In International. All Rights Reserved

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