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   Monday, June 26, 2017
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Glimpses of the Moon at the Oak Room, Algonquin Hotel

Oscar E Moore from the rear mezzanine for Talk Entertainment.com

Take one landmark hotel – the Algonquin, add one world famous cabaret showcase – the Oak Room, mix in six elegant, talented singer/actors, a jazzy, bubbly period 20’s score, some dapper dances, lots of gorgeous costumes, a great pianist, the wit of Edith Wharton and a guest artist who gets to sing a wonderful song “Right Here, Right Now” and what do you get?

An evening of hobnobbing with the idle rich in Newport, Southampton and Manhattan. Drinking champagne, looking for rich husbands, buying furs at Altman’s and finding true love. Ahhh! The good life! There is also a bit of adultery going on too to spice things up a bit more.

John Mercurio has written a very tuneful, snappy old-fashioned score – something that’s been absent for a while on Broadway. Together with Tajlei Levis who has written both clever book and lyrics the evening floats along, buoyed by the effervescence of musical champagne bubbles. Denis Jones has given the cast some wonderful dance routines. How they navigate the tiny space is commendable.

The story has all your stock characters that you would expect in a piece about the type of folks who like to shop and sip and go to places like the Oak Room. Susy, a delightful Autumn Hurlbert decides that she and Nick the would be novelist– a fine Matt Lutz should be married so that they can live off their wedding gifts – selling them off bit by bit. That sets the tone of the evening beautifully. Of course Coral, a perfect Laura Jordan who is rich and has her eyes on Nick. Winthrop Strefford “Streffy” a stiff upper crust pseudo Brit who becomes an Earl – also rich has his heart set on Susy. Then there are the really rich Vanderlyns – Ellie an hysterical and brilliant Jane Blass – she’s priceless and her poor (not in the monetary sense of the word) husband Nelson (Daren Kelly) who she is cheating on is first rate. The dialogue sparkles with references to money, regattas and divorce ably directed by Marc Bruni, that a table of tourists from Toronto absolutely couldn’t get enough of.

Playing every Monday evening at 8, the elaborate costumes alone by Lisa Zinni are worth the price of admission $65.00 with a $30.00 food and beverage minimum. A guest artist has been very cleverly written into the second act – appearing where else? At the Oak Room, October 1922. This week and next Natalie Toro, late of the late The Tale of Two Cities presided and was her usual incredible self. Momentarily forgetting her words she turned to the pianist who fed her the lyric and she spoke directly to the audience saying, “This is what I love most about cabaret.” Is it cabaret or Off- Broadway? Whatever, Glimpses of the Moon is a delightful frothy evening of idle rich fun.


Future guest artists include: 12/15 Natalie Toro who has a new and exciting CD with some incredible arrangements of some well known show tunes. 12/22 and 29 – Tony Winner Chuck Cooper Jan 5 and 12 - KT Sullivan Jan 19 and 26 - Andrea Marcovicci