Cabaret is not for everyone.
The mix of music and humor by performers who speak directly to the audience as they segue into their next number can seem a bit corny to some. But for those who enjoy talented singer/songwriters with a flair for comedy, Corinna Sowers-Adler’s “Music at the Mansion” series is a real treat.
Sunday's sunny afternoon served as the perfect setting for the show. With sunlight breaking through the atrium, Sowers-Adler took centerstage to introduce the series, now in its second season. She sang a sexy number called “The Air Conditioner Song” by Christine Lavin, in
which the narrator playfully offers to warm up to her lover while cooling down, before turning over the stage.
The first guest of the afternoon, Garry Novikoff, started his set with “Why Didn’t You Tell Me”, a comical take on an accidental poisoning (of all things). His third song, “Ivy”, about a lost love, took the show in a touching, bittersweet direction.
Daryl Glenn, the second singer, performed songs from his award-winning show “Nashville” which was created as a tribute to the film of same name. Glenn’s boisterous energy had the audience in stitches while his quiet covers of “I’m Easy” and “It Don’t Worry Me” by Keith Carradine fit the warm afternoon just right.
D.C. Anderson concluded the show with a set that made the most of his rich timbre and warm humor. The highlight was a cover of “Smile” by Charlie Chaplin, John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons retitled “Frown” and given all new lyrics. Rather than simply creating a list of opposites, Anderson managed to come up with truly clever lyrics that had the crowd roaring from beginning to end.
“It’s just been well supported by the community, I think, because it’s only 10 bucks and you can see performers like this…It’s just been great and I have a blast every time,” said Sowers-Adler.
Novikoff, who is starting his own series in New Rochelle, N.Y., called “Storefront Acoustic”, said, “This is my third time playing here. It’s always wonderful. I love Corinna and I love what she does here. It’s a great opportunity to see people playing music and listening to music.”
The other entertainers can be seen in upcoming projects, as well. Anderson will be performing in the off-Broadway play “Queen of the Mist” by Michael-John LaChiusa this Fall while Glenn is doing his “Nashville” show at Feinstein’s in Manhattan on Sunday Sept. 18.
Audience member, Rae Fulco, agreed. “It’s a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon,” she said. “There wasn’t one song that I
Mahima Giri, another audience member, was truly impressed with her first cabaret experience. “I didn’t know what to expect but it won me over. I think I’m a fan,” she said.
“Music at the Mansion” will continue at 3 p.m. on Sunday Sept. 25 at the Oakeside Manor.