Christine Ebersole brought her new cabaret show, Big Noise From Winnetka to the Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor.
By Patrick Christiano
Two-time Tony Award winner Christine Ebersole (Grey Gardens, 42nd Street) brought her new cabaret show, Big Noise From Winnetka, to the mainstage at the Bay Street Theater for a sterling one night only engagement. If you missed this fabulous evening, she will be performing Saturday August 29th at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in Bethel, NY. Ebersole, a stunning soprano, is a mesmerizing entertainer who is at the top of her game and in prime form both as a vocalist and a comic.
She performed with some really cool musicians, including her new musical director Bette Sussman (Whitney Houston, Bette Midler, Cyndi Lauper), who plays the piano and conducts the band, which includes the nitty-gritty drums of Clint De Ganon , the slik trombone of Clark Gayton, and a jazzy bassist along with two dynamite back-up singers. All the elements meshed seamlessly to a fully realized evening that takes the audience on Ebersole’s own personal journey from Winnetka, Illinois to New York City. Then off to Hollywood and back to NYC, via New Jersey, where she has lived for the past 16 years in Maplewood. Joking about the move from Hollywood to Maplewood she commented "What a difference a leaf makes." And there in a nutshell is Ebersole, a leaf of a different color, standing out brightly amongst her cabaret peers.
The singer, who is also a consummate actress, presented an evening that was a conscious jaunt of her life memories with hit music from every decade including Broadway, pop, rock n roll and jazz. Her personalized amusing antidotes are reminiscent moments from her journey that introduced almost every song. She recalled herself as a spirited child, who attempted to run away from home at an early age to find a family with a better sense of justice. However coming to her senses about her undertaking, a fantasy that would have her swimming across Lake Michigan in mid winter, she quickly returned home after reconsidering the obstacles.
Ebersole’s very funny stories punctuate the evening with her own unique wit that had the audience laughing out loud in between many of the songs, which were as revealing as her soulful soprano voice, which she often used for a terrific jazzy affect especially on the vintage "The Darktown Strutters’ Ball," part of her encore set.
She performed a dramatically altered disco arrangement of "The Revolutionary Costume for Today," from the musical "Grey Gardens," a highlight of the evening before launching into another highlight. Her version of the Joni Mitchell classic "Woodstock," a 1969 song she emphasized is still relevant today with lyrics themselves that underscore how a large segment of the world today is still "caught in the Devil’s bargain." These songs added social commentary along with political subtext to her beautifully constructed cabaret show. She closed out that set with a soaring rendition of the Diana Ross classic "Ain’t No Mountain High Enough," underscoring once again the need for love in our world today.
Just before the evening ended she cautioned us all that for her change is still a difficult item and life moves all so quickly, in the blink of an eye, before delivering her final number, "Will You?" – one of her signature songs from her Tony Award winning performance in "Grey Gardens." They lyrics go "Time rushes by/ Memories fade/ Dreams never do." The Big Noise From Winnetka, Christine Ebersole, a dream come true, received two standing ovations. One was for her false ending, a cabaret convention, before she came back for her final set and another standing ovation.
Christine is celebrating the release of her brand new CD, "Strings Attached" backed by the Aaron Weinstein Trio.
In the middle of her show she brought out a special guest, Elijah Moloney, 22, one of Ms. Ebersole’s three children, whose birth she spoke about earlier, reminiscing about cutting his umbilical cord and looking into his already wise and knowing eyes. He sang the spiritual "Elijah Rock" to mark the start of his singing career, apparently a natural.
Christine Ebersole will perform Saturday August 29 in Bethel , NY at the Bethel Wood Center for the Arts, Manhattan.
Next up at Bay Street Theater is the opening of a revival of the Tony Award winning musical "Grey Gardens" starring Tony winner Betty Buckley and Rachel York, which opens Saturday August 8th @ 8pm and runs through August 30th. For more information call 631 725-9500 Or Click Here for More Information
Photography: Barry Gordin
Click Here for Opening Night Photos
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