Review: Christine Ebersole

christine-ebersole_original 2013

In case you didn’t know, Christine Ebersole is faaaaaabulous! The two-time Tony-winner is finally making her 54 Below debut, joined by the Aaron Weinstein Trio, to celebrate the release of the CD they’ve made together, Strings Attached. Though Ebersole is primarily known as a Broadway diva, this club act is more reminiscent of the jazzy CDs she made with pianist Billy Stritch a few years back.

Ebersole absolutely brings to jazz the same elegant power she brings to musical theater.This is my first exposure to the Aaron Weinstein Trio. I’ve heard pianist Tedd Firth before, and he brings the same subtle, sophisticated musicianship here that I’m familiar with. The real revelation for me is Weinstein himself – he’s a stunningly good violinist who adds classical virtuosity and brio to gypsy jazz fiddling reminiscent of Stéphane Grappelli.

Together, Chistine and the Trio truly outdo themselves. Christine fills Sondheim’s “The Boy from…” with more gayness than it’s ever had before (and that’s a lot). Weinstein also has a bone-dry wit, giving a satirical, deadpan, absurdly pretentious intro to an instrumental version of Gershwin’s “Somebody Loves Me” that is as pyrotechnic as his intro was hilarious.

Christine’s been singing Harburg & Arlen’s “Right as the Rain” in tribute to her children for a while now, and the version she does here is the best yet, just breathtakingly beautiful. “Something There” from Beauty and the Beast has never swung this energetically, and it’s a real pleasure to hear Ebersole tenderly sing “Tangerine” and “Fine & Dandy” with Weinstein solo on mandolin.

She ends the evening with a gorgeously and sensitively sung “My Funny Valentine”. Another cabaret act from this lady that just sparkles like the finest champagne – Faaaaaabulous!

For tickets, click here.

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