Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Applause! Applause! Review of Katie Guillory's "Crushed" at Eighty Eight's by Andrew Martin

This review of Katie Guillory’s “Crushed” at Eighty Eight’s was written by Andrew Martin and appeared in Volume III, Issue 1 (April, 1998) of Applause! Applause! published by Dr. Thomas Robert Stevens.

"Crushed" - Katie Guillory
Eighty Eight's (228 West 10th Street, NYC)
Reviewed 3/11/98 at 10:30 p.m.   

Since 1990, the O'Neill Cabaret Fellowship has proven its gift for turning out a host of artists who blossom within the cabaret arena; these include Jessica Bass, Leslie Orofino, Brad Marston, Barbara Fasano, William Baldwin Young, Irina Maleeva and Anthony Santelmo, Jr., to name but a mere few. In many cases, however, a debut show presented by a recent graduate of the Symposium will invariably appear not simply theme-heavy but downright contrived -- in a word, raw. Though such is the case with the otherwise-delicious Katie Guillory, it can only be in the blink of cabaret's collective eye before the young chanteuse takes her place with the medium's top talents.

Guillory's rich vocals and intrinsic sense of musicality (she was the music director of the Radcliffe Pitches, Harvard's only female a cappella group, while finishing an A.B. in Linguistics and German four years ago) are THE reason to venture out to one of her shows, in particular "Crushed", in which her adolescent crushes on Boris Becker, Matthew Modine, Eric Stoltz and the like are explored through a scrumptiously eclectic musical mix.

On the pop side, a coupling of "One Way Or Another" (Blondie) with "Every Breath You Take" (The Police) is arranged by musical director Ross Patterson with technique that can only be cited as exquisite. And composer Randy Newman is heard in abundance, both on a lovely rendering of "Gainesville" and perhaps the show's crowning highlight, Guillory's thoroughly felt delivery of "Emotional Girl". Similarly, Katie Guillory shows an eerily natural aptitude for taking numbers so often done to death by the average cabaret newcomer and adding twists that make the numbers fairly-and-squarely her own. The most obvious example of same is "You've Got Possibilities" from the Broadway flop "It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's Superman", in which Linda Lavin took the ditty and created a salvageable moment in musical theater history. So, it seems for the moment, has Katie Guillory, milking the song for every comic "possibility".

Though her next cabaret appearance will be in tandem with MAC/Bistro/Leonardo da Vinci award winner Gary Lyons, in his Judy Garland-themed event "By Gumm" at Eighty Eight's later this month, should Katie Guillory and "Crushed" return to the space, the result will be wholeheartedly worth catching. 

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