Barbra Streisand Rendered Right

 

Barbra Streisand Rendered Right

By Kris Neely

Kelly Brandeburg took the stage of the Society Cabaret at the Hotel Rex in San Francisco and made it her own.

In an August 1st performance that ran almost 90 minutes, Ms. Brandeburg charmed, sang, and dazzled her way into the hearts and minds of the packed house with her one woman show, My Favorite Barbra: A Tribute to the Songs of Barbra Streisand.

A graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, and of The New School in New York City, Ms. Brandeburg deftly weaved Ms. Streisand’s personal story with 20 selections from her varied songbook. Marrying the singer’s history and music brought a personal and intimate tone to Ms. Brandeburg’s performance.

From opening to closing note, Ms. Brandeburg’s voice navigated the breadth and range of Ms. Streisand’s work with aplomb. It was no surprise when Ms. Brandeburg informed the mixed age audience that she had just signed a contract with the estimable Beach Blanket Babylon as an understudy for the Val Diamond role.

One minor discordant note to all this musical marvel: in the intimate confines of the Society Cabaret, miking both Ms. Brandeburg and Pianist/Musical Director John Simon Kassianides (with additional sound monitors on-stage) was overkill and detracted from the otherwise intimate nature of a professional show which organically grew more personal and private as the evening progressed.

Ms. Brandeburg’s one-woman show was solid, delightful, and a musical banquet which in the true spirit of the theater left her appreciative audience wanting even more.

Society Cabaret is located in the beautiful Hotel Rex, located at 562 Sutter Street in San Francisco, CA. For information on upcoming events, please see www.societycabaret.com.

Kris Neely is a member of the San Francisco Bay Area Theater Critics Circle. He is a stage director and stage manager who earned an SFBATCC Best Director award (‘Lend Me a Tenor’, Ross Valley Players) in 2013, an Outstanding Production Shellie Award nomination for ‘A Case of Libel’ at Pittsburg Community Theater, and his ‘Leading Ladies’ for Novato Theater Company was listed as one of the 10 Best Plays of 2014 in the North Bay by the Marin Independent Journal newspaper.

These commentaries are focused primarily on the production, direction, and technical aspects of Theater and Performing Arts.