New York Times
By Stephen Holden
To the Divas Who Put the D in Divine
When Christine Andreas sings, you're in the presence of a true believer in the impossible dreams most of us have put aside or at least modified as we've grown up.
Ms. Andreas may be over 40, but she still projects the blushing radiance of an
ingénue. And in her new show, "Here's to the Ladies: A Songbook of Broadway's First Ladies," her princess-in-waiting aura is enhanced by the role of adoring acolyte to the legendary divas of yesteryear.
The show, which runs through April 7 at at the Cafe (35 East 76th Street, Manhattan), is a well-chosen songbook of numbers associated with Ethel Merman, Mary Martin, Gertrude Lawrence, Barbara Cook, Julie Andrews, Helen Morgan, Angela Lansbury and Barbra
Streisand, each of whom is introduced with her own star-struck personal anecdote. Ms. Cook, who's still going strong, is praised for showing that "ingénues don't have to be wimps," while Merman is celebrated for not being "as soft and as pink as a nursery."
The role of acolyte suits Ms. Andreas especially well, since she made her name on
Broadway stepping into Ms. Andrews's shoes as Eliza Doolittle in a revival of "My
Fair Lady," and because her voice, with its sweet, hummingbird vibrato, still conveys the bursting eagerness of someone yearning to please.
Accompanied on piano by Lee Musiker (whose gorgeous jazzy improvisations stretch her singing in a pop-jazz direction) and on bass by Dick
Sarpola, Ms. Andreas lightly glosses the styles of several of the legends being honored. "Some People" from "Gypsy," for instance, is inflected with an emphatic Mermanesque nasality, while "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" is tinged with a Martin-like playfulness.
Although Ms. Andreas can be witty and playful, it is on the ballads (especially "They Say It's Wonderful" and "Bill") in which she delicately kills with the sheer beauty of her voice. It's almost enough to turn one back into a true believer.
By Liz Smith
Appearing for her second season at the delicious Cafe Carlyle is the marvelous, mighty mite, Christine Andreas. The petite and sexy Christine is singing a grand grab bag of showtunes made famous by Broadway's first ladies, such as Ethel Merman, Mary Martin, Gertrude Lawrence, Julie Andrews, Barbara Cook, Angela Lansbury -and Andreas. If you are a true Broadway musical fan, you'll be able to match those names to titles such as "My Heart Belongs to Daddy," "My Ship," "Will He Like Me?" "They Say It's Wonderful," and "I Could Have Danced All Night." The night we saw Christine, she sang the entire show in her raincoat.
Seems she forgot her dress, but don't you forget to call 212-744-1600 for reservations until April 7...
By David Hurst
From time to time, all actors and performers experience a terrifying dream wherein they are on stage and are either naked or in a play they don’t know. Christopher Durang wrote a one-act play that wonderfully illuminated this phenomenon called
The Actor’s Nightmare, which is now considered a modern classic. Last week at The Café Carlyle, Durang would have been amused to see how the lovely and talented Christine Andreas handled her own version of the actor’s nightmare when her gown for the opening night performance failed to arrive at the hotel. Never let it be said that Andreas is not a resourceful girl. She grabbed her oversized trench coat, rolled up her sleeves (literally and figuratively) and swept into the room looking sexy and confident with nothing more than a sparkling necklace as an accessory. Without a doubt, a London Fog has never been so effortlessly chic.
Andreas’ new show, Here’s to the Ladies: A Songbook of Broadway’s First Ladies is an unusually ambitious collection of show tunes that were first made famous by the likes of Ethel Merman, Mary Martin, Gertrude Lawrence, Julie Andrews, Barbara Cook, Angela
Lansbury, Helen Morgan and Barbra
Streisand. Although she tackles many signature songs, to her credit Andreas approaches her repertoire with a gentle reverence that pays tribute to the influence that these legendary Broadway performers had on her as a child. It is never indulgent and Andreas doesn’t attempt to claim ownership of the material. The arrangements by musical director Lee Musiker are fresh and interesting, and Andreas manages to bring something new to the table in almost every interpretation. The London Fog she wore acted as a blank canvas for her to prove her mettle as an actress with each song.
Andreas’ voice is a unique instrument. It is a warm, pulsating, throbbing soprano whose bright tones have lost none of their luster since she burst onto the scene in 1976 as Eliza in the 20th anniversary revival of
My Fair Lady. If anything, the years have added a burnished, caramel-colored sheen to her sound that is very attractive. The high notes are still there for "Show Me" and "I Could Have Danced All Night," both from
Lady. But what is far more interesting is her middle register which she used to excellent effect in "My Ship"
(Lady in the Dark), "Will He Like Me" (She Loves Me), and "They Say It’s Wonderful"
(Annie Get Your Gun). Her phrasing and diction are superb, as is her pitch and sense of musical line. Additionally, it is enjoyable to see her have so much fun with her material. Her skills as a comedienne are evident in "My Heart Belongs to Daddy"
(Leave It To Me) in which she plays a coy gamine, Cole Porter’s "The Physician" in which she’s a socialite and in "A Wonderful Guy"
(South Pacific) where she is the all-American, girl-next-door.
Andreas concluded the evening with "The Music That Makes Me Dance" from
Funny Girl and, as an encore, Marguerite’s "Storybook" from
The Scarlet Pimpernel, a role that she created on Broadway. In both selections she was fearless, provocative and exciting–everything a cabaret singer should be. Whether in a beaded gown, a trench coat or jeans and a t-shirt,
Andreas is a captivating presence to be savored and enjoyed.
here for entire
Pays Tribute to Broadway
By Charles Isherwood
going, gone. The Broadway musical as we once knew it may be more
or less extinct, but those who grew up under the spell of the species
continue to keep its legacy alive wherever and whenever they can.
Andreas is a case in point. In her new show at the Cafe Carlyle,
this bountifully talented singer surveys the songs that once made women
like her household names, paying loving tribute to icons of the Broadway
stage by keeping the magic of their music alive.
opens the show with a song that seems an odd stretch for her bright
lyric soprano, "Some People" from Gypsy. Merman
she isn't, but Andreas' careful, almost dainty handling of Stephen
Sondheim's lyrics was an amiable change from the all-stops-out treatment
the song generally receives. And its tale of a woman whose
attraction to showbiz will not be denied served as a nice epigraph for
the semi-autobiographical nature of the show.
she ran through a set of well-known songs associated with femme stage
stars, Andreas shared anecdotes of her own path to Broadway, recalling
more than once a childhood spent wearing out original cast albums on the
Martin was an early favorite, and Andreas' smoked-glass voice added a
layer of sultriness to a jazz-inflected performance of "My Heart
Belongs to Daddy." Two tunes associated with Gertrude
Lawrence were expertly rendered: "My Ship," sung in a torchy
period style that made great use of Andreas' fine-tuned vibrato, and
Cole Porter's "The Physician," sung with a veneer of innocence
and just a hint of a wink.
highlights included were a pair of songs from My Fair Lady sung
with an energy and flair that's hardly surprising, as Andreas played the
role of Eliza Doolittle to acclaim on Broadway some years back. Show
Boat's "Bill" may have been the evening's most exquisite
moment, sung with a matter-of-fact ardency. Also entirely lovely
was Andreas' bifurcated rendition of Irving Berlin's "Moonshine
Lullaby," the first half softly crooned, the second polished and
Encore was Frank Wildhorn's "Storybook," a cabaret favorite to
which Andreas has a special claim, as she introduced it on
Broadway. For the record, hers is the liveliest and loveliest
version these ears have heard. The song held its own among the
evening's repertoire, a tribute to Andreas' gifts.
Pays Tribute to Broadway
By David Roberts for Theatre Reviews Limited
Paying tribute to "the ladies who led [her] to the stage," two-time
Tony Award nominee Christine Andreas has returned to the Café Carlyle with "Here's to the Ladies," her tribute to the legendary
leading ladies of Broadway. With fourteen songs and intelligent, witty patter from Ms. Andreas, this show should be at the top of any
cabaret afficionado's "must see" list.
There are many words one could use to describe Christine Andreas.
Certainly she is talented and has a wonderful voice with a distinctive tremolo which is completely under her control. Clearly she knows
how to sell any song with unique styling and appropriate interpretation. Many vocalists can give a song a "one of a kind"
interpretation; however, all too often the result has little or nothing to
do with the lyric being sung. In the case of Christine Andreas, the interpretation always has integrity and the styling is always
The non-technical word that would depict Christine Andreas is
"classy." Whether she is honoring Mary Martin with her wonderful rendition of "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" (Cole Porter) or reminding the
audience of the important contribution to musical theatre made by Helen Morgan (1900-1941), Ms.
Andreas does what she does with impeccable taste and class. The way she sings,
the way she speaks, that way she moves sets her apart as a performer with excellent credentials, impeccable
instincts, and unrivaled class.
Christine Andreas' respect for Julie Andrews is daunting and it is a joy to listen to her sing "Show Me"
and "I Could Have Danced All Night" (Frederick Loewe/Alan Jay Lerner).
Other highlights of Ms. Andreas' Carlyle show are two wonderful songs from
Jerry Herman's "Mame" "My Best Beau" and "If He Walked Into My Life" which she delivers with delicious diction and timbre.
What a beautiful tribute to Angela Lansbury and composer Jerry Herman! Ethel Merman and even
Barbara Streisand (too often maligned by her contemporaries) are appropriately remembered with Irving
Berlin's "Moonshine Lullaby" and Jule Styne and Bob Merrill's "The Music That Makes Me Dance" from
For this reviewer the trademarks of a true vocal artist are integrity and honesty (they are different).
Christine Andreas exemplifies both and that is no more apparent than in her encore song "Storybook"
(Nan Knighton, Frank Wildhorn), the song which she gave breath and life to as Marguerite in
The Scarlet Pimpernel. The Café Carlyle is firmly rooted on 76th Street; however, listening to Ms. Andreas
sing this signature song, one would imagine the room turning in euphoric circles of unabashed joy.
Christine Andreas and the Café Carlyle: perfect together.
to view the entire article on TheatreReviews.com
Debut at the Cafe Carlyle
September 19, 2000
Review by Catherine Tyrone
cabarets seem to have been playing musical chairs with performers
lately. But the game is over and the Cafe Carlyle is the winner by
a landslide. Christine Andreas is, without a doubt, the grandest
prize of all. Ably assisted by Musical Director/Pianist Lee
Musiker heading a quartet of talented musicians, she had not only the
Cafe Carlyle audience enthralled, but the doors were packed with hotel
staff and guests alike, hoping to garner a bit of the magic.
to just sing random songs, Christine's theme for this show is a
matrimonial one: something old, something new, something borrowed,
something blue. She describes her amazing choreography of song
assembly as "just falling into place." As the collection
flows effortlessly from one song to the next, a subtle, exquisite
coherence takes shape and becomes alive, drawing the audience into an
enchanted world where nothing exists but the voice of Christine Andreas,
the glorious voice that seems to carry you to the top of a roller coaster
and then holds you there, suspended in that magical momentary eternity
If ever there
was a voice that could translate the world into sound, this is the
one. What does warm amber sound like? What does the air
after a spring rain sound like? Can joy and pain co-exist?
Just listen. It's all there, and so much more. Do sounds
have colors? So many they have no names! This is a voice
that is so rich, so true, so perfectly tempered that when Christine
Andreas sings, it IS the world.
such as Richard Bach and Khalil Gibran have been able to encapsulate
profound truths into their words. Christine Andreas does it with
her voice, with her music, gently reminding you of the truth you already
know, the truth you realize that you had forgotten in the rush of daily
life. Most people have the physical capability of singing; a few
have voice pretty enough that others like to listen to them.
Christine Andreas fills her music with herself, with who she is, and in
doing so, she gives her listeners back a part of themselves they had
forgotten was there or forgotten to value.
Having a week's
notice to prepare a show for a high profile, prestigious venue with the
press in attendance in full force the first night would throw most
performers into a dangerous tailspin. Not so, Christine
Andreas. She seems to thrive on performance situations that give
others angina by the mere thought. The only hint of opening night
jitters was her own admission. Her songs transport her beyond such
mundane things as nerves; and what a world was created in those seven
"Something old," Christine included several favorites from her
earlier shows, such as Burton & Lane's "On A Clear Day You Can
See Forever," Clint Black's lovely and profound "Something
That We Do," Martin Silvestri's masterpiece "Love is
Good," and her signature "Storybook" from Frank
Wildhorn's The Scarlet Pimpernel. Just for fun, she also
reprised "To Keep My Love Alive," Rodgers and Hart's witty
ditty of murderous matrimonial mayhem, and Harnick and Bock's slightly
adjusted "He Loves Me" from She Loves Me.
new" would seem to imply the addition of new songs to her show, and
of course there is a generous portion: "What Are You Doing the Rest
of Your Life?", "Autumn in New York," and "It's
Gotta Be Love" to name a few. Her delicately sculpted
interpretations, though, make every song she sings "Something
new," adding colors, shades, nuances, moods, textures and meanings
no other singer ever seemed to see, much less share so openly. For
the "piece de resistance" of "Something new,"
Christine traveled to Italy, to the childhood homeland of the most
charming parents of her life partner, Martin Silvestri. Mary
Chapin Carpenter's "What If We Went to Italy," afforded her
the opportunity to once again demonstrate her phenomenal facility in
foreign languages, this time, obviously, in Italian. The verdict
from the highest court in the land (Mr. and Mrs. Silvestri): "perfetto!"
"Something borrowed," the source was the classic dance
musical, A Chorus Line, a show Christine says she will never be
in. She refused to go to dance class because she didn't know how
to dance! Ah, the exquisite logic of youth! Never mind, she
dances with her voice. Dance is the expression of the heart and
that heart always finds a way. With "At the Ballet," she
encapsulates an entire dance musical into one song, an entire life story
played out in her very own unique voice ballet. Who needs toe
shoes? Certainly not Christine Andreas!
"The deeper sorrow carves
into your heart, the more of joy it can contain; and from the dry and
barren desert land, there grows a fig tree in the rain" (from Fain
and Webster's 1960 musical, Christine). Inherently
effervescent, happy souls such as Christine Andreas will typically
gravitate toward happy or fun or introspective, but positive
songs. When Christine Andreas elects to include "Something
blue," the effect is riveting. "How Insensitive"
and "I'm a Fool to Want You" (Jobim/Wold/Herron/Sinatra) she
admitted, nearly broke her heart at one point in her life. With
Christine's uncanny and extraordinarily powerful ability to share her
own feeling in a song, the pain in the room was palpable, for some
perhaps in their own situations, but for most a deep empathy for someone
who has triumphed over her own pain and a profound respect, admiration,
and gratitude for her generosity and courage. In giving of
herself, the effect was one of universal validation and catharsis and
gave Christine Andreas a gift, or whether she herself is the gift to
those lucky enough to hear her sing and to experience the spell she
weaves over and through an audience, a unique opportunity is yours at
the Cafe Carlyle through October 14.