Love was truly in the air, during a pre-Valentines cabaret show, in a most intimate, cozy setting, at the trendy and fabulous Catalina Bar & Grill, on Sunset, Los Angeles. The show was in true form cabaret, and featured both well known classics and original tunes by the lovely and charming Karen Gedissman. Directed by Bruce Kimmel; produced by Dan Jablons, with arranger Shelly Markham, the one woman concert featured songs of romance and love, leaving guests mesmerized and in a romantic state of mind. At show's start, Karen introduced herself, saying "Life is what you do til the moment you die...Life is what you feel til you can't feel at all." She opened the show, with the song, "Corner of the Sky," from Pippin, a musical theatre lover's dream come true. Fiercely belting, "I've got to be where my spirit can run free, " Karen set an upbeat tone for the night.
The privileged guests were in a cozy dinner theatre setting, as Karen entertained and sang her heart out, with pre-Valentines songs, such as "Some Enchanted Evening, " and "But Not for Me." She shared a chronological, and quite humorous montage of her dating and searching for 'Mr. Right." Some of her bright, memorable, original lyrics included: "I crave, I abstain, I don't mean to complain... but that's why I gain... once again I fill my coffee cup and add my sugar and cream... and drink up a while, I wait for my dream.... for someone sweet and gentle...but ends up being mental.."
At the Catalina Bar & Grill Jazz club, a definite throwback to the famed clubs in NYC, such as the Algonquin and Elaine's, Karen Gedissman, one of the most endearing and talented musical theatre composers and performers I've ever heard, sang and celebrated her love and life. Her rendition of "Fame," and a humorous original, about the love between a girl and her dog, are living proof that musical theatre on the west coast is indeed alive, and thriving. She joyfully exclaimed to her coffee-house crowd, an adoring audience, "At the end of the day, I can't wait for the next day..." Perhaps the memorable showtune from Annie Get Your Gun best expresses her positive, optimistic attitude, "I've got the sun in the morning and the moon at night."
She concluded her show, with one of my all time favorites, "The Glory of Love," whose lyrics say it all: "You've got to laugh a little, cry a little, until the clouds roll by a little. That's the story of, that's the glory of love." This show, written and performed as a personal record of the loves, both ups and downs, in the songwriter's personal life, was a sure hit, and truly resonated with all in attendance.
Each song became an entity unto itself, a definition and interpretation of the word 'love,' with its many connotations. Karen Gedissman leaves a true legacy with her heartfelt performance, and one will truly appreciate the deep, sensitive songs she shares from the heart.
(director, Bruce Kimmel, www.kritzerland.com