Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Thursday, 12 August 2010 12:44

Jason Graae and Liz Callaway

Written by Steve Callahan
Rate this item
(0 votes)

The Details

  • Dates: Ony Night Only: August 12, 2010

Callaway and Graae, whose careers are bespangled with Broadway credits, gave a bang-up opening Thursday to a series of evenings produced by the St. Louis Cabaret Conference—a training program which is largely responsible for the recent rapid rise in visibility of cabaret in St. Louis. Founder/producer Tim Schall can be justly proud of the conference and its products.

Jason Graae is a slight, agile man with a broad, shy, impish smile. In that grin, in his quick, deft wit, and in his occasional eloquent facial reactions he reminded me of a young Victor Borge. Such comic economy! For one number, “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered,” he laid aside his vocal cords and picked up an oboe. He played beautifully, and he did with the oboe the sort of little comic tricks that Borge used to do with the piano.

His is a fine, tireless Broadway voice. His repertoire included some familiar things—from Evita, Falsettos, Applause, Wicked. “Lucky to Be Me,” from On the Town was particularly deeply felt. But overall he leaned toward the lesser-known, the up-beat and comic. In one delightful piece he sang of “pink fish on a stale doughnut”--the appalled reaction of a Midwestern newcomer to New York, when confronted with his first bagel and lox. I could have done with a few more down-beat songs—a slow ballad or two. The delightful Jason Graae—constantly witty and joking—came across as one of those folks who are always “on”. With a slower, more casual song or two he might let us inside that comic defense so we'd know him more intimately.

Liz Callaway is a beautiful, graceful blonde. She's utterly at ease with an audience—and what a dazzling smile! Her first song was hushed and intense and very into-the-microphone, but soon she expanded her voice into a full and powerful instrument. Several songs displayed her beautiful, dramatic use of dynamics. She sang “Nothing to Lose,” “Make Someone Happy,” a lovely “Singin' in the Rain,” and a gorgeous “Nothing's Gonna Harm You.” Her voice is strong, warm, and pitch-confident. There are little hints of nasality, and there are those occasional hard Chicago “r”s—but perhaps these are merely touches of style—like the “beauty marks” that elegant ladies used to affect. She sang a most beautiful and poignant version of Stephen Schwartz's “Meadowlark”. And her version of “Memory” quite overcame the sense of maudlin cliché that hovers over that song. She made it totally compelling. (Well, she sang it in Cats for five years, so if anyone should be able to sing it . . . )

Liz Callaway and Jason Graae sang in duet for “Backstage Buddies” and a comically endless “I Can Do Anything Better Than You.” Here they indulged in delightful and genuinely affectionate teasing.

They were accompanied by the superbly sensitive Alex Rybeck at the piano.

Last Thursday's performance at the Sheldon was for one night only. For more information on The Cabaret Project, visit the web site.

Additional Info

  • Dates: Ony Night Only: August 12, 2010

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

Local Artist Spotlight


Lida Una

Sun October 5

Brian Owens

Mon September 29
Brian Owens is an American soul singer and songwriter from St. Louis. His new album Preach combines grooves, with soul touching lyrics.. Preach is a well produced album that speaks to the modern times,…

KDHX Recommends

October
Saturday
25

KDHX Reggae Soundclash

St. Louis area DJs and sound systems meet at the Stage at KDHX for a reggae soundclash. The event pits Dub Prophecy vs. Massive Hi Fi in a “friendly clash” – alternating sets of the toughest sounds and the best of...


November
Thursday
06

Discovery Series: All The News That's Fit To Sing: The State of Protest Music in...

KDHX presents "All The News That's Fit To Sing: The State of Protest Music in 1968" as part of the Discovery Series. Series passports can be bought online. This event looks at the music and activism of 1968, through...


November
Friday
07

Art Attack 2014

Start your chainsaws, St. Louis. On November 7, KDHX presents Art Attack 6: a chaotic art auction that supports KDHX and puts the fate of 32 local artists in your hands. Join us for a night of fine art, drinks and destruction....


Online Users

3 users and 10476 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook