Barb Jungr - Live from Cafe Carlyle - Cabaret Hotline


01 October 2009
Cabaret Hotline
Stu Hamstra

There was no way I was going to miss British cabaret star Barb Jungr's acclaimed show "The Men I Love" - it received rave reviews when it played at the Café Carlyle and now she has brought it to The Metropolitan Room for a 4-show run. So I was there last night - and not a smidgen disappointed. With precise piano accompaniment by her London-based director Simon Wallace, Ms. Jungr thrilled the sold-out room with a mix of familiar and not-so-familiar songs, each of them given the famed Jungr treatment. Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Todd Rundgren, Leonard Cohen, Neil Diamond, David Byrne and Paul Simon were all represented, and performed with such magical interpretation that often even familiar songs seemed like you were hearing them for the first time. Barb digs into each composition, and mines from the lyrics and melody diamonds and gold, treating each number with full respect to the songwriters intentions, while at times bringing to the words a meaning the composer might not even have intended. She weaves each of the songs - which on paper look entirely disconnected - into a tapestry of immense feeling and excitement. Interspersing the songs with witty and pithy patter, Ms. Junger gave us an evening that was thrilling and fresh from start to encore. A "must see" for any cabaret performer, Ms. Jungr does not simply sing the songs - she lives them as she performs them. A middle-aged couple sitting next to me added a special element to the show for me - I watched as they seemed to reach out to each other, holding hands through nearly every song.
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