September 27, 2004
By Robert L. Daniels
As a sidebar to his popular "Broadway by the Year" series, producer-writer Scott Siegel opened the season with "Broadway Unplugged," an adventurous program of classic theater songs, sung by first-rate Broadway musical performers, with one major departure from tradition -- no mikes! Introducing a trip back to Broadway's golden age, before the advent of electrical enhancement, Siegel
recalled a comment by a young Mel Brooks during an unmiked performance by Ethel Merman. "She's too loud," the fledgling humorist reportedly told his companion in the cheap seats.
Performing just prior to the close of the show was Christina Andreas, who first auditioned -- sans mike -- on the Town Hall stage at age 12. When she starred in revivals of "On Your Toes," "Oklahoma!" and the 20th-anni production of "My Fair Lady," there were no body mikes; only floor mikes were used. Andreas rendered an unforced and subtle performance of the Kurt Weill-Ira Gershwin "My Ship" from "Lady in the Dark," demonstrating that one doesn't have to be a belter to reach the top of the house with a velvety voice. Less is more, a credo Andreas made profoundly clear and sweetly sublime.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
By Terry Perkins
At St. Louis's Sheldon Concert Hall, Christine "combined acting talent and vocal skills to seamlessly meld classics from the great American songbook with tunes from country artist Clint Black and singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter." She "wowed the audience with two sets of exciting vocal pyrotechnics and a large helping of charisma and charm." (read the full story)
Los Angeles Times
May 29, 2004
She's a Broadway baby at home with jazz: Christine Andreas transforms all types of songs in her West Coast nightclub debut
By Don Heckman
One of the first things Christine Andreas said when she walked onstage Thursday at Catalina Bar & Grill was that she had never before appeared in a jazz club. The two-time Tony nominee's usual territory is the Broadway stage, with occasional forays into cabaret.
But her debut West Coast jazz-cabaret performance suggested that this gifted singer needn't be concerned about musical boundaries. She's good enough to do almost anything she chooses.
Andreas sang familiar tunes from the Great American Songbook — "I'm Glad There Is You," "They Say It's Wonderful" and "In a Sentimental Mood" among them.
But she also added such offbeat numbers as Rodgers & Hart's "It's Got to Be Love" and Dave Frishberg's "Listen Here." Each was rendered in Andreas' gorgeous bell-tone soprano and interpreted with the insights of a born
Other selections displayed her unerring ability to find transformative qualities in her material.
Mary Chapin Carpenter's "What If We Went to Italy?" was a sunny, utterly entrancing anthem to serenity. "Alfie" became a poignant musical short story. And the combination of "How Insensitive" and "I'm a Fool to Want You" offered a devastating portrait of the darkened hues of love lost.
Andreas was accompanied in efficient fashion by pianist Bevan Manson and bassist Jeff D'Angelo.
Their jazz-oriented settings, mostly drawn from the arrangements on Andreas' latest album, "The Carlyle Set," stimulated some imaginative vocal paraphrases from the singer, enhanced by the warmly personal tone she
employed on her more intimate ballad interpretations.
Those qualities may not add up to a traditional jazz singer's, but they certainly indicate a vocalist with a distinct natural bent toward the individualized interpretations and the buoyant sense of rhythmic swing associated with the jazz vocal art.
In any case, Andreas' performance made it clear that she has every reason to feel at home in any jazz club she chooses to grace with her mesmerizing musical presence.