Treasure of Broadway shines in cabaret show
By Christine Dolen, Friday February 1, 2008, cdolen@MiamiHerald.com
Christine Andreas' Broadway résumé ranges over 24 years, from her understudy gig in the 1974 revue Words & Music, to her starring part in the 1997 musical The Scarlet Pimpernel.
There weren't many shows in between, and all were revivals. Andreas played Nancy in the thriller Angel Street in 1975; Eliza in the 20th anniversary revival of My Fair Lady in 1976; the role of Laurey in the 1979 production of Oklahoma!; Frankie in the George Abbott-directed On Your Toes in 1983. It's a short but mighty list, one that hints at Andreas' chops as both an actress and singer.
If you caught her last season as Southern belle mom Margaret Johnson in The Light in the Piazza, the Adam Guettel-Craig Lucas musical that was the inaugural show at
And now (only through Saturday), Andreas is back in Miami, back at the renamed Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, this time in the center's intimate Carnival Studio Theater. In her cabaret show, Love Is Good: An Evening With Christine Andreas, she sings an eclectic collection of love songs as her husband, composer-arranger Martin Silvestri, accompanies her on the piano.
As is typical of such shows, Love Is Good is staged simply: Silvestri at a black grand piano adorned with a vase of crimson roses, Andreas standing at the piano's curve, her skin glowing alabaster in a spotlight that amplifies the sparkle of her jewelry. What Andreas does as she sings, however, is anything but simple.A lyric soprano with a distinctive, gorgeous voice, Andreas illuminates the mood and meaning of each song through her considerable acting skills.
Her opening number, Fly Me to the Moon, becomes an invitation to soar with her to a place where romance and connection are all. She explores the songs of the On Your Toes composer-lyricist team, Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, first with a lovely My Heart Stood Still, then conveying all the murderous deadpan humor of To Keep My Love Alive.
There's a gorgeous George Gershwin medley, including the aching Someone To Watch Over Me, Fascinatin' Rhythm, Embraceable You, I've Got a Crush on You and a melancholy But Not for Me. Stephen Sondheim's Anyone Can Whistle segues into a regret-filled Send in the Clowns, making you wish someone would cast Andreas in A Little Night Music.
The sound system, by the way, reveals every nuance of her astute way with a lyric.
Her patter between songs, aimed at the audience and her hubby, reveals a smart, centered, down-to-earth woman. Before singing in Italian, she evokes the sights, smells and sun-dappled warmth of a family trip to
Andreas might have continued piling up Broadway credits, but her life took a different turn. She spent happy, challenging years raising her special-needs son, who is now grown. A real Broadway treasure has reclaimed her place in the spotlight. .Christine Dolen is The