BARBARA BRUSSELL - BIO
“Once in a blue moon an artist comes along whose talent is so striking that nothing less than shouting it from the rooftop will do!” was her first review, for her debut in NYC, by Roy Sander for BackStage. Upon her Oak Room debut at the Algonquin Hotel, Stephen Holden of The New York Times describes her as having, “an utterly distinctive voice,” stating, “The California dreamer and the New York sophisticate join hands.” Time Out New York's James Gavin says she is “Fearless." And, Rex Reed, for The New York Observer, wrote, “Barbara Brussell is a dream come true.”
A 1997 BACKSTAGE BISTRO AWARD recipient, and a seven time finalist and 2008 MAC AWARD WINNER in the “MAJOR ARTIST” category, Brussell was named one of the TOP TEN FEMALE VOCALISTS three years in a row in columns penned by the Siegel's for IN THEATRE MAGAZINE and THEATERMANIA.COM. Her debut CD, PATTERNS (LMLMusic.com) was ranked as one of the year's TOP TEN BEST. Her second CD, LERNER IN LOVE (LMLMusic.com) was included in the TOP TEN CDs of 2005, by Rob Lester, Talkin' Broadway.
She has created over a dozen original cabaret shows, all documenting critical acclaim: “The PIANO BENCH OF MY MIND: Songs I've Been Sitting On For Far Too Long”; “ALMOST LIKE BEING IN LOVE: The Life, Loves, and Lyrics of Alan Jay Lerner”; “A TALE OF THREE CITIES: Berlin, Paris and New York”“The Songs of Johnny MERCER, MERCER ME!", “OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF BABES: Women Who Dared!”, “ Brilliance from on High... BORN IN THE BRONX" (Other shows: "PATTERNS," "I WISH YOU LOVE"; "LOVE MAKES THE WORLD GO ROUND: The Songs of Bob Merrill”; “THE SONGBOOK OF MICHAEL 'MICKEY' LEONARD”; “FROM BIG SUR TO BROADWAY- LET IT BE A DANCE: Songs and Poetry of RIC MASTEN”)
A fourth generation Californian, BB was born and raised in Los Angeles, and after ten, in Carmel, CA. After high school, and a year of study in a small American school, The International Community College in Salzburg, Austria, she returned to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music at The Academy of Music on the Monterey Peninsula, CA. She studied at San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater (ACT), before moving to New York City, and had the great fortune to study acting with William Hickey at HB Studios. Later, she was accepted by Uta Hagen to join her acting class, but was cast in a nine month tour, and then, moved back to CA. Exposed to musical theater, piano and dance lessons from age 3, she became a dancer first, and singer later, starring in roles in musicals in regional and national tours, including: Pirates of Penzance, A Little Night Music, The Fantasticks, and Fiddler of the Roof. "Cabaret"caught her eye in 1982, and Barbara made her cabaret debut in 1985 at the famed Gardenia in Los Angeles. Her courtship with New York became a love affair, and has taken her to cabaret and concert halls from coast to coast, and the thrill of soloing with The Schenectady and Catskills Symphony Orchestras.
In development: “BARBARA BRUSSELL SINGS DORY PREVIN: One Last Ferocious Yes!” A biographical show of a uniquely honest and moving human being, singer, songwriter and author. Co-created with Eric Michael Gillett.