What do you call a blend of musical revue and cabaret?

The Tre Stage calls it Our Favorite Sings, an entertaining hour and a quarter of musical theater talents singing their favorite songs live and un-miked in an intimate black box space.

Upcoming Our Favorite Sings are set to feature songs from genres as diverse as Cinema, Gershwin, R&B, Jazz, Classic Rock, and the Beatles, but for the moment, it’s Broadway that’s getting sung, often quite spectacularly, by an octet of talented (and in some cases extremely talented) folk.


The evening of Broadway “sings” belongs to a trio of gorgeous divas—(from left to right) Nadia Ahern, Gina Coconato, and Yolanda Tolentino, each of whom sings two or three songs she wouldn’t ordinarily get to sing, at least not in the musical from which the song is taken. There’s not a microphone in sight, allowing the audience to hear these amazing vocalists as nature intended, beautifully unplugged.

Ahern (whose fine work in Man Of La Mancha and La Cage Aux Folles has been reviewed here) belts out Judas Iscariot’s powerful “Heaven On Their Minds” from Jesus Christ Superstar and later gives Broadway and movie Effies a run for their money with a gritty, emotional “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” from Dreamgirls.

Coconato transforms herself into a fabulous female Don Quixote to sing a stirring “Man Of La Mancha” (from Man Of La Mancha) and a raw “Easy As Life” from the Broadway musical Aida, and duets “Suddenly Seymour” from Little Shop Of Horrors with a charming Josh Welker.

Tolentino, who’s played Lady Thiang in The King And I both locally and on Broadway no less, shows off her terrific pop pipes with the Bacharach-David hit “Promises, Promises,” from the ‘60s hit currently being revived on Broadway, and her exquisite legit voice in “Think Of Me,” from The Phantom Of The Opera.

This trio of ladies couldn’t be more gorgeous or talented, and all that is missing in the current program is hearing them them sing in three part harmony.

In other musical numbers, a lovely Rebekah Key becomes Les Misérables’ Cosette with “On My Own,” sneezes with the best of them in a very funny “Adelaide’s Lament” from Guys And Dolls, and duets “For Good” with Ira Gold. As a solo artist, Gold continues in Les Miz mode with “Bring Him Home” and a very entertaining “I’m Not That Smart” from The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Operatic tenor Duke Rausavljevich tries on Andrew Lloyd Webber for size with “Unexpected Song” from Song And Dance, followed by the poignant “There’s A Fine, Fine Line” from Avenue Q.

Our Favorite Sings offers Welker, who’d never get to play Lucy in Jekyll & Hyde, the chance to sing Jekyll’s fiancée’s “Someone Like You.” Sunny Williams takes on Elphaba from Wicked in “Defying Gravity” and dons an Ariel wig to perform “Beyond My Wildest Dreams” from The Little Mermaid.

The entire cast, which opens the evening with “I Am What I Am” from La Cage Aux Folles, ends it on a high note indeed with Our Favorite Sings’ grand finale, “Seasons Of Love” from Jonathan Larson’s Rent.

Directed with verve by Maggie Grant, whose voice-over provides Broadway background about many of the songs being sung, Our Favorite Sings features musical accompaniment by Daniel Alexander on keyboard.

Though not everyone in the cast reaches the same heights as Ahern, Coconato, and Tolentino, Our Favorite Sings is a welcome addition to the L.A. musical theater/cabaret scene. Upcoming programs are evenings to be looked forward to.

The Tre Stage, 1523 N. La Brea Avenue, Hollywood.

–Steven Stanley
June 29, 2010

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