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Cabaret Review (LA): An Evening with Alexandra Billings at Sterling’s Upstairs at Vitello’s

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Alexandra Billings is a remarkable artist. I first saw her doing a play where she recounted her life story that is harrowing yet is a lesson in courage, and sang a few songs. That was a couple of years ago. Since then I have seen her in several plays and she certainly shines in any cast. March 28th was her birthday and she celebrated with us at the wonderful supper club Upstairs at Vitellos presented by the charming Michael Sterling. This was a return engagement for her and there wasn’t a seat to be had. We all had a joyous and wondrous celebration with her as the master/mistress of ceremonies.

Alexandra has a very powerful voice full of feeling and humor. She began with Sondheim’s “You Are Not Alone.“ What starts as a very sad tale ends up being a message of hope. She regaled us with a flurry of impersonations of Liza Minnelli and Ethel Merman, Eartha Kitt, and Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in a takeoff of a scene from Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. Her spontaneous humor was sprinkled through the entire act and though she did routines about some of the people already mentioned, it was always done with humor and love. She is not one to put down anyone.

Her songs also displayed a great range. She can belt a song with the best of them, singing such standards as Frank Wildhorn's “This Is the Moment” and “Home Again.” But she also has a playful uplifting side, demonstrated by her singing “Blue Skies” and “Just In Time.” I loved her rather bitchy number “I’m Not My Mother” and a hilarious song in honor of her birthday titled “I’m 27.” Well I am sure she will be around for her “27th” next year. 

Meanwhile she is off to New York City to appear at Feinstein’s, a top of the line cabaret spot. She has come a long way and I wouldn’t be surprised to see her headline in Vegas and play the lead in a Broadway musical. Once again we have Michael Sterling and Vitello's to thank for providing this celebration. She appeared at Sterling’s Upstairs at Vitellos on March 28th. Go for dinner, their food is very good, and if you like pizza theirs is as good as any.

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About Robert Machray

  • Guy De Federicis

    Bette Davis and Joan Crawford starred in “Whatever Happened To Baby Jane”. Joan Fontaine was in “Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte” with Bette Davis.

  • http://jonsobel.com/ Jon Sobel

    Ed. note: the error noted in Comment 1 has been fixed.

  • http://www.lampkinmusic.com Ralph Lampkin Jr.

    Robert: Thank you ever so much for the wonderful blog review. We really appreciate it. I will only correct one thing: I co-produced this show, as I did the November appearance, with Michael. This is well documented in all the pre – press and promotions that both Michael and I sent out into the world. I am grateful to Michael and the club for making Alexandra feel at home durning these two dates. As her producer for almost 20 years now (CDs, concerts,cabaret,theater) it is my pleasure to co-present her with Michael.
    The Feinstein dates are 8/20 and 8/21st. I’m working on the press release now and will send you one if you are interested. Again, thank you so much for your review. Ralph Lampkin, Jr. Lampkin Music Group.
    Producer for Alexandra Billings.

  • http://www.lampkinmusic.com Ralph Lampkin Jr.

    Robert – Thanks also for coming to Before I Disappear – you mention that here in the first paragraph. Ralph