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Cabaret Review (LA): Dangerous Curves at Sterling’s Upstairs at Vitello’s

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On December 4 Sterling’s Upstairs at Vitello’s brought a little Vegas to Los Angeles in the form of a marvelous “girl group” called Dangerous Curves. These women are totally professional and are obviously skilled and experienced performers. The trio is made up of Lisa Smith (soprano). Margaret Menzies (mezzo), and Karen Michaels. Their voices blend together beautifully and one couldn’t help but be brought back to an earlier time when groups, male and female, were at the top of their game. They were reminiscent of the Andrews sisters but with a more modern sensibility. Took me back to my favorite groups of the ’50s and ’60s.

Although they blend together seamlessly, individually they couldn’t be more different. Lisa Smith is a jazz singer who, when she doesn’t perform with the group, appears in a tribute to Frank Sinatra. She is totally at ease in this lounge situation.

Margaret Menzies is the group’s self-proclaimed “Broadway Goddess.” She is is from Connecticut so she brings with her an Eastern energy that includes all things Broadway as well. In Vegas, she acts as a vocal coach and musical director to many groups in town, both amateur and professional. She also finds time to do an occasional show as well as doing improv.

Karen Michaels is the zaftig firebrand of the group. She can really belt out a song. She spends her time doing private functions, corporate parties, weddings, etc. and is working on a solo act with her husband.

Their program consisted of solos as well as group numbers. I really enjoyed most all the songs but the highlights were the Sondheim medley, as well as “Someone to Watch Over Me,” “Moon River,” and the hilarious “Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens.” Many of their songs had a feminist slant exemplified in “I’m a Woman” and “Natural Woman.” They have released one album, Girl Talk, and are working on a Christmas album. I look forward to seeing and hearing this group again. They appeared at Sterling’s Upstairs at Vitello’s on Dec. 4.

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