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Cabaret Review (LA): Erich Bergen in Vegas Sessions at the Magic Castle

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I am a great fan of the musical Jersey Boys and have seen it four times. On several of those occasions I was struck by the performance of one Erich Bergen in the role of Bob Guadio. Gaudio isn’t the flashiest of roles, but Bergen made it unforgettable.

As a performer he has tremendous charisma that he demonstrated again when he appeared at the Inner Circle in the Magic Castle to present his new cabaret act and to launch his new CD, The Vegas Sessions.

While he was in Vegas doing Jersey Boys he did a series of concerts in support of several local organizations, which helped kids. He also started assembling his CD, actually recording some of the songs at the soon-to-be closed Liberace Museum. He also was instrumental in organizing nights where local performers (like himself) could present their music. Once he closed in Vegas, he moved to Los Angeles and is already active here as he prepares to perform in a new musical called Venice that will debut soon at the Kirk Douglas Theatre.

Erich Bergen is not only immensely talented but a real dynamo as a performer. He is genuinely funny and a real charmer. He opened his show with a lively “I’m Gonna Live Till I Die”. This was followed by a medley of songs about New York that was a showstopper. The medley (orchestrated by Steve Orich) included “I Love New York”, “Another Hundred People”, “ Arthur’s Theme”, and “New York State of Mind”. He also sang several of his own compositions, “Wasting’ Time” and a haunting love song “I hope You Know.” There was one song, “Blow Me a Kiss,” which he renamed the “Come in My Face Song,” that titillated the audience’s funny bones. Also included were George Michael’s “One More Try”, Rupert Holmes touching “The People You Never Get To Love”, and Larry O’Keefe’s “Sensitive Song”.

There was a special surprise when Erich called Michael Ingersoll, and later Rene Ruiz, and Timothy Quinlan. With Ingersoll Erich sang a very funny duet entitled “A Jazz Odyssey”, and then as a group, these four veterans of Jersey Boys sang together a Bob Gaudio song “Cry For Me”. Bergen was given fabulous musical support by Michael Orland on piano, Joe Hamilton on bass, and Ed Smith on drums.

Erich Bergen is one hell-of a performer; he’s also charming, a “looker”, funny and with talent and energy to spare. Look for his new CD The Vegas Sessions and his new musical Venice when it opens at the Douglas Theatre.

Erich Bergen presented his cabaret act and introduced his new CD at The Magic Castle on the 15th of September. Be sure to catch this dynamite performer in his next appearance.

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