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Cabaret Review ( LA): “People Like Us” Julia Goretsky and Patrick Burns Sterling’s Upstairs at Vitello’s

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Michael Sterling continues his quest to introduce the best of Los Angeles musical theatre talent to a cabaret audience. For most the experience is new and to many strange. In a staged musical you can hide behind a character, the orchestra, and your fellow performers, but in cabaret you are out there on your own saying, “this is me”. This task requires a certain level of honesty and maturity, let alone confidence, to bring it off. Many of the performers end up doing all their audition songs or songs from shows they have done. A few brave souls try to put together an act. Julia Goretsky with the help of her friend and musical director Patrick Burns have attempted to put together an act.

The theme of the evening was “People Like Us” which was meant to highlight their diverse and difficult background. Goretsky is Ukrainian and has had to deal with her immigrant family and her own assimilation. Burns on the other hand had to deal with poverty and the fact he is gay. An interesting mix, with Goretsky taking the honors.

Julia Goretsky is a very powerful singer and is very capable of subtle and introspective work. I didn’t like the choice of her first song “Welcome to my Party” from Wild Party, mainly because it was sung originally by an unlikeable character. Ms. Goretsky is eminently likeable and exudes confidence and a good sense of humor. Once she got past the first number, with a few odd choices, she gave a very professional and even moving concert. She sang “”Larger Than Life” (Backstreet Boys), “You’ve Got Possibilities” (It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane, It’s Superman”), “Everybody’s Girl” (Steel Pier), “Leave”, and “When The Sun Comes Out” where she actually made me think of Judy Garland because she has that kind of presence.

I was less impressed with Patrick Burns, but he must be forgiven a lot because he had to play every song. He did best in duets with Ms. Goretsky “How Deep is The Ocean”, and “Happy Days and “Get Happy” mix (like Streisand and Garland). The best song for both of them was “ People Like Us” (Talking Heads).

The evening was uplifting and represented two people who have had to face some odds and meet the challenge through music, friendship, courage, and talent. Julia Goretsky and Patrick Burns performed at Michael Sterling’s Upstairs at Vitello’s on Sunday Sept 19th

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