Alum Receives Rave Review
Posted on Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Joshua Warr '05 recently brought "Sing No Evil" to the Laurie Beechman Theatre at the West Bank Café, Manhattan. For this, his first cabaret show, he received excellent reviews from industry publications, "Cabaret Scenes" and "Cabaret Hotline."
Warr's Web site describes the show as "a delectable assortment of poetry, dance and (of course) music from sources as divergent as Broadway, Punk, and The Great American Songbook!"
According to Rob Lester of "Cabaret Scenes," "Choreographed pieces with female dancers are diverting and he's a skilled dancer...A surprisingly tender ‘Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart,' aided by the sensitive piano work of Tracy Stark, is disarming."
Stu Hamstra of "Cabaret Hotline " writes, "This young man does it all - singing, dancing, acting - one of the most talented performers to take a cabaret stage I have ever seen (and I've been doing this for nearly 30 years - 20 of them writing about cabaret)...It's simply impossible to capture the essence of this lad's performance in print - you must see it live!"
Warr previously performed at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, in the benefit concerts of Bill Russell's Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens.
Warr is a graduate of the Maggie Flanigan Studio and holds a B.A. in French and Francophone Studies with a minor in dance from Hobart College. While at Hobart, he was a member of Koshare and Chimera and received the President's Public Service Award. Following graduation, he starred as the "villain" personality in TLC's reality dinner party competition, "Dinner Takes All," a reality television program consisting of five dinner party hosts, five separate dinner parties, taking place over five consecutive days.
He has danced internationally, in South Korea, and off-Broadway at the American Theatre of Actors. He has worked with choreographer Susan Streater, can be seen in Joonhan Lee's Columbia MFA film, "Sketchbook" in which he originated the role of David, and was in La MaMa E.T.C.'s "Soul Ascending" directed by George Ferencz.
This past summer he worked with the Xoregos Performing Company in Brief Shorts and garnered a glowing review from NYTheatre.com.
Expanded reviews from Lester and Hamstra follow.
"The Seven Deadly Sins offer juicy possibilities for musical expression. They've inspired Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht, numerous rockers and rappers, and a concert work for Audra McDonald. Not recycling those song cycles, Joshua Warr plucks 'sinful' songs from various genres: Cole Porter's "Let's Misbehave," the Johnny Cash hit, "Ring of Fire," etc. This, his debut show, shows potential as it begins unspooling the sins . . . Choreographed pieces with female dancers are diverting and he's a skilled dancer. He could stick with a slick and smooth song-and-dance act with vaudeville and sass and do just fine . . . but vulnerability is visible through the veneer. A surprisingly tender "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart," aided by the sensitive piano work of Tracy Stark, is disarming."
"On Saturday night at 8:00 pm at THE LAURIE BEECHMAN, be sure to catch the final 2009 performance of Joshua Warr in "Sing No Evil" - a sure-fire award winner! This young man does it all - singing, dancing, acting - one of the most talented performers to take a cabaret stage I have ever seen(and I've been doing this for nearly 30 years - 20 of them writing about cabaret). And at this show you get a 'trio of greats' - Tracy Stark as musical director and Miles Phillips as director.
The show features some of the most creative arrangements ever presented in cabaret. I've been trying to capture the excitement, the talent, the charisma, the skills, the fantastic writing, the great vocals, and how thrilled I was at this show in a review for about two weeks. It's simply impossible to capture the essence of this lad's performance in print - you must see it live! You can't keep your eyes off the Josh as he takes you on a 'dissertation' on the subject of sin (and a more wholesome looking young man would be hard to find to cover this topic).
A bevy of beautiful singer/dancers light up the stage a few times in the show, making for some great visual moments, and director Miles Phillips has staged the show adroitly - always wisely keeping Mr. Warr the centerpiece. And several of the songs have been given amazing new arrangements - you will be startled by some really familiar ones done in new ways, revealing facets of meaning never discovered before. I sort of have it on my calendar for a repeat - it is that great a show. Maybe you will see me there (if your one of the smart ones who made an early reservation)."