RAISSA KATONA BENNETT
METROPOLITAN ROOM, NYC
Even though it is her debut cabaret show, perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that Raissa Katona Bennett quickly wins the approval of her cabaret audience. Bennett brings her lovely coloratura soprano to The Metropolitan Room with a track record in musical theater that includes national companies, regional theaters, Off Broadway, and perhaps most notably as Christine in Phantom of the Opera at the Majestic Theater.
The opening number sets the stage for Bennett’s varied song list to follow. A solid rendition of Amanda McBroom’s The Way of the Heart is a symbolic selection carrying out her autobiographical theme that anything is possible. Studying to become a baby nurse, she decided to change course, follow her heart and become a singer. The personal history leads her, about a third of the way into the show, to her jubilant title song, It’s Possible, from Seussical, The Musical. After that, the audience is treated to a festival of songs, Bennett potent with a wistful Sleepy Man, a lilting Storybook, and Alan and Marilyn Bergman’s yearning Niagra. She also has a humorous bent, revealing her versatility with several wryly comedic songs.
David Caldwell was Bennett’s musical director and accompanist, several times pitching in engagingly on the vocals and with some interplay. The program was directed and co-written by Eric Michael Gillett. J. P. Perreaux was technical director.
November 8, 2006