“The versatile Nancy Anderson…is sublime.” – Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times
“The assorted women are cannily written for one actress, and Nancy Anderson is extremely good, stepping out of the gimmick to play a major role in the final scenes.” – Steven Suskin, Variety
“Seasoned stage pro Nancy Anderson is great in several girl roles, from a surly officer to a radio torch singer.” – Joe Dziemianowicz , NY Daily News
Nancy Anderson, one of the theatre’s most valuable living treasures… functions as a walking-and-talking time machine that thrusts you into the heartbreak that defined WWII… Anderson’s red-giant star turn is as charismatic, individual, and irreplaceable as you can find today.” – Matthew Murray, Talkinbroadway.com
“Sensational… Anderson can do it all.” – Tim O’Leary, After Elton.com
“Anderson is a fine singer with a magnetic presence.” – Don Bacalzo, Theatremania.com
“The chameleon Nancy Anderson is terrific.” – Elyse Sommer, CurtainUp
Birdland, New York City May7, 2007
By Joe Lang
In another era, Nancy Anderson would be a superstar. She can sing and dance, chooses terrific material, is pert and pretty, and has a wonderful flair for comedy. In this day and age, however, she lacks what seems to sell best – brassy, over-the-top delivery, mediocre songs and general crassness.
For her appearance at Birdland on May 7, Anderson performed songs from her Ten Cents a Dance CD, backed by the Ross Patterson Little Big Band. With most of the songs on the disc being from the 1930’s, Anderson assumes the style of a vocalist from that era, although with different material, she is capable of rendering selections of operetta material with a lovely operatic soprano voice, and can effectively assay show music pieces with the best of the Broadway style singers.
Anderson’s opening three numbers, “The Trouble With Me Is You,” “The You and Me That Used to Be” and “I’m So in Love with You,” are songs that she learned from recordings by Teddy Grace with the Mal Hallett Orchestra. She followed with three songs that she picked up listening to Peg LaCentra, “You’re Giving Me a Song and a Dance,” “It Ain’t Right” and “Darling Not Without You.”
Next, it was time for three magnificent Rodgers and Hart ballads, “My Romance,” “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was” and “It Never Entered My Mind,” all of which she delivered with touching, straight-ahead sincerity, investing the last with an appropriate touch of irony.
Anderson then proceeded to a series of tunes, mostly ones with a lighter touch, “Ain’t She Sweet,” “Alibi Baby,” “True Blue Lou” and “How’dja Like to Love Me,’ accompanying herself on the uke for the first of these offerings. As a closer, she chose the title song from her album, “Ten Cents a Dance.” The enthusiastic applause following this number brought her back for a wistful reading of “But Not for Me.”
Throughout the show, Anderson infused her between song patter with her infectious sense of humor. She is a natural performer, one who grabs the attention of her audience immediately, and never lets it waver for a second. The band comprised of leader Ross Patterson on piano, Wayne Goodman on trombone, Chris Rogers on trumpet, Steve Kenyon on reeds, Joe Brent on violin, J. McGeehan on guitar, banjo and uke, Tom Hubbard on bass and Eric Halverson on drums provided a steadily swinging underpinning for Anderson’s vocals. The evening just plain flew by, and left this listener totally enchanted and satisfied by Nancy Anderson and her musical cohorts.
By David Finkle, Backstage
The Stars Come Out
During her brief now-you-see-her-now-you-don’t stay at Don’t Tell Mama a few weeks back, Nancy Anderson sang the following songs as well as or better than I’ve ever heard them chanted: “It Never Entered My Mind”(Lorenz Hart-Richard Rogers), “My Romance”(also Rodgers and Hart),”I didn’t know what time it was”(Rodgers and Hart again), “All Through The Night”(Cole Porter), and “Anyone Can Whistle”(Stephen Sondheim). For a singer to do even one definitive rendition of a song is something worth remarking on; for someone to ring the bell five times is close to astonishing.
And to think Anderson did it at her cabaret bow. That’s right, she’s been so busy doing musical theater that she was only recently talked into taking the boite plunge by her shrewd (british) musical director, Danny Whitby. (At the moment, Anderson’s in Wonderful Town and hardly doing any chirping, if you can believe that major lapse in an otherwise commendable production.) While cavorting in a boxy suit that looked like something Jackie Kennedy might have worn to an afternoon charity fete, Anderson did give indications she’s only starting out in intimate rooms. She could use some direction and – although she seemed completely at home on Mama’s postage stamp lounge riser- more carefully shaped patter.
That’s caviling, however, because what she isn’t in command of at the moment she will get under control should she decide to keep giving small rooms her signal kind of whirl. She’s to be encouraged, because what she has got under control now are the invaluables. Anderson, who’s as cute as a parade, has a strong and pure voice in which the most cunning and irresistible tremelo resides, and she has mastered the arts of phrasing and breath control. She’s a superb actress, both dramatic and comic, who breaks you up one minute and breaks your heart the next. (Hence the on-the-money version of Rodgers and Hart, etc.) Gifted with Ginger Roger’s spunk, she gets away with gestures others might not- she sang many songs with her hands on her hips. She has great taste in songs and found a few, like the Fred Ebb-John Kander “I Don’t Remember You” and Edward Kleban’s “Under Separate Cover” that aren’t heard that often. A cabaret star is born!
“Nancy Anderson is no mere actress. She is no mere singer. Nancy Anderson is a living, breathing time machine, taking her audiences back to the days when songs and singers were pure class and style… few singers today can so expertly recreate the intricacies and emotion of the early jazz age, making the music as fresh and exciting today as it was seventy-five years ago.” – Jena Tesse Fox, Cabaret Scenes
“My Romance, I Didn’t Know What Time It Was, It Never Entered My Mind and her moving rendition of Ten Cents a Dance, were well-known pieces, yet still fresh through Nancy’s interpretations….she proved that she is a delightful entertainer in her own right, well able to hold an audience for an hour-plus show.” – Peter Haas, cabaret scenes