ASCAP Cabaret Songwriters Showcase V
By Robert Adels, Cash Box
Rose Garden Performance Center, West Hollywood, CA
If you think Jerry Herman composer-lyricist of Hello Dolly and Mame fame is a tough act to follow, you ought to catch Steve Lutvak in action.
"Steve who?" While Lutvak's musical scores have so far only been heard in regional theater productions, his cabaret act is ready to take on the world. Closing for Broadway vet Herman on a unique ASCAP-produced bill, newcomer Lutvak received a standing ovation from a celebrity-studded audience that included singer Rosemary Clooney, composer Henry Mancini, cabaret diva Andrea Marcovicci, and a host of Broadway stage names including Paul Dooley and Karen Morrow.
Lutvak's music blends the psychological depth of a of a Julia Fordham, the off-the-wall wit of a Michael Franks and the tuneful immediacy of a Neil Sedaka. His songs are chapters of a remarkably told autobiography that resonate with universal and undeniable impact.
In "Man of Words," he details the joy of love at first sight and the sorrow of being tongue-tied to the scene. In "Mrs. Whitney," Lutvak reveals that he's become the kind of person his first piano teacher, and all our own early authority figures, used to warn us about. In "Beware the Anger of Soft-Spoken Men," Steve pops the cork off of so many bottled-up emotions that even Freud would have lost count.
Steve's solo pianowork far exceeded the cabaret standard, and his prerecorded tracks for "Beware" show him to be as strong a producer/arranger as he is a performer/writer. Lutvak's LA debut had all the earmarks of Elton John's legendary Troubadour bow.
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