Reviews

“An Evening with Janene Lovullo and Christopher Marlowe”

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Janene Lovullo’s remarkable performance at Don’t Tell Mama in Manhattan on October 12 was a triumph. A singer with an enormous range, she has a marvelous delivery and  a warm and sensuous presence.  She brought down the house. She interprets lyrics with  passion and sensitivity. It makes sense that her musical director is the gifted Christopher Marlowe, who worked with the unforgettable Nancy LaMott for many years. From the moment she stepped on stage, there was no mistaking her giant talent, authority, musical knowledge and  love of what she was doing.  She was performing in an intimate club, but it was very clear  that she fits so naturally in a concert hall or on Broadway. She is a star in the making.

–David Evanier is the  author of the forthcoming biography of Woody Allen and current  biographies of Tony Bennett, Bobby Darin, Jimmy Roselli and Joe Pantoliano,  as well as four novels including “Red Love,” a novel of the Rosenberg case. He is a former editor of “The Paris Review” and a contributor to “The New York Times.”

Beautiful, sexy, funny and having a beautiful and thrilling operatic voice is a description that might be used to describe Jeannette MacDonald and few, if any, other performers I was aware of, until I saw Janene Lovullo at Don’t Tell Mama. The classically-trained Lovullo, elegantly dressed in a red gown, was also quite funny when describing her life experiences as a mother and a theatrical performer between her musical numbers.
From her opening number “Yes” followed by her very sultry “Anything Goes,” which had me so transfixed that I spilled my drink, then a hilarious “I Cain’t Say No,” I was enchanted by her voice, graceful movements and facial expressions. She showed that she could swing with “Save the Bones for Henry Jones.” Lovullo, who starred in Broadway productions of Cats and Les Misérables,” used her experiences in Cats to introduce “Memory,” performed with hilarious new lyrics about memory loss. Her closing number, “Bring Him Home,” showed off both her acting ability and her operatic soprano voice. Musical Director Christopher Marlowe’s work on piano was an important ingredient of both her classical and Broadway selections. Her beautifully sung encore, “This Moment,” is the title of her recent CD.

Ron Forman
Cabaret Scenes

Janene Lovullo

Janene Lovullo a Touch of Class @ Sterling’s

Written by: Don Grigware

Broadway actress/singer Janene Lovullo returned to the concert stage after a ten-year hiatus @ Sterling’s Upstairs @ Vitello’s on Sunday, May 23 with a superior evening of song entitled You Are My World. She was accompanied at the piano by fine musical director Chris Marlowe.

To say that Lovullo is a consummate singer is an understatement. She has an astounding range with a delivery that would make many singers envious. She can be as dynamic as she wants to be, but will also lower her instrument to almost a whisper. For me, this is the mark of an exceptional artist who is first and foremost into telling the story of every tune she sings.

Highlights of the evening included: her opener by David Friedman “Listen to My Heart”, an expressive song that genuinely showed off her intimate vocal styling, Stephen Schwartz’s lilting “Mealowlark”, a lovely Pretty Women medley that remarkably combined the seriousness of two Sondheim tunes “Pretty Women” and “Every Day a Little Death” with the infectiously upbeat Burt Bacharach “Wives and Lovers”. There was also the wonderful Ed Kleban tune “Better”, the gorgeous Rodgers and Hammerstein “I Have Dreamed” and a stunningly intense adult medley that divinely mixed “You Are My World” with “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life”, “Out of This World” and “So in Love”. To show her comedic skill and versatility there were “Billions of Beautiful Boys” by Marshall Barer who wrote the music for Once Upon a Mattress, the very sensible “My Dog Loves Your Dog”, originally done by Cliff Edwards (Ukelele Ike) in 1934, and Elmer Bernstein’s “Shakespeare Lied” a lighter look at romance with simple advice to ‘Get over it!’ Lovullo, instead of ending with a bang, went out with the utterly splendid Kander and Ebb favorite “A Quiet Thing”, forceful in its own incomparable way.

It was a short 50 minute set, brilliantly conceived by Marlowe and gorgeously performed by Lovullo. With a standing ovation, like a great opera singer, she left us gracefully, as we begged for more. Real class! Brava!

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Nightclub Review (LA): You Are My World by Janene Lovullo at Sterling’s Upstairs at Vitello’s

Written by: Robert Machray

Michael Sterling’s beautiful supper club, which he founded to honor Rosemary Clooney’s memory, is a real find to Angelinos looking for a unique and satisfying experience in American music,featuring some of the best up and coming talents in the Los Angeles musical theatre world. The restaurant in which it is located is the world famous Vitello’s restaurant that has a delicious menu of Italian cuisine. Most often the singers who appear here have experience in musical theatre and Michael persuades them to spread their wings and put together an act for his club.

Janene Lovullo, after a ten-year absence from the “BIZ” to raise her children, made a glorious return with her evening entitled You Are My World. Ms. Lovullo had been a star on Broadway and has a true Broadway sound with great range and the ability to belt as well as sing softly. Unlike the previous acts I have seen here, Ms. Lovullo’s act was perfectly suited to the club. Many of the younger singers present a cabaret act whereas this locale is more perfectly suited for a concert one would hear at any supper club, not intrusive but beautifully rendered songs suitable for diners or bar patrons looking for a mellow evening out.

Ms. Lovullo sang an array of gorgeous tunes arranged and accompanied by her musical director Chris Marlowe. She began the evening and set the tone with an intimate song by David Friedman called “Listen to my Heart.” She went on to present a Sondheim medley, or a mashup, of “Pretty Women,” and “Everyday A Little Death.” Being a Broadway star she sang some well chosen numbers by Stephen Schwartz (“Meadowlark”) and Rodgers and Hammerstein (“I Have Dreamed”). These songs and her other choices utilized her great skill at storytelling through a song (Rosemary would be proud).

She treated us to another beautiful medley of “You Are My World,” “What Are You Doing for the Rest of Your Life” (love that song), “Out of This World,” and “So in Love.” As you can see that unlike cabaret acts the emphasis is on singing and melody not talking. Lovullo made us laugh with a very funny song called “Billions of Beautiful Boys” by Marshal Barer who wrote Once Upon a Mattress, and the song, first introduced by “Ukulele Ike” called “My Dog Loves Your Dog.”

She ended her concert with the Kander and Ebb song “A Quiet Thing” ( also one of my favorites). At the end of the evening she received a standing ovation fitting her successful return to the stage. From here she goes to record two CDs and hopefully will return to the stage. Meanwhile this is an act to be treasured. Janene Lovullo performed at Sterling’s Upstairs at Vitello’s on May 23rd.

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