Amanda McBroom Headlines At Feinstein’s With Easy Aplomb

May 2, 2023


L- R Michele Brourman & Amanda McBroom – Photo by Tom Alvarez

While making her Feinstein’s at Hotel Carmichael debut during a one-night appearance Friday, looking every inch the cabaret star, she is, Amanda McBroom demonstrated not only that she is a seasoned entertainer but also a gifted songwriter.

Amanda McBroom – Photo by Tom Alvarez

Accompanied by her long-time music director, songwriting partner and pianist Michele Brourman, McBroom displayed an easy-going affability and charm that connected her with the audience during a program that consisted of songs written by her and Brourman, along with standards from the Great American Songbook. Playing to a smallish, yet receptive audience, McBroom, a youthful 75-year-old, also displayed that she still possesses substantial vocal power and plenty of energy during a 90-minute set that included humorous anecdotes about her career and interesting background on the songs themselves, all of which endeared her to the attentive crowd of onlookers.

Songs that I enjoyed most thoroughly included all of those she wrote or co-wrote with Brourman, all of which were highly poetic, such as “Old Love,” “Ship in a Bottle,” “Round,” and “Titania.” Other highlights were renditions of Sondheim’s “Send in the Clowns”; a medley of “The Way You Look” by Dorothy Fields, a major songwriting influence of McBroom’s; “Dance” written by McBroom; and “Errol Flynn” a wistful song she wrote with Gordon Hunt about her film actor father, David Bruce.

Amanda McBroom – Photo by Tom Alvarez

A special moment during the show occurred when Brourman performed “My Favorite Year,” a poignant song she co-wrote with Karen Gottlieb, recorded by Michael Feinstein, who, coincidently was in attendance at the club that bears his name. The artistic director of the Center for the Performing Arts was in the neighborhood because he performed his tribute to Judy Garland concert at the Palladium Saturday. The showstopper was the frenetic “Carousel,” by Jacques Brel, from “Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well in Paris,” a show McBroom had performed in early in her career.

Having interviewed McBroom in this column prior to her show and having seen her in the late nineties when she appeared at The Cabaret at the Columbia Club, I had a good idea of what to expect when I saw her Saturday. What was reinforced, however, was McBroom’s appealing personality, which she projects both on and off stage and also her authenticity that shines through her storytelling. She is the epitome of an artist who truly represents the best of what the intimate art form cabaret is all about.

photo: Josh Humble

About Tom

Journalist, producer, director, Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker, arts administrator, TV contributor, actor, model, writer and lyricist, Tom Alvarez has had an extensive career in media and the fine arts and continues to be an enthusiastic and devoted fan of both. His passion and unique background grant him insight, access and perspective to cover, promote and review the arts in Indianapolis, Central Indiana and beyond. Follow him on social media @tomalvarezartswriter and @tomalvarez1.

Alvarez has been writing about theatre, dance, music, cinema and visual arts for 40 years. His work has appeared in the Indianapolis Star, NUVO, Indianapolis Monthly, Arts Indiana, Unite Magazine, Dance Magazine, NOTE Magazine, and, among many other print and online platforms. A former contributor to Across Indiana on WFYI-TV, he currently has a regular performing arts segment on WISH-TV’s Life. Style. Live!

A principal of Klein & Alvarez Productions, LLC, Alvarez co-created “Calder, The Musical” and is the managing director of Magic Thread Cabaret. As an actor-model, he has appeared in numerous TV and print ads and is represented by the Helen Wells Agency and Heyman Talent Artists Agency.

On the Aisle Team

  • Creation, content, and publishing: Tom Alvarez
  • Copy editing: Marcia Eppich-Harris
  • Graphic design:- Casey Ross
  • Web development: Clay Mabbitt

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