Lisa Donahey, a Versatile Singer, Shows Off Her Star Prowess at Feinstein’s at Vitello’s On the evening of Sunday, July 21st, San Gabriel Valley’s own Lisa Donahey, a terrific singer and versatile performer, finished her second of two sets at Vitello’s in Studio City (the first one taking place on Friday, July 19th), as part of the Feinstein’s at Vitello’s entertainment series, where she celebrated her 50th “Birthday Bash” in a razzmatazz and hilariously autobiographical style. After years of being a Southland darling and plying her trade as a session singer on soundtracks, an on-camera talent on various TV shows, and as a musical-theatre leading lady, it was certainly a suitable time to say “cheers.” Lisa Donahey, an established entertainer in SoCal, told jokes and performed a full set of songs with a band of six and two backup singers to celebrate her 50th birthday on July 19th and 21st at Feinstein’s at Vitello’s in Studio City, CA. Photo courtesy of Lisa Donahey Donahey was flanked by two outstanding backup singers in Lindsay Dodoras and Billye Johnstone, along with a six-person virtuoso band, including David Arana on piano, Sherry Luchette on bass, Dave Johnstone (husband to Billye) on drums, Pathik Desai on guitar, Kyle O’Donnell playing the saxophone, and Dexter Warren (who is also Lisa’s husband) manning the trumpet. The occasion epitomized the Feinstein’s at Vitello’s cachet, where guests dine in and are dazzled with some of the region’s finest and most up-close-and-personal extravaganzas. As far as birthdays go, one’s 50th is a milestone and marks a time for reflection, which the self-aware Donahey, an enthralling storyteller with a knack for off-the-cuff comedy, appropriately used to her advantage. As the sold-out crowd chanted “Lisa, Lisa,” the 1994 Berklee College of Music graduate appeared in a gorgeous, multicolored dress, layered in rows of fringes, which Donahey quipped could double as a car wash if she shook side to side. It marked an auspicious beginning for the one-time tarantula owner who willingly shared sometimes embarrassing portraits of herself from her childhood up until nearly present day. In only two hours, we seemingly grew up with Lisa all over again, smiling and laughing with her at pictures demarcating various stages of her life: as a baby with an Alfalfa-like hairdo, as a child in the Girl Scouts, and as Richard Simmons on a much later Halloween, to name a few. Not to mention, as we discovered, her crush on Fonzie (of “Happy Days”) continues unabated with socks of Henry Winkler’s likeness that are still in pristine condition. Best of all, Donahey hasn’t resisted turning 50; she has rather embraced it, even going so far as to poke fun at herself by reading farcical song titles off a satirized album cover sponsored by AARP – “The Fabulous 50s” – with so-called hits such as “I’m Hip and I Got a New One.” Needless to say, it was just the right kind of light-hearted fare that accompanied Donahey’s variety-show spectacle. Donahey also got the audience actively engaged by playing prize-winning games like “How well do you know Lisa?” along with encouraging each table of attendees – many of them comprised of friends, family, and those introduced to Lisa’s infectious panache for the very first time — to take out their kazoos from a mystery bag and hum along with the band. As a singer, whether it be as a solo star or an ensemble performer, the former shot-putter has continually reinvented herself, covering a swath of music genres by either playing her own compositions or paying homage to the greats of today and yesteryear. Refreshingly, Donahey and her band don’t follow the conventional road either, appealing instead to inventive medleys (“or mash-ups as you millennials call it”) to cover recognizable songs. For example, they combined the instrumental accompaniment of John Lennon’s “Imagine” with the lyrics in Van Halen’s “Jump,” infused Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory” with the climactic part in “Shallow,” and mix-matched Foreigner’s “Feels like the First Time” and “Hot-Blooded” with Carole King and James Taylor’s “I Feel the Earth Move.” In a similar vein, sometimes the arrangement of a song was completely reshuffled, to the enjoyment of the audience, as in Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’,” which was played with a throng of ukuleles. Feinstein’s at Vitello’s in Studio City, CA, offers artists like Lisa Donahey well-deserved exposure. Photo courtesy of Feinstein’s at Vitello’s Of course, when she wasn’t keeping the audience on their toes by taking pleasingly unpredictable vocal turns, Donahey demonstrated her soaring notes, control, powerful belt, evocative phrasing, and impressive range with tunes like Linda Ronstadt’s “Try Me Again,” Aretha Franklin’s “Rock Steady,” and Oleta Adams’ poignant and relatable “I’ve Got to Sing My Song.” But where she really shined was by sharing her original works, many of which were written during her stay at Berklee. “Stranded” and the duet of “Another Time, Another Place” (with Roger Befeler of “Beauty and the Beast” national-touring fame), for instance, highlighted the hopeless romantic in Donahey, while the finger-snapping jazz a capella of “Joe” (with “do-dun-dum” bass notes provided by Befeler and friend Don Lucas) accentuated her limitless musicality, and the rap, “Stealin’ Underwear,” reminded of her playfulness and intrepidness about entering the skid-marked comical world of the absurd. Last, but not least, Lindsay Dodoras and Billye Johnstone deserve ample recognition for staying right there with, and supporting, Donahey’s robust vocals, harmonizing with her to perfection, and even getting their own moment in the spotlight with a dynamic rendition of Martha and the Vandellas’ “Dancin’ in the Street.” Ultimately, if several successful shows in her name are any indication, Donahey is not just seriously talented, she’s here to stay for many more years to come with her top-notch musicianship, brand of riotous humor, and sheer geniality on stage. Certainly, while the “overnight” sensation has its place, there’s something to be said for those who have paid their dues the old-fashioned way, which the humble Donahey has done, earning the right to glow spectacularly on her birthday and on many future dates. Donahey’s next engagement at Feinstein’s at Vitello’s is on Sunday, September 22nd, in a show titled “Songs in the Key of She.”” - Imaan Jalali

LAExcites - Review of Lisa's Birthday Bash Shows-July 19 & 21, 2019

Lisa Donahey Returns to Feinstein's at Vitello's What better way to celebrate a birthday than with music and friends. Add in a variety of songs spanning musical genres and eras everyone is sure to love, the best musicians around, talented guest singers and fun surprises and you have yourself one big party! Stepping into the spotlight with an all-star band, Donahey will combine her impeccable and interpretive vocals, her masterful storytelling abilities with her engaging charismatic style inviting audiences to join the party! Donahey has captivated fans throughout her native Southern California and beyond with critically acclaimed performances that tap into her passions for everything from classic Top 40 pop, R&B, rock, Great American Songbook and big band standards to musical theatre, country, novelty tunes, classical and even her own colorful mash-up style, "Jazzbaret. Following her recent sold-out show "Jazzbaret," and other sold-out shows Upstairs at Vitello's, "Just a Broad and a Little Big Band," "A Summer Night of Soul" and "Christmas in Our Soul," Donahey brings her birthday bash concert to the new Feinstein's at Vitello's with a night full of music where you can experience her powerful vocals and song stylings, one-of-a-kind wit and humor, and be a part of the festivities! The Berklee College of Music grad will touch upon some of her past works, as well, during the concert, with performances of songs from her previous two studio albums, including her homage to Broadway, "Takes on Broadway," as well as "She's Got It Covered," her cover album. Night 1-Friday, July 19 the show will begin promptly at 8:00 p.m. with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. for dinner. Night 2-Sunday, July 21 the show will begin promptly at 7:30 p.m. with doors opening at 6:00 p.m. for dinner. Feinstein's at Vitello's is located at 4349 Tujunga Blvd in Studio City. All tickets for the performance are $25. Tickets for Night 1, Friday, July 19, are available for purchase in advance through https://feinsteinsatvitellos.ticketfly.com/e/lisa-donahey-s-birthday-bash-night--60611082379/. Tickets for Night 2, Sunday, July 21, are available for purchase in advance through https://feinsteinsatvitellos.ticketfly.com/e/lisa-donahey-s-birthday-bash-night--60611123502/ or by calling (818) 769-0905. For tickets purchased the day of the show, tickets will be $35. Donahey will be back at Feinstein's at Vitellos on Sunday, September 22, 2019 debuting her new show "Songs in Key of She" -Sisters in Song as she share the stage with three other powerful and talented female singers. For more information on Lisa Donaheyand her upcoming "Birthday Bash Concert," visit www.lisadonahey.com. For more information about Feinstein's at Vitellos', visit www.vitellosrestaurant.com.” - Lisa Donahey Returns to Feinstein's at Vitello's

Broadway World

Lisa Donahey in new show JAZZBARET, May 24 What do you get when you mash up the musical styles of swingin' jazz standards and an intimate Cabaret evening of songs and stories? You get powerful vocalist and inimitable performer Lisa Donahey in her new show "Jazzbaret. Stepping into the spotlight with an all-star band and horn section, Donahey will combine her impeccable and interpretive vocals, her masterful storytelling abilities with her engaging charismatic style to bring audiences "Jazzbaret. Donahey has captivated fans throughout her native Southern California and beyond with critically acclaimed performances that tap into her passions for everything from classic Top 40 pop, R&B, rock, Great American Songbook and big band standards to musical theatre, country, novelty tunes, classical and even her own colorful mash-up style, "Jazzbaret. Following her sold-out shows "Just a Broad and a Little Big Band," "A Summer Night of Soul" and "Christmas in Our Soul" last year at Upstairs at Vitello's, Donahey decided to bring her upbeat 'Jazzbaret' leanings and expressive vocals, blended with her one-of-a-kind wit and humor, charm and lovely stories to fans, old and new, in this remarkable and intimate venue. The Berklee College of Music grad will touch upon some of her past works, as well, during the concert, with performances of songs from her previous two studio albums, including her homage to Broadway, "Takes on Broadway," as well as "She's Got It Covered," her cover album. The show will begin promptly at 8:00 p.m. with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. for dinner. Upstairs at Vitello's is located at 4349 Tujunga Blvd in Studio City.  Tickets for the performance are $25 for General Deating and $35 for VIP Reserved Seating. Tickets are available for purchase in advance through https://www.eventbrite.com/e/lisa-donahey-jazzbaret-tickets-58459852994 or by calling (818) 769-0905. For tickets purchased the day of the show, general seating tickets will be $35 and $45 for VIP Reserved. Donahey will perform next in her "The Big 5-0 Summer Show" at Upstairs at Vitello's on July 19th and 21st. For more information on Lisa Donahey and her upcoming "Jazzbaret" concert, visit www.lisadonahey.com. For more information on Upstairs at Vitellos, visit www.vitellosrestaurant.com. Whether she is in the recording studio singing in a jingle, voicing a Disney Princess for a new toy or portraying the ingénue comedic side kick on the stage, there is no doubt Lisa's talent and diversity as a singer and performer set her apart. Lisa is not limited to singing one particular musical style; she enjoys singing everything from musical theater to jazz, country to classical and has made a name for herself in the music industry working with songwriters and film scorers alike. She is a graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts and studied Voice Performance, Songwriting and Music Business Management. While at Berklee, she received the coveted Outstanding Performer of the Year award, performed in numerous concerts and was asked to perform for pop singer Sting, jazz great Nancy Wilson, and The Manhattan Transfer. Her talent has taken her all over the world as she shares her love of music with audiences. With her expressive interpretation of lyrics combined with a powerful voice, one can't help but be moved by her performances.”

Broadway World - Lisa Donahey in Jazzbaret!

Lisa Donahey's Holiday album "Christmas in Our Soul" was featured in the Top 20 New Holiday Releases to Add to Your Playlist.” - Laura B. Whitmore

Parade Magazine-Lisa Donahey's "Hot, Hot Christmas" in Top 20 must-see holiday videos

The stars did shine! “We both love Big Band music so my friend Ruth and I decided to get tickets for Saturday night’s “Swingin’ with a Big band” concert starring Lisa Donahey and Don Lucas. Wow-and wow again!  The term “talent abounds” was written for them.  They were not only excellent singers but were funny as well.  And turns out were also former members of the cast of the long-running soap opera General Hospital. So they did a “bit” on that too! And the 15-piece big band orchestra-simply stellar! Would love to see them again! My only regret is that we were kept entertained and laughing so much that it seemed the  concert ended much too soon. We wanted more. Bring them back is all I can say-bring them back. And thanks to Cyndee Whitney for bringing them to the Village.  -Diane Duray” - Diane Duray

— The Globe News published by the Orange County Register

Powerhouse Chanteuse Lisa Donahey Returns With Female-Fronted Homage To Big Band At Upstairs At Vitellos, 3/11 Glenn MillerBenny GoodmanCount Basie. All names that signify Big Band's big orchestral arrangements. Powerful vocalist and inimitable performer Lisa Donahey will bring to life the era's jazz and swing stylings during her upcoming show, "Just a Broad and a Little Big Band" at Los Angeles' Upstairs at Vitello's in Studio City on March 11. Stepping into the spotlight with a modified big band backing her up on horns, Donahey will share her takes on some of her favorite jazz and big band standards, in addition to unique arrangements of contemporary hits, during this not-to-be-missed 'little big' concert. Following her sold-out show at the Catalina Jazz Club in Hollywood last fall, Donahey decided to bring her upbeat 'Jazzbaret' leanings and expressive vocals, blended with her one of a kind wit and humor, charm and lovely stories to fans, old and new, in this remarkable and intimate venue.  The Berklee College of Music grad will touch upon some of her past works, as well, during the concert, with performances of songs from her previous two studio albums, including her homage to Broadway, "Takes on Broadway," as well as "She's Got It Covered," her cover album. The show will begin promptly at 7:30 p.m. with doors opening at 6 p.m. for dinner. Upstairs at Vitello's is located at 4349 Tujunga Blvd in Studio City.  Tickets for the performance are $25 for general seating and $40 for VIP, which includes dessert and a copy of Donahey's "Takes on Broadway" album.  Tickets are available for purchase in advance through www.vitellosrestaurant.com or by calling (818) 769-0905. For tickets purchased the day of the show, general seating tickets will be $35 and $50 for VIP. Donahey will next perform as one of the Swell Girls with Swell vocalist Cortes Alexander at Upstairs at Vitello's on March 28th, as part of the debut of his exclusive residency at the venue.  For more information on Lisa Donahey and her upcoming "Just a Broad and a Little Big Band" concert, visit www.lisadonahey.com. For more information on Upstairs at Vitellos, visit www.vitellosrestaurant.com.” - Just a Broad a Little Big Band

Broadway World

STAGE SCENE LA - SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD - RECOMMENDED Inland Valley Repertory Theatre celebrates the end of summer with Jason Robert Brown’s Songs For A New World, the song cycle that put the future Tony winner’s name on the map, and if not the inspired vision of Brown’s 1995 debut that I’ve seen previously, a number of fine performances (and one in particular) make this a mostly effective, ultimately affecting revival of the very first JRB hit. The now-renowned composer/lyricist (Parade, The Last Five Years, 13, The Bridges Of Madison County) made his first big splash on the New York musical theater scene way back in the mid ‘90s with sixteen songs centering on a single theme, that of facing the “new world” that unexpected life changes can bring about. Brown had been a mere twenty when he arrived in NYC with a stack of songs and a dream. Five years later that dream became a reality when Songs For A New World opened at the WPA Theater under the direction of Daisy Prince, daughter of Broadway legend Harold Prince. The final product retained many of Brown’s original songs, revised some, and added new ones, including the show’s opening number, which ties them together: “A new world calls across the ocean. A new world calls across the sky.” More specifically, “It’s about one moment, the moment before it all becomes clear. And in that one moment, you start to believe there’s nothing to fear. It’s about one second, and just when you’re on the verge of success, the sky starts to change and the wind starts to blow and you’re suddenly a stranger.” Each of Songs For A New World’s “characters” is facing that one moment, whether it’s Man 1 Richard Bermudez’s sailor on a journey to find a “promised land” in “On The Deck Of A Spanish Sailing Ship, 1492” or Woman 2 Lisa Donahey’s angry wife taunting her philandering husband by threatening to take “Just One Step” off the ledge of their fifty-seventh story penthouse apartment. Then there’s Woman 1 Amanda Minano singing about a woman who feels “the calling of adventure” and the need to escape from the fearful people around her in “I’m Not Afraid Of Anything,” and Man 2 Patrick McMahon in “She Cries,” as a young man longing but unable to break free from a toxic relationship. For each of them, it’s a moment when “the surface cracks to reveal the tracks to a new world.” Previous productions have found particularly inventive ways of linking Brown’s sixteen Songs For A New World and connecting the cast of four. This time round, director Hope Kaufman mostly lets JRB’s songs work their individual magic, aided by Kim Eberhardt’s snappy, jazzy choreography and musical director Ronda Rubio’s sensational live accompaniment on keyboard with Brad Vaughn adding oomph on drums and percussion. Is there is a Southern California musical theater leading man with a headier combination of matinee idol looks, Men’s Fitness cover model physique, gorgeous tenor, and first-rate acting chops than Bermudez? Whether getting funky in “The Steam Train” as a young Latino who dreams of escaping el barrio by becoming a famous basketball player, or embodying a young inmate longing to break free from prison walls and fulfill his destiny in “King Of The World,” or as a man nearing the end of his life and ready to fly into his Father’s arms in “Flying Home,” Bermudez makes Man 1’s every song a stunner. The delightful Donahey gets to perform Songs For A New World’s splashiest numbers, demonstrating terrific comedic skills and a soprano as smooth as silk. She’s the pissed-off wife in “Just One Step” and a frustrated, German-accented Mrs. Santa in “Surabaya Santa” (think Marlene Dietrich or Lotte Lenya in vamp mode). On a more serious note, she sings of a woman who chooses material possessions over “The Stars And The Moon,” and in “The Flagmaker, 1775,” of a young woman on the home front sewing “one more star” onto the colonial flag as she waits for her beloved’s return from the war. Incandescent UCI senior Minano sings the exquisite “Christmas Lullaby,” to Woman 1’s unborn child, and joins McMahon in “I’d Give It All To You,” about a couple who’ve gone their separate ways only to discover that each would give it all to be back together again. “God knows it’s easy to run, easy to run from the people you love, and harder to stand and fight for the things you believe,” Minano sings in her lovely soprano, echoing the show’s leitmotiv of people at the crossroads. McMahon has a strong stage presence but is less successful vocally than his castmates in “She Cries,” “I’d Give It All To You,” and “The World Was Dancing,” about a man who’s run away from a dysfunctional family and from the woman who loves him. The evening concludes with the entire cast lending their voices in glorious harmony to the inspiring “Hear My Song,” a song which can “help you believe in tomorrow. It’ll show you the way you can shine. It’ll help us survive all the pain.” Costume designer Jamie Brown has come up with some fine New World Wear, with special snaps for keeping Mrs. Santa’s sexiest elf provocatively underdressed. Daniel Morefield lights Mark MacKenzie’s set modification quite strikingly. Andrew Piña’s sound design insures a clear mix of vocals and band. (Another design team takes over for Songs For A New World’s upcoming Fontana transfer to Tibbies Center Stage.) Leading the IVRT staff are producing artistic director Frank Minano, executive director Donna Marie Minano, artistic director Terre Gunkel, and associate artistic directors Kaufman and Bobby Collins. Collins is production director. Having just won his second and third Tony awards for The Bridges Of Madison County, and with Honeymoon In Vegas scheduled to begin Broadway previews in just a few months, Jason Robert Brown is hotter than ever nearly twenty years after Songs For A New World first saw the light of day. IVRT’s latest reminds us of how it all started. –Steven Stanley August 26, 2014 Photos: DawnEllen Ferry” - Steven Stanley

Stage Scene LA

I've been to many community melodrama's and dining adventures/shows but when it came to talent...... man, I got WAY more than I expected at this one! A girlfriend I work with and I had a last-minute opportunity to attend a packed performance of "Welcome to the Rat Pack Revisited" here at the FCLO (http://www.fclo.com/) in June. It was dubbed 'an evening of music and memories under the stars...... " but it was way more than that, it was talent equaled to those Rat Packers of long-ago! We walked in a bit early and had our names checked on the guest list and continued to the bar area for a drink before the show was to start. The beer and wine prices were very reasonable, then we made a bit of chit-chat with other Rat-Pack fans in the reception area. The stage area opened and we were seated at a great round table with a beautiful centerpiece, candle and table cloth. Almost immediately there was a delicious sit-down dinner served by candlelight as Lettie and I sat at our table with 2 couples in the Skyroom's costume-department-provided fur coats and suit jacket's (to keep warm through the evenings performance). Bread was brought out before the salads, delicious lasagna dinners were followed by coffee and sinfully amazing chocolate fudge and raspberry dessert, it was DEVINE! The dishes were being cleared when the stage lit up and the entertainers for the evening were in front of us in amazing gowns and suits. The girls were in their first costumes for the night, black evening gowns with satin gloves and the men in tux's --- the elegance of the 1960's and the Rat Pack was INSTANTLY REVIVED! Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr were there in spirit AND on stage! Don Lucas, Randy Gianetti and Desmond Newson were the Rat's and their lovely lady pack consisted of Lisa Donahey and Leslie Scott accompanied by an awesome LIVE 9-piece band. I have to say, Lisa Donahey, impressed me with her CD She's Got It Covered - http://www.lisadonahey/... - but she BLEW ME AWAY with her rendition of Mr. Bojangles..."I knew a man Bojangles and he'd dance for you, In worn out shoes, With silver hair, a ragged shirt, and baggy pants, The old soft shoe, He jumped so high, jumped so high, Then he lightly touched down..." her voice and those lyrics gave me goosebumps and watery eyes, it was beautiful! Lisa was adorable dancing on stage with Desmond (young Sammy Davis Jr) and left a great little red lipstick kiss print on his cheek..... Desmond's voice was perfect in the Candy Man! He opened his mouth and out of nowhere this voice came belting out of that young man and ........ wow, just WOW! Newcomer to the stage was Leslie Scott, she was new to the FCLO but has many popular roles behind her -- her voice is rich and flowing and both she and Lisa danced and sang around the guys as arm candy for the handsome versions of Frank, Dean and Sammy ;) Don Lucas sang "I did it my way" at the end of the evening and it made me think of Frank AND Elvis, powerful notes coupled with his suave appearance, yes he played this lady's man role PUUUUURFECTLY! Randy was hilarious in the Dean Martin role, stumbling around like Dean used to .... cracking jokes and one liners to the drummers ba-dump-dump! Then singing tunes that would have made ol'Dean proud. As I looked around the Skyroom, I couldn't help but notice this was an older crowd, more like the original Rat Pack followers than I. The women were dressed in their 'date night' dresses like those elegant evening gowns, with jewels dangling from their earlobes, necklaces delicately placed, and bits of flashy jewels adorning their wrists, some of the men were in suits (as obvious companions to their evening dress adorned dates), there were a few 40'somethings like me, but it was nice....... everything about this evening was fun, lots of smiling and laughing, it was entertaining as well as relaxing, and it was very, very, nice to have felt, if but for just a couple of hours, that we had been magically transported back to those night clubs of the 60's and personal guests of the original Rat Pack! ******* standing ovation **********” - Michelle Klein

— Audience Member

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER -June 15, 2011, Eric Marchese Re-creating the style of entertainment forged by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., and other members of the "Rat Pack" may be a lost art, but as long as performers like Don Lucas are around, fans of the genre won't have to say goodbye just yet. Lucas' show, "Rat Pack Revisited," happens to be a very good fit with FCLO Music Theatre's summertime series at its outdoor "Skyroom" facility where, appropriately enough, the evening begins with cocktails and dinner before progressing to what amounts to the floor show. Billed as "the timeless music of Frank, Dean and Sammy" and "an evening of music and memories," the compact, briskly paced yet relaxed show unfurls nearly three-dozen numbers that came to be associated with the trio during their "Rat Pack" days in the early 1960s – some of the best jazz, pop and musical theater songs of that era. The show's first half opens with some half-dozen numbers associated with Dean Martin, then segues into songs popularized by Sammy Davis, Jr. The second act celebrates "Swoonatra," including an entertaining nine-song medley. And while Lucas states that he and his cast won't impersonate the Rat Packers, Randy Gianetti jokingly graces us with several Dino-like quips and Desmond Newson offers touches of Sammy. What's crucial to note is that Lucas and company capture the spirit of the Rat Pack, with plenty of good-natured ribbing, bon mots, playfully naughty double entendres and self-deprecating humor. Gianetti often does indeed evoke the ultra-relaxed Martin. He delivers a dynamic "Something's Gotta Give," sings Italian lyrics for "Evening in Roma" and, in "Luck Be a Lady," shows Sinatra's command of the stage. Newson has the grace, charm and velvety-voice of a young Davis, Jr. or Nat King Cole, in fine form for "Candy Man" and "I've Got the World on a String." Leslie Scott's megawatt smile lends her a Julia Roberts-like persona that's put to good use for "That Old Black Magic" and an upbeat "A Foggy Day." Lisa Donahey has a larger-than-life personality visible in songs like "All of Me" and the intense, pathos-washed "Mr. Bojangles," and she and Scott create appealing duets of "Bye, Bye Blackbird" and "Almost Like Being in Love." Lucas has the earnest charm of all great stars, showcased in his many songs and epitomized in an at-first thoughtful and low-key, then resolute and defiant "My Way." More importantly, he's the dynamic, driving force of this show, working as director, musical director, master of ceremonies and conductor of the fine onstage nine-piece band that features the expert sax playing of Ed Peffer. The evening's best moments include all five performers with a Rat Pack-like synergy that's swingy and fun and loaded with class and elegance. The songs indeed take us to "different places," as Lucas notes, and with this show, they also take us back to a time of fun and frolic, when hearts were light and free of care.” - Eric Marchese

— Orange County Register

NEW REVIEW - THE BLUNDERS - October 12, 2009 Jon Berstein's site-specific comedy with music about L.A. ditherers and sweet loons is set in an L.A. bar-cabaret - cleverly using the environs of the Vermont Restaurant's cabaret room. This provides the opportunity and context for Lorna (Leslie Beauvais), Gretel (Celina Stachow) and Suzy (Lisa Donahey) to croon musical director Mitchell Kaplan's original songs (with additional lyrics by Bernstein), as well as excerpts from Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music. Meanwhile the unrequited loves and stifled ambitions that play themselves out at the bar resemble a sitcom based on a Sondheim musical - unapologetically so. The parodies include Ezra (Marco Tazioli), a kind-hearted gravel-voiced sage perpetually frustrated in romance and by his over-the-limit credit cards, and who's mistaken for a Muppet character. We see him somewhat spinelessly or perhaps desperately duped by fly-by-night shrink Dr. Sylvia (Keli Daniels), a former canine psychiatrist who makes her living applying her doggy techniques to Angelenos. Heart-throb bartender Barry (Casey Sullivan) sends overweight Suzy's heart aflutter in what she thinks is a mutual romance but is merely Barry's attempt to exploit her job as a receptionist at Capitol Records. After about 30-minutes, the concept wears thin, because it's a dramatization of symptoms rather than underlying causes. Posing as an affectionate nod to life in our Industry town, it unwittingly provides grist to outsiders convinced of our city's superficial denizens. The sound design and/or actors use of mikes needs modifying in order to prevent distortion, though Donahey in particular has a gorgeous singing voice, and knows how to use it. Upright Cabaret at Vermont, 1714 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles; Wed., 9 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.; no minimum for dinner or drinks); through October 21. http//the blunders.com (Steven Leigh Morris)” - Steven Leigh Morris

LA Weekly-THE BLUNDERS-Oct 12, 2009

Among other standouts, Lisa Donahey's radiant teapot Mrs. Potts, delivering a heart-rending rendition of the lovely title song.” - Les Spindle

Backstage