"Ranging from quietly intense through ebullient,with sweet and touching along the way...." Roy Sander, critic and columnist
Praise for Do Overs!!
Chosen by Edge New York as one of the TOP 11 Cabaret Shows in 2011!!
Peter Leavy of Cabaret Scenes:
A person’s wish to have done something differently or finally to quit doing something repeatedly unrewarding must be as ubiquitous as the
common cold. Angela Shultz latched on to that all-too-human desire to straighten out one's own life and handily amassed a show’s worth of songs to fill her surprisingly lighthearted Don't Tell Mama show, Do Overs. The 2010 winner of MAC's Hanson Award – created to bring added attention to
low-profile performers of particular excellence – Shultz conveyed a
kaleidoscope of emotions with songs that expressed the understandable
variety of responses to regrettable decisions, foolish mistakes and lost
opportunities. Often with a “you-know-all-about-this-don't-you?” connection to her audience, Shultz was alternately ironic, regretful, hopeful, and resolved. Opening with Cy Coleman and Dorothy Fields' “There's Gotta Be Something Better Than This,” in this show, Shultz could have been Everywoman at some time in her life.
And from the overtly autobiographical patter, it seemed as if Shultz
had managed to be Everywoman at some time in her life. From Tom Kitt/
Amanda Green’s “Ready to Settle (for you),” Shultz bounced with élan to
a “sex medley:” “Tonight I Celebrate My Love,” “I Want Your Sex,”
and “That’s the Way,” climaxed with “”Do That to Me One More Time.”
Her wishful fantasy, “(When they make a) Movie of My Life” was
nothing less than endearing. Ending (almost) on a hopeful note with Phillip
White and D. Vincent Williams’ determined “I’m Moving On,” Shultz
returned for her encore, revisiting one of her earliest discouragements. I
won’t give it away, but this lady is no Johnny One Note, she can tug at your heartstrings and make you break out laughing just minutes apart. Keep youreye on her, she’s got style, an engaging personality, and class.
Brett Kristopherson was her accomplished accompanist and musical
director, Jason Ellis managed lights and sound. Lennie Watts directed.
Full Kevin Scott Hall review from Bistroawards.com
After enjoying a long run with her last show, "Kiss Me Like You Mean It," a couple of years ago, and receiving a 2010 MAC Hanson Award, Angela Shultz has returned with a brand new show—even if its title, "Do Overs," might suggest a reworking of previous material. The new show (directed by the very busy Lennie Watts) deals with having the opportunity to "do over" bad choices or mistakes we've made. This leads to some fine moments, both comic and poignant, in song and patter. The song list is a nice mix, many of the selections theatre songs. The tempos and subject matter constantly surprise and, thus, the hour flies by with all the energy and passion of a throbbing heart.
Shultz takes a bit of a risk with her opening song, Cy Coleman and Dorothy Fields's "There's Gotta Be Something Better Than This." The lyric begins, "There's gotta be something better than this/ There's gotta be something better to do/ And when I find me something better to do, I'm gonna get up, I'm gonna get out/ I'm gonna get up, get out and do it!" A lesser talent would run the risk of having the audience agree with her, which would be an unfortunate start to a show. Luckily, Shultz displays loads of comic energy, and quickly moves into the hopeful "Something's Coming" (Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim). Her second song is even better, the less-often heard "You've Got Possibilities" (Charles Strouse, Lee Adams). Shultz gives such a motivational coaching with the song, you'd have to be asleep in your seat (no chance of that) not to believe her.
In Shultz's first extended patter, she wonders whether her life would have been different if she had not missed that audition for Annie when she was ten. Still, ever the optimist, she concludes, "I'm only five-foot-three, so maybe in some non-Equity town in a very big theater…" Her longtime friend and musical director, Brett Kristofferson, firmly chides her that that ship has passed. From there, Shultz is able to head right into pathos with "Please Let's Not Even Say Hello" (Maury Yeston), about a person so wounded she would rather have no connection than the possibility of another heartbreak. Shultz's yearning eyes glowing with tears is a cabaret moment not soon forgotten.On the comic numbers, she is best when she delivers the lyrics with a straight-man sincerity, letting the audience discover the absurdity in the situations. Such is the case with Susan Werner's "Movie of My Life" and, even better, "Ready to Settle" (Tom Kitt, Amanda Green), in which she duets with Kristofferson.
On the subject of things she'd rather do over and over again, Shultz offers what she calls a "sex medley" of four pop songs. While the entire medley was fun, the reworking of George Michael's "I Want Your Sex" made that song almost unrecognizable, in a fresh and exciting way, and I actually heard the lyrics to the verse as if for the first time.There's not a clinker in the whole set, but special mention must be made of Shultz's treatment of John Bucchino's "I've Learned to Let Things Go." She approaches the song as a woman who has lived fully and has now come to acceptance; the result is wonderfully touching.
Shultz closes with "Tomorrow" (Charles Strouse, Martin Charnin) from Annie, performing as both her adult self and as a bewigged child. She leaves no doubt that she could still play the role. The moment is both hilarious and empowering. Shultz's dreams will not die.
If there is any quibble with the show, it might be with some of the patter. While she has some good things to say (her observations about celebrities who need do-overs, and those for whom second chances have not helped, are right on target), sometimes it seems a little too scripted and, occasionally, like a teacher addressing her class. If she were as free-wheeling and gutsy in her patter as she is with her songs, she would be even better—and that's saying something.
If anything, Shultz seems even more self-assured than she was a couple of years ago. She has a big, warm Broadway voice with just a hint of soul, as if she were channeling this year's hitmaker, Adele. There are also more colors to the act and she has a life force that is undeniable. Angela Shultz makes you glad to be alive.There will be no do-overs necessary for this show, only do-agains.
About Kiss Me Like You Mean It:
Many of the graduates of Tim Schall’s St. Louis CabaretConference have gone straight from there to the Kranzberg Center with their solo shows. Angie Shultz – who was in the very first conference in 2006– took the long way around: she went through New York. Her latest show, KissMe Like You Mean It, premiered at Don’t Tell Mama on West 46th Street last May. Now that Jim Dolan’s Presenters Dolan organization has finally brought her home to the Kranzberg all I can say is: it’s about time!
If Mr. Schall (one of the many local performers taking a busman’s holiday to attend the show Sunday night) is looking for a poster girl for the conference, he could hardly do better than Ms. Shultz. Kiss MeLike You Mean It is very nearly the ideal show, boasting a finely balanced program of mostly newer songs, wonderful custom-tailored arrangements from pianist/music director Brett Kristofferson (including some of his own material), and performances by both Ms. Shultz and Mr. Kristofferson that were pitch-perfect – both musically and theatrically. The ease with which she graced the space and the charming, self-effacing humor which she brought to both her patter and her singing were a winning combination.
Ms. Shultz’s ability to be entirely herself on the stage is not, by the way, something to be taken lightly. As performers, so many of us spend so much time being someone else that stripping away all of the other personae and simply being ourselves can be the most difficult act of all. Combine Ms. Shultz’s comfort with her own identity with her solid, beautifully controlled vocal instrument and you have a recipe for a great night of cabaret.
Even the evening’s title is perfect, suggesting a combination of assertion and seduction that is reflected in just over a dozen songs which run the emotional gamut from John Bucchino’s touching “Unexpressed” and Ben Folds’ lovely “The Luckiest” to Jill Sobule’s demented “Mexican Wrestler” (easily one of the strangest torch songs ever written) and the always-amusing “Compromise” by Zina Goldrich and Marcy Heisler. There are also two gems of love lost from Mr. Kristofferson – “Goodbye Love” and “Things that Haunt Me” – and director Hector Coris’ hilarious send-up of American Idolatry,“My Moment”. The fact that many of these songs were new to me was yet another bonus from my point of view.
Even the older numbers, such as Arlen and Harburg’s “I Don’tThink I’ll End it All Today” (from their 1959 musical Jamaica, where it was sung by Lena Horne), were hardly warhorses. I love the Great American Songbook as well as the next cabaret addict, but it’s nice to be reminded now and then that pages are still being added to it. Ms. Shultz, Mr. Kristofferson, and Mr. Coris are to be commended for their eclectic and smart song selection.
Ms. Shultz is undoubtedly on her way back to New York by now, where she’s booked for a return appearance at Don’t Tell Mama. Her star is (to paraphrase an old vaudeville lyric) on the ascendant. Chuck Lavazzi, KDHX.org
Instantly likeable, consistently focused,completely straightforward—that’s a bundle of energy and good spirits named Angela Shultz. Rather than a diva taking the stage, she feels like an old friend knocking on the door (who happens to have a knockout voice) to share favorite recipes that happen to be songs. Pretension and self-aggrandizement are anathema to her. Her voice is big; her ego seems small. “Why Try to Change Me Now?” she muses, comfortably accepting her faults. The clean, strong, supported voice can be a powerhouse, but she can calibrate and pull back. Finishing songs, she appears overjoyed to have shared and connected. It’s about the show, not showing of. She may be singing “Unexpressed,” but she expresses herself crisply. Occasionally, one wants her to linger over a phrase or let that last impression fully sink in. Iwould like to hear more patter. She had a few cute comments such as a tongue-in-cheek reference to tabloid favorite Lindsay Lohan saying “I relate to her because I’m a redhead myself… most of the time.” In a neat symbiosis, her director is one whose act she directs: the equally “direct” and savvy Hector Coris. Musical director Brett Kristofferson, whose songs were the focus of her last show, is again at the keys to please, so skillfully. Solid and recommended. -----Rob Lester, Cabaret Scenes
About Closer Than You Think---
"Wow! What a match-up: powerful singer Angela Shultz taking on a full program of Brett Kristofferson's strong, unblinking songs”“…a wild roller coaster ride.”“Driving accompaniment, floods of music and lyrics, a vocalist whosesound can be a wail, a fervent plea, a cry of pain, cathartic outpouring, or a balm-like lullaby...quite a tsunami of sound and fury. It's thrilling…” ----Rob Lester, Cabaret Scenes
"The plumpdiva-in-gestation has a sweet voice into which she introduces gleaming steel streamers whenever the spirit moves her. She's confident enough on stage that she's able to sing with few physical frills…“Shultz has good taste in music, which for this show runs almost exclusively to songs with music and lyrics by Brett Kristofferson. She's programmed them nicely in terms of variety. She scores especially with one called "Joey Runs," about a rootless fellow.... For contrast,Shultz proves she can be offhandedly funny in "The Gospel According to Me".
-----David Finkle, Backstage
I"This gal only gets better and better, accompanied by her lifelong musical director and sidekick, Brett Kristofferson. Shultz conquers a surprising range of material and has the kind of voice that can move you in a quiet moment or roar across a stadium. Anybody got a Broadway musical for her?" Kevin Scott Hall
REALITY CHECK Review by Roy Sander - BistroAwards.com
I always look forward to Angela Shultz‘s shows. They combine beautiful singing, perceptive interpretations, and interesting song choices, liberally spiced with moments of mischievous playfulness. Her latest offering, “Reality Check,” which played a couple of performances at Don’t Tell Mama, was true to form. Her voice—pure and clear, while at the same time rich and full, and as attractive in quiet moments as when she’s filling the room with her power—sounded especially splendid the night I saw her.
Joe Iconis’s dark, eerie “Broadway, Here I Come,” which works on both a metaphoric and a literal level, was given a dramatic interpretation not only by Shultz, but also in the piano accompaniment of musical director Brett Kristofferson, and her rendition of “Imagine My Surprise” (William Dreskin, David Crane, Seth Friedman, Marta Kauffman) was very affecting. Jane Siberry’s “Love Is Everything” expresses the heartbreaking sadness of a relationship that is over, while acknowledging, if not quite celebrating, the many aspects of love that inhabited the relationship when it was alive, and Shultz captured all of these elements. The art of song interpretation is a close cousin to the art of acting, and she had that side of the family covered as well. On Jerry Herman’s “I Don’t Want to Know,” she was that woman, fiercely determined to live in her own world.
We saw her antic side in several numbers. “He’s Mine” (Brett Kristofferson), sung by a woman protecting her claim on her husband, who to her dismay gives off gay vibes, is brief but very cute. “Reality TV” (Lee Greenwood, Kristofferson), about being obsessed with reality TV, is a funny send-up, and as presented, Joe Iconis’s “Party Hat,” featuring the show’s director, Lennie Watts, marvelous as a cat, ” was insane fun. She performed all of them with a keen sense of comedy.
A few things weren’t quite up to the collaborators’ own high level. A shark segment, which comprised a monologue from Sharknado (a film that one IMDb user described as “gloriously incompetent and gleefully terrible”) and a modified version of the Rodgers & Hammerstein’s anthem “You’ll Never Walk Alone” (with “dark” changed to “shark”) didn’t achieve the desired comic payoff, but the song worked because (a) it’s gorgeous, and (b) Shultz sang it so well. “Nobody’s Side” (Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus, Tim Rice) sounded great, but I think Shultz could dig a level deeper. And I would replace Wake Me Up” (Tim Bergling, Aloe Blacc, Aileen Quinn, Michael Einziger): the lyric is rather a hodge-podge and the song is repetitious.
However, Shultz ended on a high note (metaphorically, not literally) with a lovely and poignant rendering of Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich’s tender celebration of life and living, “Let Me Grow Old.”
About Life is Wonderful, directed by Angela Shultz--
"WOW, WHAT A SHOW! Thoughtful, thought-provoking, at times humorous, at times poignant, the show was filled with excellent material, and Hector's delivery was spot-on. I loved the song selection; much of the material was by contemporarycomposers including Christine Lavin, Ben Folds, Zoe Lewis, William Finn, and Brett Kristofferson and while the songs varied in content and tone, they all shared one thing: fantastic lyrics, which Hector did a fabulous job of sinking his teeth into. Major kudos, too, to Hector'sdirector, Angela Shultz, and musical director Ray Bailey." - Jenna Esposito, The Cabaret Chronicles