* * * IRNE Award Winner, Best Female Cabaret Performer (Independent Reviewers of New England)
A LITTLE SONDHEIM
"There are giants in the sky..." and one of them is Stephen Sondheim, our greatest living composer in musical theater.
Everything's coming up Sondheim with this look at the lighter side of his prodigious songbook, drawing from his acclaimed musicals: A Little Night Music, Follies, Company, Into the Woods, Sweeney Todd, Anyone Can Whistle, Merrily We Roll Along, Sunday In The Park With George, Do I Hear A Waltz, West Side Story, and Gypsy. Also included are delightful surprises from films (Dick Tracy), TV (Evening Primrose), revues (The Mad Show) and ancient Greek comedy (The Frogs). "Gods of the theater, smile on us.You who look down on singers (and who doesn't?)..."
* * * Bilides is a consummate interpreter, making each word of a lyric pop. Witty, smart cabaret. (Theater Mirror)
The Lyrics Of Carolyn Leigh
"Those fingers in my hair, that sly come-hither stare, that strips my conscience bare..." Carolyn Leigh brought class, wit, and sex to the American songbook, with hits like Witchcraft, When In Rome, I've Got Your Number, How Little We Know, Pass Me By, and The Best Is Yet To Come. With craft, elegance, wisdom, humor, and sensuality, Leigh fearlessly delved into love's emotional complexities: temptation (You Fascinate Me So), optimism (Hey Look Me Over), cynicism (Rules Of The Road), wistfullness (I Walk A Little Faster), nostalgia (Spring in Maine), and comedy (Shakespeare Lied). "And here is the best part: you have a head start, if you are among the very Young At Heart."
* * * The songlist is wonderful, and you really "get" Carolyn. I'm just thrilled. (June Silver, sister of Carolyn Leigh)
MAKE SOMEONE HAPPY The Lyrics Of Comden & Green
"I know a place where dreams are born, and time is never planned." The brilliant lyric writing team of Betty Comden and Adolph Green gave us the gentle philosophy of Never Never Land, the heartfelt wisdom of Make Someone Happy, and the tongue-twisted ranting of If You Hadn't But You Did. They looked at love lost (The Party's Over), love found (Just In Time), and love in the kitchen (I Can Cook Too). Vamping it up (Thanks A Lot But No Thanks), winking at gender elimination (Simplified Language), or offering wry advice (You Mustn't Feel Discouraged), their words still delight and sparkle. "Where has the time all gone to? Haven't done half the things we want to. Oh well, we'll catch up some other time."
* * * One of the year's Top Ten Cabaret Performances. Bilides spins gold with this show. She can belt, lilt, swing, and serve up shtick or heart upon command. The high-point of the evening was the rapid-fire, comic tour de force reading of "If You Hadn't, But You Did," containing some of Comden & Green's wittiest wordplay, which Bilides handled with aplomb. Charismatic, honest, and well grounded, she is also one of the most unique vocalists around. With Bilides, whose deep, sultry voice is like warm honey, you wait for those lush low notes, and they are worth the wait.
(John Amodeo, Bay Windows)
This uplifting exploration of universal hopes, wishes, and dreams expresses our desires for home, adventure, romance, laughter, and a life lived to the fullest, while happily proving that the American Songbook is alive and well in the hands of contemporary songwriters: Alan & Marilyn Bergman, Leslie Bricusse, Francesca Blumenthal, John Bucchino,
Craig Carnelia, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Judy Collins, Mike Craver, Dave Frishberg,
Babbie Green, Steven Lutvak, Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell, Stephen Schwartz, Michael Smith, Stephen Sondheim, John Wallowitch, and Maury Yeston. Also soon to be released on CD.
* * * The recipient of the IRNE Award for Best Female Cabaret Performer proved, again, why this award is rightfully hers. Equal to any of the finest cabaret artists in the country today, Bilides consistently renders a brilliant performance in her material and stage presence. With her cello-like vocals and her quick, intelligent wit, this Italian-Greek beauty artfully possessed both audience and stage in another unforgettable performance. (Ida Zecco, Cabaret Hotline Online)
A CHANGE OF SKY
* * * Front and center in this show about moving forward were Bilides' hallmark wry humor, intelligent interpretations, deft phrasing, and richly textured voice, replete with cello-lush low notes. Happily, Bilides introduced us to rarely heard gems, such as Babbie Green's Inside The Wine, and demonstrated her comic timing with the quirky Tamara, Queen Of The Nile. The precocious Evolution was paired with A Thousand Beautiful Things (Annie Lennox), teaching us we must become the change we want to see. Her strong musical prowess was evidenced in her driving Dave Brubeck 5/4 arrangement of Newley/Bricusse's Feeling Good, followed by the sweet Thinking Of You Thinking Of Me by Brubeck's son, Chris, who was, impressively, in attendance. The titular piece (Yip Harburg) enabled Bilides to display the full depth of her voice, and she brought a jolt of life to John Bucchino's Taking The Wheel. Then turning on a dime, she closed with an exquisite Moon River, letting the song's wistfulness linger long after she left the stage.
(John Amodeo, Cabaret Scenes Magazine)
WINTER WARM Songs For The Solstice
A seasonal show for the chill-challenged, daylight-deprived, and holiday-harried, this unique celebration is designed to help adults survive winter while awaiting spring. Fran Landesman's The Year Turns Round, George Shearing's I Predict, and Bergman & Legrand's You Must Believe In Spring offer hope, while the demented Surabaya Santa, and the endearingly quirky Penguins Must Sing provide laughs. Add evocative folk songs by Tommy Thompson (Hot Buttered Rum), Gordon Lightfoot (Pussywillows, Cattails), and Judy Collins (The Fallow Way, Secret Gardens of The Heart), then take a Dreamer’s Holiday, tell Little Jack Frost to get lost, and make this season The Merriest. Also available on CD.
* * * A new cure for age-old winter darkness, and as bracing as a shot of brandy.
* * * One of the year's Top Ten Cabaret CDs. (Cabaret Hotline Online)
* * * An accomplished piece of work, generous of spirit and in songs.
(Rob Lester, Talkin’ Broadway)
* * * A great, great voice: very rich, deep and beautiful. A very warm and intimate CD, with an amazing range of tunes, and she does them justice. Lots of thought went into this. (Jordan Rich, WBZ Radio, Boston)
THE SUMMER KNOWS
This celebration of summer features songs of the sun, the sea, lazy afternoons, balmy nights, lush flora, frisky fauna, baseball, and other warm weather delights. Included is the title song by Bergman & Legrand, Alec Wilder's It's So Peaceful In The Country, William Finn's I'd Rather Be Sailing, Johnny Mandell's Cinnamon and Clove, Joni Mitchell's Song To A Seagull and Night Ride Home, Cole Porter's Too Darn Hot, Christine Lavin's Ballad Of A Ballgame and Air Conditioner, Johnny Mercer's Bob White and Glow-worm, Stephen Schwartz's Blame It On The Summer Night, John Latouche's Lazy Afternoon, Mary Chapin Carpenter's What If We Went To Italy, Dave Mallett's Summer Of My Dreams...
* * * Conjures up a warm sun, cool breeze, and sand beneath bare feet. (Boston Globe)
* * * One of the year's Ten Best Cabaret Shows. Bilides not only entertains but edifies her audience, adding smart anecdotes, and insight into her carefully chosen material. Her sultry voice wrapped itself around “Lazy Afternoon” and “The Summer Knows” but she also served sharp wit in Christine Lavin's “Air Conditioner and Dave Frishberg's "Quality Time.” (EdgeBoston.com)
PUTTING IT TOGETHER The State of the Arts
A savvy and humorous look at the dreams, challenges, frustrations, and rewards of creative and performing artists: from poets, painters, playwrights, and spirograph designers to actors, dancers, singers, and matinee idols. The been-there, done-that songlist includes the wit and wisdom of Irving Berlin, Alan Chapman, Betty Comden & Adolph Green, Cy Coleman, Mike Craver, David Friedman, Michael Flanders & Donald Swann, Ann Hampton Callaway, Marcy Heisler & Zina Goldrich, Jerry Herman, Fran Landesman, Jay Leonhart, Frank Loesser, Steven Lutvak, Don McLean, Cole Porter, Jule Styne, Stephen Sondheim, Scott Warrender, and Jimmy Webb.
* * * Swinging, satirical, comic, and dramatic, hitting her intended mark every time. (Bay Windows)
YOUNG AND FOOLISH A 50th Birthday Cabaret
* * * One of the year's Top
Ten Cabaret Performances. Sophia Bilides celebrated her half-century mark with one of her most rewarding outings yet, a highly polished show rich with songs spanning
even more than a half-century.
Her delightfully eclectic program included
a swinging Don't Ask A Lady (Leigh/Coleman),
a hilarious country-style Every Time A Friend Succeeds (Green),
and a calypso Make Your Own Party (Heisler/Goldrich).
She played her Bordeaux-deep voice like a cello
on a touchingly dramatic Flight (Carnelia) and a poignant Inside My Body Is A Dancer (Lutvak).
Her sharp comic timing bolstered Lutvak's delicious The Dinner Party,
and Rosemary Clooney's hit Come On-a My House,
where she made clever use of her Greek vocal technique.
I look forward to her next half-century.
(John Amodeo, Cabaret Scenes Magazine)