He's like the calm at the center of a cyclone onstage: so much going on, but at his core, his stillness and inner world powerfully control the whirlwind of music and words around him. His interpretations are not merely expert, they are unique works of art made just for you, while you watch and listen.
A true joy to behold, in every sense of the word. Miss him at your peril."
The premise that “all the good songs are written for women” has been visited by male cabaret artists before, but I can’t imagine any putting a more clever spin on it than Doug Graham and Charles Herrera. With tongues often planted firmly in cheek (admittedly, hard to pull off when singing as skillfully as they did), these two appealing performers dazzled with a sparkling hour of feminine fun with a decidedly male spin.
Banish immediately all thoughts of that guy at the piano bar who just has to sing the definitive version of “I Dreamed a Dream” after a healthy dose of Dutch courage. Invoking Streisand, Summer, Fabares, Carr, Eder, Garland, Vaughan and more, these gents covered a broad range of styles. In the process, they showed that good music is pretty much genderless and they had a grand time of it.
Medleys and duets formed the heart of the evening, enhanced by spot-on harmonies of Graham’s lilting tenor and Herrera’s darker and richer lyric bari-tenor. They set the tone of the evening with a whimsical medley of “The Patty Duke Show Theme Song,” “Sisters” and “Bosom Buddies.” Later, they navigated through a crafty “rival medley” – think Linda Evans and Joan Collins, poolside – with Graham preening into a mirror (“Gorgeous”) and Herrera proclaiming “Soy Hermosa” (“I Feel Pretty). They turned left at “Stepsisters’ Lament” and then revved the motors for an impassioned “A Boy Like That”/“I Have a Love.”
A duet of “Enough Is Enough” (“No More Tears”) had us howling as the two did their best to nail the specific disco riffs of Streisand and Summer, and a final duet of “I Will Never Leave You” (Sideshow) was sincerely felt and rapturously sung.
Outstanding solos included Graham’s tender “Till There Was You” and “Dance Ten/Looks Three,” which paid tribute to his time touring with A Chorus Line and allowed him to showcase his amazing flexibility as a dancer (standing side split, no less). Herrera was pitch-perfect and found just the right degree of pathos on his medley of “It Must Be Him”/”One Less Bell to Answer.” His lovely vibrato lent itself beautifully to “As Long As He Needs Me,” and his wounded lion pacing the stage on “Cry Me a River” showed utter commitment to his intentions.
A few opening night jitters aside, this was one of the most entertaining cabaret shows this season and it showcased outstanding local talent. Briskly directed by Larry Lazzaro, wittily choreographed by Graham, and with rock-solid support from Music Director Paul Cracchiolo, this fun evening deserves wider viewing.
|"Review of "CATS"
First National Tour
Cape Cod Times, September 19, 1987
"Rum Tum Tugger was played by Doug Graham, also featured in "A Chorus Line", and Bob Fosse's "Dancin'" - this cat steals the show.
Sassy, arrogant, funny, sexy and brash but with just a hint of vulnerability that makes him so lovable, Graham creates a role around which the rest of the show pivots. And that's quite a feat in an ensemble production in which no one is a star."
Doug Graham is an exemplary teacher and choreographer. I am thrilled to have him return to my studio time and again!
Having once been a student of his, I can personally say that he inspires us as dancers to be the best we can be, he teaches with a dedication and passion that he passes on to all in his classes. Many years ago, through a workshop I took with him, Doug single-handedly inspired me to try my wings as a performer, something I had always considered a hobby rather than a career goal. Thanks to Doug, I traveled the world performing and even met my husband on a cruise ship!
Now, as a studio owner, I have been honored to have Doug pass that
same passion on to my students, through classes in musical theatre
dance, voice, and the art of "the business." Doug's experience is
fantastic, and he brings my dancers choreography in major styles that
they need to learn to be competitive in the world of dance. He
Thank you Doug for all you have done for me personally, as well as
what you continue to do for all those you teach along your way. You
are truly an inspiration, and a role model for all of us with
aspirations in "the biz."
Kim and Victoria Womer
April 1, 2007
Dear Mr. Douglas Graham,
On behalf of everyone at The Hartt School Community Division Dance Department, I want to thank you for all of your time, energy and talent you so generously offered us during your most recent visit to Hartford, Connecticut.
Your day of Master Classes offered to both youth and adults were a tremendous success! We have received nothing but enthusiastic and positive feedback. You are wonderful teacher, and your past experiences offer insight into the professional world of dance, which is invaluable to today's students.
I look forward to working with you again in the future. I hope you return to Hartford soon!
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