Back Stage March 5, 1999
Absent from the cabaret scene for many years, Scott Burkell scored solidly in his show at Dont Tell Mama recently. Called "Love Songs and Other Crap," this was an evening of songs written by Burkell and Paul Loesel, who also contributed very fine piano accompaniment. While the songs varied in quality, most of them were very good, several were excellent, and most significant, all of them held our interest as they took us on their various journeys. The many comic numbers were droll and amusing, but the serious songs were more noteworthy - among them "All I have," which recalls rapturous moments, and an image rich dramatic art song about stolen happiness in a hotel room with someone elses mate. As a performer, Burkell was a charmer; his account of going to a Sadie Hawkins dance as a lad in his hometown in Michigan was funny and sweet at the same time, and a routine in which he acted a scene opposite a June Havoc recording was a hoot. Burkell and Loesel are fresh, welcome talents; may we see more of them.
Business March 24, 1999
Scott Burkell and Paul Loesel
Love Songs and Other Crap
Dont Tell Mama
There has been something extraordinary
going on at Dont Tell Mama: the discovery of the strikingly talented composing and
performing duo of Scott Burkell and Paul Loesel. In a show of all original songs
(save one), they have wowed audiences - and these critics - with tunes that feature both
catchy melodies and witty lyrics. From the clever "Obligatory Opening
Number" that comically captures everything a singer hopes to include at the top of
his or her show, the act moves on with songs both serious and silly, including hilarious
tunes about the theater ("Actors Pet Peeves"), obsessive love affairs
("Stalker") and romances that go south ("Hey, Lets Be
Friends"). As creators, Loesel writes the music, Burkell writes the
lyrics. As performers Loesel plays the piano and Burkell, and actor/singer with a
winning personality and a strong, rangy voice, delivers the tunes with panache.
There is a body of work developing here that deserves ardent attention. Right now
Burkell and Loesel are singing their own songs, and singing them extremely well.
Soon we suspect, others will also be singing their songs. The sooner the better.
New York Post March
Scott Burkell: Scott Burkell is currently on Broadway
in "Titanic." At 9 p.m. Monday - the musicals off night - youll find
Burkell at Dont Tell Mama, singing in a clear, true voice songs of varying worth
that he has written with Paul Loesel. My favorite moments include an enormously
smart, bright opener, and a more serious evocation of a fling with a married man. Although
occasionally too facile, Burkells act, at its best, feels fresh and buoyant.
When Burkell first played Dont Tell Mama in the 80s, his then equally
"unknown" partners were Marin Mazzie, who went on to star in
"Ragtime," and Jonathan Larson, who went on to write "Rent." At
the same time, too, I recall, future Broadway star Faith Prince was another
"unknown" working at Dont TellMama, directed by future Broadway pro Susan
Stroman. Keep such success stories in mind every time I recommend some famous
not-yet-famous up-and-comer Ive encountered around town like Jarrod Cafaro, Natalie
Gamsu, Julian Brightman, Diedre Henry, Mark Myars or Ellen Bennett; theyve got
qualities worth checking out. 343 W. 46th St.: (212) 757-0788.