I love her work, truly I do. But it is funny. Even though I've seen her in three musicals, I always think dancer-actress. Never singer. Oh, it isn't that she can't carry a tune - she's a good, reliable singer. But it isn't what makes her dynamic to me. And as I sat listening to her new CD, Stories...in NYC, it hit me. She is Broadway old-school: she actually remains in character and cares more about the story that character is going through than holding a note or going all Idina-Kristin-Kelli on a song. And that is not a bad thing; and it suits this CD perfectly.
3. A nice variety of material: Even though there are many standards - there are even songs on her CD that can be found on others in the same series - her take on them is easy, familiar and still "Bebe-specific." There are pairs of songs by Kander and Ebb, Tom Waits and Irving Berlin, and there are several from the Kurt Weill canon. She starts the evening with a zesty "I Love a Piano," and ends with a sweet "I'll Be Seeing You." Highlights in between include a very funny "Ring Them Bells," a moving (considering Neuwirth's background as a dancer) "Mr. Bojangles," and a fierce "But the World Goes 'Round."
I suspect that I'd enjoy this highly enjoyable set even more had I seen it in person. But even still, I, and you, will enjoy this evening with the intriguing Bebe Neuwirth.