iOS app Android app

Melody Breyer-Grell
GET UPDATES FROM Melody Breyer-Grell
Melody Breyer-Grell has been steeped in the arts since a childhood that included a conservatory education in classical music culminating with award winning recording jazz CD, "The Right Time." She is now a senior contributor to "Cabaret- Scenes," acting as critic and interviewer for the only glossy publication covering the national vocal music landscape. Breyer-Grell is also a satirist - addressing the pros and cons of the role of technology in the arts. Melody also contibutes to www.nitelifeexchange.com and thanks them for helping her to find her voice in that art of blogging.

Entries by Melody Breyer-Grell

Messiah "Fully Loaded:" Kent Tritle Brings it Home

(0) Comments | Posted December 23, 2014 | 4:59 PM

With home being Carnegie Hall, Tritle, one of the most prominent conductors of choral music today, presented the annual Oratorio Society of New York's Messiah this past Monday, pulling out all the stops, although he was not employing his well known, virtuosic organ playing.

Handel's monumental work was almost operatic...

Read Post

Why Lady Gaga Really Matters -- Even on Howard Stern

(7) Comments | Posted December 9, 2014 | 12:36 PM

Every time I try to wean myself off Howard Stern, he pulls me back in, as Michael Corleone would say. Stern, capable of the funniest and/or most vile radio content to be heard, often turns so candid an interview that it puts Barbara Walters to shame. Is he merely going...

Read Post

Whiplash -- "Svengali Porn" -- An Essay

(6) Comments | Posted November 30, 2014 | 11:52 PM

I remain, a week following the experience of Whiplash (the picture can't just be watched), flummoxed. Awash in critical praise, Whiplash has definitely hit a chord with many people, but I ask what the director, Damien Chazelle, was actually going for in his "masterwork." And I do say that with...

Read Post

Laurie Krauz's "Jazz Soup" -- Presents a Tribute to Bebop Icon -- Sheila Jordan

(2) Comments | Posted November 10, 2014 | 6:23 PM

One aspect that distinguishes many jazz singers from other vocalists is the tight collaboration between the singer and their instrumentalist colleagues. Not only does the artist work in tandem with his or her band, a significant percentage of singers actually study the technique and musical "licks" applied by those players...

Read Post

I'll Be Me: The Long Farewell of Glen Campbell

(4) Comments | Posted October 28, 2014 | 6:42 PM

Viewing I'll Be Me is akin to watching a tightrope act -- breathtakingly exhilarating -- but also agitating, as one fears for the fall.

James Keach's film is more of a document than a documentary. In many truly great documentaries there is a twist, an unexpected element of surprise, often...

Read Post

Yes, Birdman Is 'All That' -- An Essay

(9) Comments | Posted October 22, 2014 | 10:42 AM

With all the keystrokes being dedicated to the delectable Birdman, my fingers feel the need to dance on the keyboard and pay my almost delirious respects.

By now the "plot" of Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), presented by Fox Searchlight Pictures, is known to most readers, but I...

Read Post

Rappaccini's Daughter: Opera Blooms at Theatre for the New City

(8) Comments | Posted September 29, 2014 | 11:20 AM

In the double bill, "The Power of Love," two new one act operas graced the stage of the TNC, a theatre complex that has been offering up original works in the East Village for many years.

While much entertained by the late Seymour Barab's sprightly farce, "Out of the Window,"...

Read Post

Manhattan's "Metropolitan Room" Hosts the 2014 Hot House NYC Jazz Decision

(3) Comments | Posted September 22, 2014 | 11:17 AM

"Hot House" jazz magazine has started a tradition of honoring a group of new and established musicians, recently offering a varied and compelling awards show last week at the Metropolitan Room.

In a ceremony dedicated to the memory the legendary sax and flute artist Frank Wess, Warren...

Read Post

Homeland Season Finale: Picking and Choosing 'Reality' (SPOILER ALERT)

(3) Comments | Posted December 18, 2013 | 9:06 AM

Note: Do not read on if you have not yet seen the season 3 Homeland finale.

There are many people on Facebook who wish there was a thumbs down setting to express that they "hate" a subject, as there is one for "like."

I have never hated a television episode...

Read Post

A Strindberg Rarity -- Mr. Bengt's Wife -- An Answer to Ibsen's A Doll's House?

(3) Comments | Posted September 19, 2013 | 5:31 PM

Often, residing in Manhattan seems to be akin to experiencing the law of diminishing returns. What is the benefit of tolerating high rents, being surrounded by swarming populations of inebriated NYU "students" and accepting the Disneyfictation of Times Square?

But that is not the whole story, by any means....

Read Post

Shakespeare -- War With the 'Unknown' Is Futile -- An Argument Against Intervention in Syria

(7) Comments | Posted September 11, 2013 | 11:05 AM

There is the old cliché, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. In King Lear, his treacherous daughter, Goneril, ironically speaks a great truth, even though she is using it to incite the death of her father.

GONERIL:


This is practice,...

Read Post

Where's My Phone? -- Paul Schrader 'Uses' Lindsey Lohan in The Canyons

(16) Comments | Posted August 5, 2013 | 4:05 PM

Just a bit of personal disclosure before I go on to review this picture. I pathologically despise cell phones, texting and anything post-email. This tidbit might explain my affection for the imperfect The Canyons, as I was moved to ecstatic, emotional violence and catharsis; resulting from the consequences wreaked by...

Read Post

Marilyn Maye Takes Five - Singin' and Swingin' at the Iridium on Broadway

(4) Comments | Posted July 24, 2013 | 1:34 PM

When I decided to take in the late set of Marilyn Maye's recent New York City appearance, I assumed that I could slip in and out quickly and call it a night. Boy, was I surprised upon arrival to see the swelling crowd on Broadway, milling around the door of...

Read Post

Terese Genecco and Her Little Big Band -- a Monthly Romp at the Iridium Jazz Club

(3) Comments | Posted April 3, 2013 | 6:35 PM

Terese Genecco has just celebrated her fourth year singing jazzy tunes to the beat of her "Little Big Band." Her voice, robust but not brassy, swings melodically like an old-time vocalist. A generous singer, she always includes an accomplished guest artist, and for her anniversary show, she wheeled out a...

Read Post

Secrets: the Untold Story of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung

(4) Comments | Posted March 8, 2013 | 4:00 PM

The friendship of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung has been covered many times, recently in David Cronenberg's notable movie, A Dangerous Method.

While that film concentrates on Jung's relationship with Sabina Spielrein, Ken Wydro's Secrets, introduces a later patient/lover, Toni Wolff.

As potent as...

Read Post

Birdland Jazz Party: A Sunday in New York

(1) Comments | Posted February 26, 2013 | 11:23 AM

A true party in every sense of the world, Birdland hits one out of the park each Sunday night at 6:00. With Musical Director/guitarist John Hart and lead singer Cyrille Aimee, each week presents a different vocal guest to liven up the already sparkling evening.

It is hard to find...

Read Post

The Dicapo Opera Theatre and "The Miracle of E. 76th Street"

(7) Comments | Posted August 28, 2012 | 10:42 AM

In a city that has less and less truly artistic venues, The Dicapo Opera Theatre is an example of the finest New York has to offer for both the uninitiated and the connoisseur. The size of the theater is intimate and comfortable, yet spacious enough with its 200 crimson red...

Read Post

The Next Big Thing in Advertising: Taking Baby Steps With Sara Arnell's 'Freshing'

(4) Comments | Posted July 11, 2012 | 4:14 PM

As CEO of Arnell Group (AG), Sara Arnell manages the agency's internal brand consulting group, directing consumer research, consumer insights and the development of business, brand and digital strategies which form a seamless bridge to AG's advertising and design teams. Previously, Sara spent 21 years directing brand and business strategy...

Read Post

Mad Men and Fat Women -- Can Television Deal?

(34) Comments | Posted April 4, 2012 | 12:48 PM

When Mad Men presented an overweight Betty Draper Sunday night, I shivered with dread. How were they going to handle this situation?

In the past some dialogue alluded to the fact that she was a chubby child, who somehow morphed into a model. Sure that happens (I guess) but the...

Read Post

Glen Campbell -- A Real American Idol Bids Farewell

(13) Comments | Posted January 5, 2012 | 10:58 AM

While covering a Jimmy Webb program some months ago, my attention was turned back to Glen Campbell, a figure who has not been in my radar since childhood. I would listen to "Dreams of the Everyday Housewife" in my parent's bedroom (kids did not have their own personal stereos yet)...

Read Post