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Melody Breyer-Grell
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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 and thanks them for helping her to find her voice in that art of blogging.

Entries by Melody Breyer-Grell

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

(5) Comments | Posted September 29, 2014 | 10:20 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,"...

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

(3) Comments | Posted September 22, 2014 | 10:17 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...

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

(3) Comments | Posted December 18, 2013 | 8:06 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...

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

(3) Comments | Posted September 19, 2013 | 4:31 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....

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

(7) Comments | Posted September 11, 2013 | 10:05 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.


This is practice,...

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

(16) Comments | Posted August 5, 2013 | 3:05 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...

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

(4) Comments | Posted July 24, 2013 | 12:34 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...

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

(3) Comments | Posted April 3, 2013 | 5:35 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...

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Secrets: the Untold Story of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung

(4) Comments | Posted March 8, 2013 | 3:00 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...

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Birdland Jazz Party: A Sunday in New York

(1) Comments | Posted February 26, 2013 | 10:23 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...

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

(7) Comments | Posted August 28, 2012 | 9:42 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...

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

(4) Comments | Posted July 11, 2012 | 3:14 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...

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Mad Men and Fat Women -- Can Television Deal?

(34) Comments | Posted April 4, 2012 | 11:48 AM

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...

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Glen Campbell -- A Real American Idol Bids Farewell

(13) Comments | Posted January 5, 2012 | 9:58 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)...

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Melancholia on Zoloft or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Appreciate Lars von Trier

(13) Comments | Posted December 7, 2011 | 5:27 PM

I just completed watching Lars von Trier's operatic (literally, as the score is mostly Wagner) planetary meditation for the second time and I find myself luxuriating in the wonders of the world of music and film. Since taking Zoloft (can I say that?) my perceptions of existence have altered somewhat...

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The Art of Criticism in the Technological Age -- Pros and Cons of Our Times

(9) Comments | Posted October 27, 2011 | 5:56 PM

Why is arts criticism important? In a perfect situation, criticism would serve at least three-fold. Worthy artists would receive recognition, audiences could be informed and, in many cases, the work of criticism can be entertaining in itself, offering opinions and expertise with compassion and even an edge, when they feel...

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Melissa Chiu's Diplomatic Coup Brings Buddhist/Pakistani Art To The Asia Society

(7) Comments | Posted August 26, 2011 | 12:17 PM


The Buddhist Heritage of Pakistan: Art of Gandhara at the Asia Society -- What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object? Melissa Chiu's diplomatic coup.

When considering Asian art, Pakistan (particularly of a Buddhist nature) might not...

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Mark Murphy at Birdland -- Heavenly Creature

(1) Comments | Posted August 2, 2011 | 11:02 PM

I rarely review people I interview (and know personally), but with Mark Murphy, breaking the rules is the name of the game. I did not know what to expect of Mark last Sunday, but as the night progressed, I felt really sorry for the people who missed it. Luckily for...

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Conversation With Mark Murphy -- The Last Word in Vocal Jazz?

(6) Comments | Posted July 21, 2011 | 11:36 AM

I met Mark some years ago at one of his vocal seminars, which was comparable to a Trekkie meeting Captain Kirk at a convention. Or perhaps Yul Brenner's King in the R&H musical. He was the coolest singer I had ever heard, being that the first thing I stumbled upon...

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Oswald by Dennis Richard: Anatomy of an Interrogation

(3) Comments | Posted July 14, 2011 | 12:01 PM

Possibly known to the baby boomers as the prince of all assassins, Lee Harvey Oswald's unconfessed murder of JFK was an event of such universal impact, that it might have been our first real brush with death. I don't remember many teachers, but I will never forget my first grade...

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