I've followed Barbara Lowin in different venues and watched her hone her cabaret act, the latest example of which was before a crowd on November 17 at the popular Don't Tell Mama in the heart of the Broadway theater district. Lowin's talent has a split personality. On the one hand, she can sing showing off her cultured, classically-trained voice. On the other she adopts a style expecially suited to the world of cabaret. She excels at both.

What she tries to do is inject fun into her singing and comments. In addition to including the novelty number "Never Swat a Fly," this time she made a point of letting her hair down by confessing a secret liking--her affinity for whoopee cushions. To prove her point, she tossed one to her pianist, Paul Greeenwood, and some of them out to the audience. Nobody tried sitting on one to produce the sound of flatulence. With it all Lowin proved that she enjoys some wackiness in her life.

Getting into her cabaret mood, she sang "Love Is a Necessary Evil" and the rythmic "The Best Is Yet to Come." Others in her intimate cabaret style included "Just a Little Girl," and "Somebody Loves Me."

Gradually she worked into the other side of Barbara, exemplified by using her vioce to special advantage singing "Show Me," "Long Before I Knew You" and a Russian medley. When she slipped into "Those Were the Days," spontaneous clapping started. She also recalled Edith Piaf and the love of her life, boxer Marcel Cerdan dying in a plane crash, and she sang the song Piaf wrote for Cerdan, "Hymne a l'Amour."

As usual, Lowin acted as if she were enjoying singing for her audience, and that makes for audience members enjoying themselves too. At Don't Tell Mama, 343 West 46th Street. Phone: 212-757-0788. Posted November 21, 2012.

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