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The Seth Concert Series – Ana Gasteyer | Review

Perhaps best known for her stint on the NBC Television show Saturday Night Live, where she did a number of celebrity impressions, including those of Barbra Streisand, Kathy Griffin and Hillary Clinton, Ana Gasteyer has, more or less, done it all. Having started on the comedy circuit, she has extensive film and television credits, has done voiceover work, and remains a violinist having first learned to play as a child. For the purposes of this concert, though, it was perhaps inevitable that most of the conversation would dwell on her musical theatre experiences.

Ana Gasteyer - Credit J.Ross
Ana Gasteyer – Credit J.Ross
This being a December concert, there were several plugs (and why not) for Gasteyer’s Christmas album, released in 2019, called Sugar and Booze, a collection of fifteen songs with standards such as ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’ and ‘Sleigh Ride’ to lesser-known tunes. I rather enjoyed ‘(Everybody’s Waitin’ For) The Man With The Bag’, a song originally released in 1950 that just seemed to have the right sort of jollity about it without tipping over into being overly saccharine.

I couldn’t quite believe it either, but Gasteyer found herself showing the audience selected pages from a book by Barbra Streisand – not an autobiography but one called ‘My Passion for Design’, about her custom-built houses (yes, plural) and how they were designed and constructed, right down to the furnishings and garden landscaping. Apparently, it’s a staple read amongst her peer group, giving details of what led Streisand to choose the styles and colour schemes (and so on) that she has across her various properties. Each to their own, as it were.

For someone known for her comedy output, there weren’t that many punchlines during the concert – perhaps the laughs-a-minute are retained for the parody sketches and scripted scenes. The anecdotes and recollections were, however, extremely broad, and it was interesting to hear the difference between doing something like Saturday Night Live, which would be a brand new show each week, and being in a theatre production, with only minor tweaks to the same material during a show’s preview period. The former would involve, in her own words, dumping the hard drive, in order to empty the mind and fill it up again with the following show’s script, something she carried over into her theatre work, such that she had largely forgotten the music, lyrics and book to a show very quickly after closing night.

Seasonally themed throughout – the closing number was ‘You’re A Mean One, Mr Grinch’ – there were some nods to musicals, with the inclusion of ‘Don’t Rain On My Parade’ from Funny Girl and ‘The Wizard and I’ from Wicked in the set. A nice personal touch came in the form of a brief appearance from Gasteyer’s son, Ulysses, and in the words of a song that didn’t feature in this concert, the sheer amount of warmth and positivity left me feeling that it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Business as usual for The Seth Concert Series with its insight and intrigue.

4 stars

Review by Chris Omaweng

LISTING INFORMATION:
Mark Cortale Presents
THE SETH CONCERT SERIES
ANA GASTEYER with SETH RUDETSKY
Sunday, December 6th at 8PM EST
Monday, December 7th at 3PM EST
JAMES MONROE IGLEHART with SETH RUDETSKY
Sunday, December 13th at 8PM EST
Monday, December 14th at 3PM EST
ADAM PASCAL with SETH RUDETSKY
Sunday, December 20th at 8PM EST
Monday, December 21st at 3PM EST
KERRY BUTLER
Sunday, December 27th at 8PM EST
Monday, December 28th at 3PM EST
All tickets available at thesethconcertseries.com

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