Both Sides of Bernstein: Reviews

Both Sides of Bernstein

Sara Zahn

“Sara Zahn delivers.” ~ Rob Lester, Talkin’ Broadway
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Jersey Jazz Review by Joe Lang

An effective cabaret show requires a well-conceived premise, intelligent song selection, informative, and hopefully witty, commentary, and a performer with the gifts necessary to effectively bring the show to life.  All of this can be found in Both Sides of Sondheim (Harbinger – 3502) performed by SARA ZAHN.  Zahn worked with Barry Kleinbort to create and polish the show, which was originally performed in 1991.  

theater education

This 1994 revival, recorded at Atop the Biltmore in Philadelphia, is now available thanks to the sound engineer at the club, Joe Hannigan who took it upon himself to record the last two performances as a gift to Zahn.  Bernstein composed a wide range of material in his lifetime, and this show explored his Broadway musical theater material, as well as some of the vocal pieces that were in a classical vein.  What ultimately made this show work was that Zahn had a voice with an impressive range, and had ability to sing songs of varying styles with equal effectiveness.  As you listen to this performance you will hear some songs that are familiar, and others that you will probably be hearing for the first time.  No matter, Zahn makes each of them seem like an old friend, and the hour that you spend with Bernstein and Zahn will indeed be a pleasurable one.