Saturday, May 25, 2024

Actress Gloria Reuben to Dazzle and Uplift with New York Cabaret Show ‘Great Ladies of Motown’

Gloria Reuben Poster

*Television lovers have come to recognize Emmy and Golden Globe award nominated actress Gloria Reuben via her roles on shows ranging from “ER” and “Raising the Bar” to “Mr. Robot” and her current endeavor, “Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger.”

Many would be surprised to know that she is also an accomplished singer. On Wednesday, September 27, the multi-faceted beauty will be bringing her third musical show in a year’s time to Feinstein’s/54 Below in New York; a one night only piece called “Ladies Night: Great Ladies of Motown.”

Filled with some of the biggest hits of Motown’s golden `60s era, the show promises to be another eventful and exciting sell-out as summer turns to fall in The Apple.

Reuben has played classical piano since age 5, and sang backup for none other than Tina Turner on the superstar’s year 2000 tour, “24/7.” (Reuben auditioned for Turner and her manager in a hotel room doing her own custom choreographed routine to “Nutbush City Limits”). This led to the release of her 2014 debut solo CD, Just For You, which swung from the torch song “Angel Eyes” to a beautiful arrangement of Rufus featuring Chaka Khan’s evergreen “Sweet Thing.”

Last December, Gloria decided to do an intimate piano and vocal-only holiday show with her Musical Director Angelo Di Loreto titled “A Time For Love” at Feinstein’s/54 Below where she lives in New York. The sellout show was so warmly received that management asked if she had another. Reuben, ever-busy with a multiplicity of ideas running through her head said, “Yes.”

“I decided I wanted to do a show celebrating women,” Reuben shares over an early evening cup of tea at the lounge inside the Four Seasons/Wilshire in Beverly Hills. “We couldn’t put a woman in the White House but I could celebrate female singers. So, in March I came up with ‘Ladies Night: Great Ladies of Song.’ Since I’m a native of Toronto, I started with the Canadian contingent of kd lang, Joni Mitchel and Alanis Morrissette, elegant jazz ladies Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan, ladies who left us too soon (Karen Carpenter and Amy Winehouse) then closed with Sade, Heart and Tina Turner.” The evening was another success.

gloria reuben2
When Reuben was asked to mount a follow-up, she realized that the template “Ladies Night” offered a plethora of show ideas she could insert. And what could be better than “Great Ladies of Motown,” the Detroit record company that became the Sound of Young America in its golden decade of the `60s.

“The world is a mess right now,” the highly politically aware and active Reuben sighs. In addition to her acting and singing work, she is heavily involved in activism for voter’s rights, the environment and women’s issues, among many. “We need to have some fun now and then; I know I do. You can’t go wrong with the Vandellas, the Velvelettes and the Supremes. Even though some of the lyrics delve into heartbreak, the music is often upbeat. It’s a big show in that it’s a lot of work. I’ll be singing about 14 songs with a trio of piano, bass and drums. My MD Angelo and I have been working together for two and a half years.”

Cagey about sharing too many details about song selections as she wants the audience to be surprised, Reuben did tease that she’d also be saluting Tammi Terrell, Brenda Holloway and Mary Wells, that there would be a couple of Aretha Franklin songs (Franklin was never a Motown recording artist but is a native of Detroit), and that several of the arrangements will be shocking and, hopefully, refreshing for her fans. These include a version of Holland-Dozier-Holland’s “I Hear a Symphony” which she will interpret as a ballad…and Martha & The Vandellas’ “Dancing in the Street” as a timely protest anthem.

Speaking with Reuben face to face, she is very soft-spoken, also noticeable in her radio/TV interviews as well as YouTube clips of previous Feinstein’s highlights. But she assures that, as her vocal coach once marveled, her singing voice is much stronger. This is a woman who sang with Tina Turner and has also projected to the last row of the house in theater productions. Be prepared to hear some heat.

Gloria Reuben currently has a Jazz CD out produced by 5x Grammy-winner Hal Ashby entitled Perchance to Dream. It includes “Save Your Love For Me,” “Pure Imagination,” “Here’s to Life” and an especially deep number called “Sharing the Night with The Blues.” Her next recording is slated to be another Ashby-produced endeavor – likely guitar and vocal only.

Music came before acting for Reuben and it has truly been a lifeline – as much personally as professionally. “Though it requires a great deal of focus, I still love playing classical piano,” she states. “I have such an active mind – a lot of plates in the air creatively – which can lead to burnout. It’s been helpful for me to play. I carry a piano with me many times when I am on location – a full 88-key piano in my room. It’s strangely relaxing for me.”

For MORE info on Gloria Reuben starring in “Ladies Night: Great Ladies of Motown,” on September 27 at Feinstein’s/54 Below in NYC, visit: GloriaReuben.com and/or 54Below.com.

 

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