A cabaret star is born.

Spencer for Higher 

A cabaret star is born.

Bullshit uplift notwithstanding, this world sometimes can be super, especially for all of us sharing a here-and-now with musical-theater dynamo Spencer Brown. When he beams, which is often, his nose crinkles up, his wide eyes narrow and audiences beam back. You find yourself rooting for him, relishing his screechy speaking voice and his powerful upper singing register. He's right up there with Justin Van Pelt as one of the best Broadway-style male belters in town. In the recent Zanna, Don't! the actor-singer-dancer birded about with rambunctious finesse, nailing line dances, military marches, character-based comedy and breakneck patter songs.

At Bar Natasha on May 21, Brown (accompanied by the indefatigable Daniel Doss) wowed a packed house with his crazy-sexy-silly cabaret stylings. In a crisp sailor suit, he reworked a Sweet Charity favorite into "Hey, Big Spencer." In grand wigs and gowns, he bitch-slapped pop and show tunes for almost two hours, complete with one-two rock steps and many silky pelvic thrusts. He sometimes soldiered through the verses with a comic croak but always took full flight on the choruses. Highlights included musical potshots at Brownback and Phelps; a Carrie duet with Chadwick Brooks; and the long run-up to a finale that included songs as disparate as Tom Waits' "Chocolate Jesus," Cab Calloway's "Minnie the Moocher," Paul McCartney's "Live and Let Die" and Queen's "Somebody to Love" — a fine run for any show but exhilarating for a free one.

Doss tells me that he and Brown will be back at Bar Natasha on July 23. Make reservations now, people.

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