By Kathy Flynn
Lena Hall, Tony-winning Broadway star and rock diva, brought her cabaret stylings to the Catalina Bar and Grill for the West Coast premiere of “Art of the Audition: From Falling Apart to Nailing the Part.”
Hall started the night off running to the stage from the audience, as her name was called to be the next to audition, and then treated the crowd to a 90-minute performance that was more one woman show than straight cabaret. Hall’s hilarious tales of the awfulness of auditioning punctuated her sometimes absurd and inappropriate song choices, such as “Lost and Found,” which featured the memorable line “If you’re not celibate, we could raise hell a bit.”
The evening highlighted Hall’s range and versatility as a performer, deftly swinging from Broadway baby to opera to rock heavy hitter.
Hall ended the evening with three incredible numbers, a moving and gorgeous rendition of Wicked‘s “I’m Not that Girl,” followed by a powerful rendition of “Memories” from Cats, which brought tears to the eyes of several audience members. She then culminated with Hedwig and the Angry Inch‘s “Midnight Radio” and the audience lifted up their hands for Lena once again, ending the evening on an incredibly moving and uplifting note.
While Hall regularly performs both rock and cabaret shows in NYC, the last time Los Angeles was blessed with her voice, she was making history in Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Hollywood Pantages, starring as Hedwig for 4 incredible performances, while playing Yitzhak, the role she won a Tony for in 2014, the rest of the week.
Lena Hall has spent 2018 working on her Obsessed series, an EP of cover songs featuring a different artist every month. She started off with her take on Hedwig, and has since released Obsessed EP’s covering Peter Gabriel, Elton John, the Cranberries, and P!nk, with a new EP scheduled to drop each month in 2018.