BY ROB LESTER****That variety series Robin’s Nest has “adopted” a Sunday brunch slot this week. Hear songs and tales from Hamilton star Mandy Gonzalez who will be presented by singing host Robin Westle. Both women have been directed by Eric Michael Gillett, who directs this variety show’s installments, and he will be stepping up to the mic in song to fill in for the originally scheduled Joshua Lance Dixon. Ms. Westle also welcomes vocalists Wendy Scherl (MetroStar finalist), Beau Howard, and John Koprowski to nestle into her show, along with filmmaker Don Scimé‘s preview of his movie, David Dance, with an adoption angle from (the always-entertaining program — a few times a year, not often enough for this admiring reviewer— benefits www.helpusadopt.org, assisting potential parents in all kinds of special adoption financial needs). Tracy Stark is Musical Director for the 1 pm Sunday show at the Laurie Beechman Theatre in the West Bank Cafe at 407 West 42 Street on Manhattan’s Theatre Row, near the corner of Ninth Avenue. The show starts at 1 pm, but the room opens earlier for table service/brunch meal.
Vocalist/actress and adoptive mother Robin Westle has dedicated time and cover charge income to Help Us Adopt, an organization with which she has strong ties, having great admiration for their work bringing together new families, including those not typically served by some agencies. Parents who have struggled with fertility and explored international adoption often have more heart and love than financial resources. I’ve been impressed with the musical and emotional content of these variety shows, with potent song choices deftly directed, selected, and connected to family of all kinds. The Westle way with brief interviews are especially moving when participants open up about their own life stories about adoption. And the charming “mama bird” nurturing the nest, radiant Robin Westle, has grown enormously as an interviewer and even more so as a singer, as dramatically demonstrated by her very strong cabaret show earlier this year, also shepherded by her director/vocal guru Mr. Gillett (who also directs Mandy Gonzalez’s cabaret shows). This Sunday brunch edition of Robin’s Nest looks to be especially entertaining, with this high-flying Robin as a sure sign that spring is finally here on a daily basis. This week’s “Pick” promises to be a “pick-me-up” in a particularly pleasing way.