CRAVINGS: Songs of Hunger & Satisfaction is the debut CD from international theater and cabaret artist, Belle Linda Halpern. The recording, a unique intersection between music, desire and food, explores the delicious theme of hunger: for food, sex, acceptance, fame and true nourishment. “The repertoire is as much about our appetite for food,” says Halpern, “as it is about food for thought. These are universal issues that are also very personal to me.”
The sixteen songs range from Tin Pan Alley classics to pop anthems, contemporary ballads and Yiddish showstoppers. Halpern’s expressive voice is brassy and exuberant on Broadway comedy numbers like the “I Want It All/ My Simple Wish” medley and the Yiddish “Roumania, Roumania." She shows a sultry, bluesy side on the sensuous food songs, "I Can Cook, Too”, "Peel me a Grape", and "Handyman”, and delivers delicate and haunting versions of "I’m Not That Girl" from Wicked and "Rocking Chair" by Tina deVaron. Her powerful and passionate theatricality shines on anthems like Ahrens and Flaherty’s "I Was Here" and "If I Can Dream" from Elvis Presley’s Gospel period.
The repertoire of CRAVINGS took root in Halpern’s childhood where she learned to cook at the side of her grandmother. Later, Halpern and musical director Ron Roy were both inspired to create their first cabaret show by a large, voluptuous painting at the local Peasant Stock Restaurant where they were to perform. It depicted a naked woman surrounded by food. Some songs from CRAVINGS originate from that first collaboration—including “I Can Cook, Too”, “Peel Me a Grape”, and “My Handy Man”.
Belle Linda Halpern has appeared in New York at The Town Hall as well as top nightclubs there and in Boston, San Francisco, Paris, Munich, Jerusalem and Mumbai, singing in five languages. The theatrical show CRAVINGS: Songs of Hunger & Satisfaction, a KO Theater works Production, has played to standing ovations, rave reviews and sold out runs in Boston and elsewhere.
Ms. Halpern has been called “Boston’s premiere singing actor” by the Boston Herald; The Boston Globe has called her work “stunning, both as music and theatre." CRAVINGS was nominated for Boston’s IRNE award for best solo show and The Globe and The Jewish Advocate named CRAVINGS: Songs of Hunger & Satisfaction in their round-ups of Best Theater.
Pianist and Arranger Ron Roy is a full time faculty member at the Boston Conservatory of Music, teaching in the Musical Theater department. Ron has extensive credits in theater, cabaret, and opera both here and abroad. Additionally, Ron is a faculty member of The Tuscany Project, a voice and performance workshop that takes place every summer in Italy. Theatrical credits include: "Forbidden Hollywood" at Steve McGraw’s; pianist and musical director for the Chicago and Tokyo productions of "Forbidden Hollywood"; pianist and assistant conductor for the Gershwin musical "Crazy For You" (National Tour and Berlin, Germany); "Disappearing Act" Off Broadway, and pianist and musical director for Boston’s long running hits "Forever Plaid" and "Forbidden Broadway". Accompanist for Belle Linda Halpern for many years, he has also worked with Alvin Epstein, Bill Castellino, Liz Callaway, Shepley Metcalf, Ken Page, and Boston Concert Opera. Roy has worked for Norwegian Cruise Lines, and in an earlier life, toured with his own band Oasis, for which he was both musical director and arranger.