CRITICAL ACCLAIM FOR "YOU'RE FOLLOWING ME!"
ON THE TOWN WITH Rex Reed
Baby Jane Dexter
Holding court at the hot new Metropolitan Club (through Feb. 24), Baby Jane Dexter reminds me of colored lights, forbidden absinthe, and big brass beds. If she’d lived in the New Orleans red-light district in a previous era, she would have been the most popular white girl in Storyville. Her specialty is hot-foot barrelhouse and wrist-slashing blues, which she wails like nobody’s business, and her fans lap it up like howling hound dogs, hungry for more. I always liked her raucous style, but I never expected to hear standards from the Great American Song Book in her repertoire. On this, the very best act of her career, she’s finally discovered classics by Kern, Hart, and Johnny Mercer, too. And I’m happy to report that her lived-in baritone gives them a personal spin as unique as it is intense. On “Make Believe”, she phrases behind the beat. On “Some Enchanted Evening” there’s no beat at all. She doesn’t even follow Richard Rodgers’ melody. But she makes you feel the subtext of the emotions hiding in Oscar Hammerstein’s lyrics. She sings a Harold Arlen song about a reefer man, a Leslie Bricusse-Anthony Newley song about a candy man, and a Lieber-Stoller song about a “Love Potion Number 9” with equal grit and aplomb. She also tells about her own 12-step program to overcome a fatal addicton to--- frozen hot chocolates at Serendipity. Simply hilarious. Then, without a bathroom break, she wafts dreamily into a rapturous “Fools Rush In” heartbreaking enough to knock your socks off. The best way to appreciate her unusual musical candor is to stop resisting her and give in. Baby Jane just kind of overwhelms you. And bless her pointed head, she does not sing “My Funny Valentine”.
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"...Ms. Dexter has the power of a mighty gospel singer with the will to move heaven and earth!"
Stephen Holden, The New York Times
"In a tidal wave of raw emotion, Baby Jane Dexter has brought her latest and possibly finest outing to the Metropolitan Room at Gotham!"
John Hoglund, Theater Scene.net
"...Shooting sparks...a memory of make believe...I was doubly swept by emotion!"
Jerry Tallmer, Chelsea Now
"…if you’ve got the balls to join a red hot mama on a collision course with raw emotions, she'll leave you feeling stronger and more alive than you did when you walked in!"
James Gavin, TimeOut/NewYork
“…Her emotional vulnerability is the only thing babyish about Dexter, who can break your heart in a single line.
TimeOut/Chicago, October 4-10, 2007
NEW YORK: Baby Jane Dexter celebrates a new year with her eagerly awaited new show, “You’re Following Me!” With songs by greats including: Rogers and Hart, Jerome Kern, Rogers and Hammerstein, Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley, Leon Russell, Bob Hilliard, Chip Taylor, and Harold Arlen, she shares intimate interpretations and personal visions of gems taken from the worlds of pop, jazz R & B and the great American songbook. Since her return to performing in 1990, Ms. Dexter has become one of today's most dynamic and beloved artists on the club scene and amassed legions of new fans who flock to see every show.
For this exclusive engagement, Ms. Dexter was be joined by her acclaimed musical director, Ross Patterson with Steve Doyle on bass and David Silliman on drums.
Writing in The New York Times, Stephen Holden said, “The phrase “keeping it real” and all it suggests certainly applies to Baby Jane Dexter, a longtime cabaret performer whose booming pop contralto is one of the more formidable voices on the New York nightclub stage.”