In the summer of 2011, I won the MetroStar Challenge at the Metropolitan Room – basically a Cabaret American Idol, a competition that begins with 60 singers and ends with one. My prize was a four night run and a multi-track recording of my own show, called "Illusions." I wanted to do a very personal show that showed who I am and what I believe in. The songs I picked really resonated in my heart, some romantic, some silly and some sad, ranging from Harold Arlen, to Marvin Hamlisch, to Joni Mitchell. The themes were innocence and the struggle between leaving childhood, yet keeping an inner child. For me, nothing is as inspiring and rewarding as a Cabaret show. There is no fourth wall, no superficiality, no place to hide. It's direct connection with your audience.
"The engagingly sunny Cabaret Singer Marissa Mulder has a voice with a bounce and a twinkle that recall that much missed pop-jazz pixie Blossom Dearie. Her ingenuousness is real."
- Stephen Holden, The New York Times
"Considering the very high level of artistry,intelligence, and poise she displays in this new show (Illusions) it's hard to believe that only two years have passed since I first saw her perform. She made her debut in 2010—a young singer brimming with promise and radiating innocence and an easy, unaffected charm. Since then I've seen her often, each time her performance more assured and her interpretations richer than the time before—and withal, she's never lost her immense likeability or her youthful spirit, the sense that all things are possible. And now this show!"
- Roy Sander, Bistro Awards
"An album that was recorded as a prize for the singer in question turns out to be a prize for listeners.... a perfect match of singer and well-chosen, well-honed material. This is a splendid showcase, and Marissa brings a listener inside the song because she is so fully embracing it.... Pete Anderson adds many felicitous flavors and moods... and John Loehrke's bass work is sterling. Musical director/pianist Bill Zeffiro, a great asset/friend to those in the cabaret world, provides creative, interesting and pensive arrangements that respect and refresh the material. His own comic piece, "My Kind of Guy," which he wrote for this singer, is a witty, winking shrug of acceptance of being a "loser magnet" for lowbrow guys in flip-flops who are flops in relationships. It's hilarious and adorable. Produced and initially engineered by Metropolitan Room's award-winning tech director, J-P Perreaux, the 16-track album shows not just the MetroStar winner's show, but a rising star with a real winner of a debut album."
- Rob Lester, Talkin' Broadway
"When, after a rousing ovation, she encored with "Rainbow Connection," Kermit's song from The Muppet Movie, it was clear that Marissa Mulder was no singing frog, but a new cabaret princess . . . and that is not an illusion."
- Stephen Hanks, TimesSquareChronicles.com
"Marissa Mulder possesses an extraordinary vocal instrument and a talent for phrasing which made you think you were hearing standards for the first time... Superb!"
VOTED TOP TEN OF 2011 BY TIMES SQUARE CHRONICLES
- Joe Regan Jr., TimesSquareChronicles.com