Inside Feinstein’s/54 Below with Maria-Christina Oliveras’ Solo Cabaret Debut, THE GLORY OF LOVE

André De Shields and Maria-Christina Oliveras. Photo by Lia Chang

On August 6, Maria-Christina Oliveras brought her gift of storytelling and unique style to Feinstein’s/54 Below with her debut cabaret, The Glory of Love. Oliveras caught the attention of NYC theater fans with an explosive, show-stopping turn in David Byrne and Fatboy Slim’s multiple award-winning musical Here Lies Love, and was part of the Broadway companies of AmélieMachinal, and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.

Maria-Christina Oliveras. Photo by Lia Chang

Maria-Christina Oliveras cut an elegant figure in a full-length strapless Badgley Mischka pewter and peacock printed evening gown featuring a cascading ruffle-trimmed side slit, that she accessorized with vintage crystal rhinestone oval drop earrings, a coordinating bracelet and black pumps. Her makeup was by Courtney Cheatham.

Alyse Alan Louis and Orville Mendoza. Photo by Lia Chang

The concert included special guests Alyse Alan Louis (Soft Power, Amélie, Pretty Filthy, Mamma Mia) and Orville Mendoza (Peter and the Starcatcher, Pacific Overtures), with Music Director Andrea Grody on Piano, Rosa Avila on Drums, David Blasher on Cello, Yuka Tadano on Bass, and Kevin Wunderlich on Guitar. The arrangements are by Andrea Grody (Tootsie, Band’s Visit), Scotty Arnold, Daniel Rudin and Joseph Trefler. 

David Blasher, Andrea Grody, Rosa Avila, Kevin Wunderlich, Yuka Tadano. Photo by Lia Chang
Kevin Wunderlich, Yuka Tadano, Andrea Grody, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Rosa Avila, Alyse Alan Louis, Orville Mendoza, David Blasher. Photo by Lia Chang

I was fortunate to be at Feinstein’s/54 Below with André De Shields’ Black By Popular Demand: A Musical Meditation on How Not to Be Eaten by the Sphinx, so I stayed to document her cabaret debut. Check out the all-access pass coverage of the evening.

André De Shields passed on high energy and good vibes to Maria-Christina Oliveras in their shared Green Room. Photo by Lia Chang

SET LIST  

  1. GLORY OF LOVE by Billy Hill 
  2. GIMME GIMME by Jeanine Tesori and Dick Scanlan; new arrangement by Andrea Grody 
  3. 90’s Medley arranged by Daniel Rudin, with guest vocalist, Orville Mendoza:  

          SOMEWHERE OUT THERE (Linda Rondstadt)  

          GLORY OF LOVE (Peter Cetera)  

           I WANNA SEX YOU UP (Color Me Badd) 

          WHAT A MAN (Salt n Pepa)  

          WEAK (SWV) 

   4.    I PUT A SPELL ON YOU by Nina Simone, Jay Hawkins 

   5.    WORKING GIRL/DREAM HUSTLE Medley arranged by Scotty Arnold:  

           NINE TO FIVE (Dolly Parton) 

           GIRL ON FIRE (Alicia Keys) 

   6. I AM READY FOR LOVE by India.Arie 

   7. RIVER DEEP, MOUNTAIN HIGH by Tina and Ike Turner 

   8. WHAT ABOUT US by Alecia Moore/Pink, Steve Mac, Johnny McDaid, arranged by Joseph Trefler  

   9. IN CASE by Demi Lovato 

  10. I REGRET EVERYTHING by Bill Burnett and Peggy Sarlin 

  11. GET HAPPY/HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN by Harold Arlen & Ted Kohler, Milton Ager & Jack Yellen            

       With guest vocalist: Alyse Alan Louis 

  12. NOT A DAY GOES BY by Stephen Sondheim 

  13. GLORY OF LOVE by Billy Hill 

  14. PUT A LITTLE LOVE IN YOUR HEART by Jackie DeShannon, Randy Myers, Jimmy Holiday (Karaoke Encore) 

Maria-Christina Oliveras. Photo by Lia Chang
Maria-Christina Oliveras. Photo by Lia Chang
Alyse Alan Louis. Photo by Lia Chang
Orville Mendoza. Photo by Lia Chang
Orville Mendoza and Maria-Christina Oliveras. Photo by Lia Chang
Orville Mendoza and Maria-Christina Oliveras. Photo by Lia Chang
Maria-Christina Oliveras. Photo by Lia Chang
Maria-Christina Oliveras. Photo by Lia Chang

Maria-Christina Oliveras is an award-winning actor, singer, educator and producer. She has performed extensively on and off Broadway, regionally, internationally, and in film and television, and has served as a singer for such esteemed artists as Taylor Mac and Toshi Reagon. Dedicated to new works and underrepresented stories, her career is distinguished by her transformational character work in a number of world premieres, including Kiss My Aztec, a new musical by John Leguizamo and Tony Taccone, music and lyrics by David Kamp and Benjamin Velez, Amelie by Craig Lucas, Nathan Tysen and Daniel Messe, directed by Pam MacKinnon, Soft Power, a play with music by David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori, directed by Leigh Silverman, El Huracan by Charise Castro Smith, directed by Laurie Woolery, Pretty Filthy by Bess Wohl and Michael Friedman, directed by Steve Cosson and Here Lies Love, a musical by David Byrne and Fat Boy Slim, directed by Alex Timbers. 

David Blasher, Andrea Grody, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Kevin Wunderlich, Yuka Tadano, Rosa Avila. Photo by Lia Chang
Maria-Christina Oliveras. Photo by Lia Chang
Maria-Christina Oliveras, Orville Mendoza, Kevin Wunderlich, Yuka Tadano. Photo by Lia Chang
Maria-Christina Oliveras and Orville Mendoza. Photo by Lia Chang
Andrea Grody, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Kevin Wunderlich. Photo by Lia Chang
Maria-Christina Oliveras. Photo by Lia Chang
Maria-Christina Oliveras. Photo by Lia Chang
Andrea Grody, Maria-Christina Oliveras and Kevin Wunderlich. Photo by Lia Chang
David Blasher, Andrea Grody, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Alyse Alan Louis, Kevin Wunderlich, Yuka Tadano. Photo by Lia Chang
Andrea Grody, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Alyse Alan Louis, Orville Mendoza,Yuka Tadano. Photo by Lia Chang
Maria-Christina Oliveras, Alyse Alan Louis, Orville Mendoza, Kevin Wunderlich, Yuka Tadano. Photo by Lia Chang
Maria-Christina Oliveras. Photo by Lia Chang
Maria-Christina Oliveras. Photo by Lia Chang
Maria-Christina Oliveras, Alyse Alan Louis, Orville Mendoza, Yuka Tadano. Photo by Lia Chang
David Blasher, Andrea Grody, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Alyse Alan Louis, Orville Mendoza, Kevin Wunderlich, Yuka Tadano, Rosa Avila. Photo by Lia Chang

Broadway: Amelie (cast album); Machinal; Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Off-Broadway: Here Lies Love (Public; cast album); Pretty Filthy (Civilians; cast album); Taylor Mac’s 24 Decade…(St. Ann’s Warehouse); And Miles to Go (PCP); Reading Under the Influence (DR2); Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Public); Romeo and Juliet (Public); Zorba! (Encores!); Night Sky (BPAC). Regional: CTG, Yale Rep, Berkeley Rep, Williamstown, Long Wharf, Huntington, Baltimore Centerstage, Sundance, O’Neill, among numerous others. Selected Film/TV: Manhattan Night, St. Vincent, “Nurse Jackie”, “Law & Order: SVU”, The Blacklist”; “Madame Secretary”; NCIS:NOLA.

Luis Oliveras, Melissa Gastelu-Oliveras, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Tricia Nagel-Oliveras, Beatrice Oliveras. Photo by Lia Chang
The Oliveras Family. Photo by Lia Chang
Jeigh Madjus, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Conrad Ricamora. Photo by Lia Chang
Brandon J. Dirden, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Crystal Dickinson. Photo by Lia Chang
Mahira Kakkar, John Paul David. Photo by Lia Chang
Eric William Morris, Alyse Alan Louis, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Conrad Ricamora, Jeigh Madjus, Orville Mendoza. Photo by Lia Chang
Kimberly Grigsby, Conrad Ricamora, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Alyse Alan Louis, Renee Albulario, Jeigh Madjus. Photo by Lia Chang
Migdalia Cruz, Antonia Cruz-Kent, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Lauren Popper, David Blasher, Jerome Haferd. Photo by Lia Chang

Education: B.A. with honors—Yale University; M.F.A.—National Theatre Conservatory. An esteemed educator, Maria-Christina has served on faculty at Fordham University, Primary Stages, Broadway Workshop, Stella Adler Conservatory, among numerous others, and frequently serves as a guest speaker at universities throughout the country.  Maria-Christina currently teaches Acting as Assistant Professor of Theater at Wesleyan University and Musical Theater Performance at Yale University.

David Blasher, Maria-Christina Oliveras. Photo by Lia Chang
Anton Dudley, Maria-Christina Oliveras, James Rubio. Photo by Lia Chang

Maria-Christina is a founding member of Partial Comfort Productions, an associate artist with The Civilians, is a member of National Alliance of Acting Teachers and The Actors’ Center Workshop Company, and is an alumna of The Lark Playground and New Dramatists’ Composer-Librettist Studio, both dedicated to new works’ development and collaboration. She has served as a panelist and reader for various fellowships and programs including Sundance Institute, the Lark Play Development Center, New Dramatists, and Back to the Future/History Matters. She is the recipient of New Dramatists’ Charles Bowden Acting Award and the St. Ursula Award for Distinguished Career Achievement.  

www.mariachristinaoliveras.com

Click here to read Stephen Mosher’s rave review on Broadwayworld.

Lia Chang and Maria-Christina Oliveras
Lia Chang, Maria-Christina Oliveras and Orville Mendoza. Photo by Lia Chang
Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, an Award winning filmmaker and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. Her short film, When the World Was Young recently garnered a 2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2021 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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