Sections

Stephen Hanks performs ‘Don McLean: Storyteller’ at Union Temple

Star of stage and computer screen: Online cabaret reviewer performs his own show

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

He won’t just be saying bye, bye Miss American Pie.

A Park Slope cabaret-show critic will swap his computer keyboard for the musical kind when he gives a cabaret performance of classic Don Mclean ditties at Union Temple in Prospect Heights on May 15. Yes, he will do “American Pie,” but the performing penman and said he also hopes shine a spotlight on the lesser-known tunes in the McLean oeuvre.

“I like to start off with one verse of ‘American Pie’ because people know it, but just a taste,” said word-slinger-turned-singer Stephen Hanks. “I’ve always thought the rest of his songs are very under appreciated.”

Full disclosure — in 2011, Hanks worked for this very newspaper selling advertising space. But he said he soon discovered his true passion was cabaret, not classifieds, when he opened a small production company and became a cabaret reviewer for the online publication Broadway World, where he is now an editor.

“I’d be doing ad sales at the paper and then running around seeing shows at night,” he said.

Hanks said he was drawn to cabaret in particular because it offers a more theatrical experience for the performer and patrons.

“Cabaret is a very intimate art-form where the connection between the singer and the audience is a little bit closer than your average concert where it’s just a singer doing a set,” he said.

This is Hanks’s second show devoted to Don McLean. In 2013, he penned and performed a show called “Beyond American Pie: The Don McLean Songbook,” which he reprised last year. His new show, “Don McLean: Storyteller” — which he will also perform on the distant island of Manhattan next month — will focus on 16 songs that Hanks says show McLean’s talent as an American griot. The tunes cover a range of genres — including folk, pop, and ballads — but all of them have a tale to tell, he said.

“Whether relationships or political statements, it’s that kind of a set as opposed to random Don McLean songs,” Hanks said.

Stephen Hanks performs “Don McLean: Storyteller” at Union Temple (17 Eastern Parkway between Plaza Street East and Underhill Avenue in Prospect Heights, (718) 638–7600, www.uniontemple.org.) Friday May 15 at 8 pm. Free.

Reach reporter Noah Hurowitz at nhurowitz@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–4505. Follow him on Twitter @noahhurowitz
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:


Reasonable discourse

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: