Written by Carla Gordon for Cabaret Scenes (cabaretscenes.org), 2018
With his roots in pop and a penchant for flexing his supple falsetto, Carlo Chapelle is growing as a cabaret artist, largely because he is learning to lead first with his heart. The choice to be spare with the frequency of his falsetto riffs makes them all the more dazzling and appreciated.
His show celebrates his long relationship with Beckie Menzie, when she mentored him back in the days of the much-missed Gentry piano bars. This was well reflected in their harmonized duet of “Nobody Loves Me Like You Do” by James Dunne and Pamela Phillips. Chapelle delivered “Fifty Percent” with strong conviction to a difficult relationship. He delivered it from the viewpoint that “You” don’t iron my shirts, bringing a fresh dimension to the song.
Another effective duet, this time with Chris Quidiat, was “Baby, Come to Me.” The duo captured silky pop harmonies. Chapelle shares the story of auditioning for Jesus Christ Superstar. When asked to sing a something from the show, the only number he knew was “I Don’t Know How to Love Him.” He shared his goals in “I Am Changing.” As the show came to its close, he explained how his ultimate wish is to always be a singer, then offered a benedictive “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?,” inviting his very engaged audience to be part of his dreams.