At The Beginning

Stacy Sullivan’s debut CD, “At the Beginning” is an elegant and beautifully simple collaboration with pianist and arranger John Boswell that continues to be a favorite with fans.

Album art for At The Beginning

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About At The Beginning…

Stacy Sullivan’s debut CD, “At the Beginning” is an elegant and beautifully simple collaboration with pianist and arranger John Boswell that continues to be a favorite with fans.

Praise for At The Beginning…

  • “Astounding vocals…I love this one! So simply presented, yet so completely captivating.”

    — Stu Hamstra, “Cabaret Hotline”
  • “Stacy Sullivan, a Los Angeles-based cabaret performer, makes her solo recording debut with At the Beginning, a lovely collection of some familiar and new material well suited to her warm, somewhat jazzy voice. Unlike many cabaret discs that feature show divas restraining themselves from a good belt (and not always successfully), Sullivan’s offering is more reserved. These songs have soft, gentle arrangements by the always-impressive John Boswell, who keeps things mellow without ever becoming boring. (If the Lieber and Stoller song “On Broadway” has ever been made slower, I haven’t heard it, but under Boswell’s control the slowed tempo actually works). Likewise, while these songs are sung with emotion, they’re performed without the driving need to act (who hasn’t seen actresses overselling a song by trying to tell an entire play through a single tune), offering mostly subtle but effective performances. At the Beginning features such songs as Amanda McBroom’s “Ship in a Bottle”; an arrangement of Irving Berlin’s “Always” and “Remember”; the Gershwins’ “Someone to Watch Over Me”; and Noel Coward’s “Come the Wild, Wild Weather.” Less familiar songs (to me, anyway) worthy of listening include Legrand/Bergman’s “You Must Believe in Spring,” “Carpet Ride” and the title track, a catchy new song by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, the team responsible for the Tony Award-winning score to Ragtime.”

    — Scott Mallinger, AuCourant (January 2000)
  • “One of the great things about writing the Cabaret column here on Talkin’ Broadway is that I am constantly being introduced to performers whom I had not known existed until their press kits and CDs arrived in my mailbox. The number of talented performers out there is truly astounding, and I wish I could interview all of them. Unfortunately, the column would have to expand to a weekly missive, and somehow I don’t think my fingers would ever forgive me for that. So to help rectify this situation, I would like to introduce you to four performers whose CDs I think are particularly noteworthy, but for various circumstances have not worked out as interviews. The first of these albums is At the Beginning by Stacy Sullivan. Last year I received this CD unaccompanied by any press information (word to all of you aspiring interviewees out there … this is a big no-no!). But the CD, and more importantly the voice behind the album, impressed me to such an extent that I tracked Stacy down to find out more about her. Currently living in the Los Angeles area, Stacy has been seen in many PAWS/LA, S.T.A.G.E., and Equity Fights AIDS benefits. Her musical theater credits include Christine in the Los Angeles area premier of Phantom, Rosabud in The Mystery of Edwin Drood with Karen Morrow and the late George Rose, and Babes in Toyland with Robert Morse. And yes, she is the sister of another great cabaret performer, KT Sullivan. Stacy possesses one of the most sensual, smoky altos I have ever had the pleasure of hearing and producer/arranger/orchestrator John Boswell has crafted an elegant and delightful mix of standards and unfamiliar songs to show off the various facets of her voice and personality. From the sultry “I Know a Place” to the reflective “Don’t Move a Muscle;” from the playful “On Broadway” to the joyous title song by Ahrens and Flaherty, this is an incredibly well realized and put together album. John Boswell has done an incredible job of making the CD sound unified without making the songs sound overly similar or stylistically repetitive. It is hard for me to pick out a favorite track, as this CD was one of my favorite albums of last year and is in constant rotation on my CD player. But if I were forced to, I would pick “Carpet Ride,” written by another sister, Heather, as it made me all misty-eyed when I saw Stacy perform it at the West Coast Cabaret Convention in June. At the Beginning is distributed through LML Music. For more information on Stacy, visit her website.”

    — Talkin’ Broadway
  • “Los Angeles cabaret performer Stacy Sullivan’s debut album features a variety of both familiar and unfamiliar material, all dealing with life’s vagaries, especially the ups and downs of romance. Sullivan has a lovely voice ? pure and smokey. She is also quite adept in the use of dynamics, as her vocal delivery fits the emotion being expressed in the lyrics. Having worked in musical theatre, Sullivan possesses a strong voice that can be heard in the last row of the balcony. However, she uses it with discretion, singing with passion, but rarely with gusto. Even on a tune like “Someone to Watch Over Me,” where a little exuberance is justified, Sullivan holds back. She lets loose on sister Heather Sullivan’s joyous “Carpet Ride,” with background supplied by the energetic bowing of Stephanie Fife’s cello. But it’s the folksy-done ballad material ? such as “Ship in a Bottle,” “Once Upon a Time,” and the Irving Berlin medley “Always”/”Remember” ? which brings out that sweet, sincere quality of Sullivan’s vocal style. John Boswell, who appears on most of the LML label’s cabaret releases, is here with his piano and arrangements. Veteran harpist Corky Hale puts in an appearance, adding to the album’s class. At the Beginning is tasteful cabaret delivered by one of the better practitioners of the style. Watch out for the last track ? it’s not over when one thinks it is. After a couple of seconds, Sullivan is joined by her young daughter for a giggling coda. Perhaps for her next album, listeners can hear more of the power in her voice waiting to be let loose.”

    — Dave Nathan – AMG EXPERT REVIEW

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Stacy Sullivan, winner of the Backstage Bistro Award and the MAC Award for Outstanding Female New York Debut, has appeared in venues across the country, from Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York to the Ford Theatre in Hollywood. Joined…