Review: “Prisoner of Love” at Don't Tell Mama

Anthony J. Piccione

With Valentine’s Day approaching, many people are looking to get themselves ready by going out to enjoy some live music and performances rooted in the themes of love and romance. For us theatergoers in the Big Apple, what better place to get exactly that than at a Broadway-style musical cabaret show? Well, that’s exactly what audiences were treated to this past weekend, when Andrea Bell Wolff presented her acclaimed musical cabaret show Prisoner of Love to a packed audience.

In this show, Ms. Wolff treats the audience in the intimate setting at Don’t Tell Mama on 46th Street to a wide variety of classic songs, featuring an eclectic mix that ranges from Stephen Sondheim and Cole Porter to James Brown and Joni Mitchell, all performed in her own wonderful singing style. She goes from song to song, each one tied in to reflect the overall theme of her being, as she’d refer to herself, a “prisoner of love” throughout her life.

A reflection of her many years of experience as a skilled performer and Broadway actress, her performance of each song is both vocally strong and delivered with a great deal of passion. It was truly special to be able to hear someone of Broadway caliber perform just a foot or two away from where I was sitting. The fact that she’s able to make each of the songs sound as if they’re her own, even as she draws from such a diverse range of genres, makes it even more impressive. The atmosphere is also enhanced by the colorful lighting in the venue, not to mention Ms. Wolff’s wonderful backing band, which also did a very excellent job at performing the music of this night’s show.

The unfortunate thing about cabaret shows such as this is that they’re often only one-night shows, and therefore, I cannot recommend any dates in the immediate future for them. However, considering that this isn’t the first time Ms. Wolff has presented this cabaret show (she last presented it in the summer of last year), and considering how well this recent performance was, something tells me that it won’t be the last time we see it presented here in NYC. I look forward to hopefully seeing her perform again, in the near future…

 “Prisoner of Love” has concluded its run at Don’t Tell Mama on February 3rd. To learn more about other upcoming shows at this venue, please visit