Review page

  • Curto turns show spotlight on Ira Gershwin

    Chicago Sun-Times


  • Award winning vocalist Joan Curto stars in ‘Of Thee I Sing, Ira’

    Lakeland Newspapers


  • May I Suggest?

    Multiple sources

    (JJ Music)
    Confession: When an artist whose work has been the stuff of many hours of pleasure comes back with a new offering, there’s a mix of anticipation and hesitation — anticipation of experiencing some fresh creations; hesitation over the “what if” of not feeling the joy of the past. And when a favorite performer delivers a first recording, those feelings are multiplied manyfold. But when Joan Curto’s debut album, May I Suggest?, starts spinning, the latter feeling vanishes and the former is rewarded over and over again. For those who’ve followed her career over the years, May I Suggest? plays as almost a greatest hits package, revisiting moments from her live performances that have made her one of Chicago’s top cabaret artists. The ease with which she shifts between the jaunty snap of Comes Love and Happy As the Day Is Long and devastating passion of How Deep Is the Ocean and It Never Entered My Mind creates a fully colored portrait of her talent, her inviting guilelessness drawing the listener’s ear and heart close for the confessional beauty and pain in Susan Werner’s title song and Much At All. Has there been a purer, more affecting interpretation of And I Love You So or a more poignant How Deep Is the Ocean? Not that these ears have heard. Confession: May I Suggest? will end up high on the list of the year’s best come December. (****)
    — Cabaret Scenes


    “Curto has a stunning range, and the songs she chose for this collection are further proof that she is a sparkling ruby on Chicago’s cabaret crown”
    — Paul Barile, Lerner News, 2004


    “May I Suggest? proves Curto to be a singer who can put her stamp and personality on standards, such as It never Entered My Mind, and share the magnetism of personal favorites like Good Night New York.”
    — Terry Morris, Dayton Daily News


    “Sassy and Sophisticated, Ms.Curto is as much a spitfire as she is a seductress, unleashing a voice that can pierce the listeners heart as equally as it caresses the ear. Her flawless musical sense is matched by her command of the stage, and the rapport she builds with her audience is one of love and intimacy, lovers of music joining together to celebrate the glory of song”
    — Jeff Rossen, After Dark Awards 2003


    “A Chicago Original…bold brassy voice, her keen sense of comic timing and upbeat personality…everything about her show is polished”
    — Misha Davenport, Chicago Sun Times


    Across a Crowded Room, a celebration of the music of Richard Rodgers

    “pure beauty from start to finish and absolutely not to be missed….absolutley”
    — After Dark Chicago

    “smart, savvy and original…ranks among the best…the masterstroke of the show is the casting…these singers were meant for each other.”
    — Chicago Tribune

    “a full rich harmonic sound that fills the room with spine tingling magic”
    — Cabaret Hotline Online

    “gorgeous harmonies…highly recommended.”
    — Chicago Sun Times


    “I had a feeling going into Saturday night’s cabaret convention show that something magical was going to happen and that this would be an evening to remember. Just looking at the list of performers was enough for me Chicago greats like Joan Curto, Patty Morabito, and Justin Hayford alongside New York and West Coast greats like Amanda McBroom and Mark Nadler! Well, I was not mistaken…


    Joan Curto followed Mr. Hayford, and got a lot of laughs with “My Husband’s First Wife” and then brought tears to many an eye with her perfectly beautiful rendition of Stephen Sondheim’s “Not a Day Goes By.”
    –Todd Shuman, Cabaret Hotline


    Another strong force in exemplifying the overall shared human experience comes to us by Joan Curto, playing the role of the Russian’s pained wife Svetlana Sergievsky. Curto’s beautiful vocals and poignant reaction to that which her character faces, urges us to consider the consequences of our priorities and actions.
    — D ianna DeMond,


    “Curto’s Unexpressed offered the devilishly delightful redhead at her very best as she displayed that gorgeous voice of hers at it’s most enticingly luxurious and switched gears between the ridiculous and sublime with both charm and assurance. Those who missed Unexpressed during it’s initial offering will want to make sure not to make the same mistake again.”
    –Jeff Rossen, Cabaret Scenes


    “Ms Curto made a most welcome return to the Davenport’s Piano Bar and Cabaret stage this month in her fabulous new show ” Unexpressed?”. With such a talented woman on stage, this was nothing short of a four star evening of cabaret….. She performed songs like “Unexpressed”( Bucchino), “Much at All”( Werner), and “Putting Things Away” (McBroom) beautifully and she let her comic side show through brilliantly on numbers like ” I Wish” ( Green) and “Did You Hear What You just Said?” (Green)…..She will be making her New York cabaret debut this fall and New York area fans of cabaret would be wise to catch this act when she’s in town!”
    — Todd Shuman, Cabaret Hotline


    “For those who fancy coloring books, Joan Curto opens a richly hued volume in her ” Just Joan…from where I stand.”Hushed tones begin On a Clear Day, which Curto builds into a soaring flight, underscored by musical director Dan Stetzel’s breathtaking arrangement. …Curto has no problem relaxing into a song and playing the moment whether it’s her powerful rendition of I Don’t Want to Know or the wicked My Husband’s First Wife.”
    — Jeff Rossen, Gay Chicago Magazine


    “Curto eased into a quiet , introspective rendition of Alan Jay Lerner and Burton Lane’s On a Clear Day, her voice so soft and enchanting that nearly everyone in the room slowly inched forward to listen…Curto remained genuine throughout…”
    –Josh Larson, Sun Publictions


    “It was a pleasure to hear Joan Curto sing the role of lyricist Sonia Walsk. Curto deserves credit for making Sonia interesting and believable.”
    — Lisa Pecoraro Ayres, Copley Newspapers


    “The most striking moment in the show was Joan Curto’s rendition of Another Hundred People, a song that is typical Sondheim in it’s hurried and roller coaster cadence juxtaposed against a stellar melody line. Curto, who plays the hippest of Bobby’s girlfriends, a street smart person named Marta, gets every nuance out of the song…..”
    –William J. Burghardt, Daily Journal