Good music will always be good music and Marissa Mulder’s is good music. This sultry songbird and actor from Syracuse is making her mark in the New York City cabaret music industry, one enchanting song at a time.
Mulder will bring her hit cabaret Illusions to the Redhouse Arts Center for 8 p.m. concerts on Friday, Feb. 14, and Saturday, Feb. 15, 8 p.m. Audiences should expect a mix of great American standards from Joni Mitchell to Cole Porter, as her shows explore the relatable ideas of growing up and facing reality–all while still holding on to a sense of wonder, dreams and hope.
Accolades have accompanied her career. Mulder’s act has been voted one of the top 10 cabaret shows of 2011 by the Times Square Chronicles and TimeOut NYC magazine listed her as one of the best cabaret shows of 2013. Recently, she was selected to be “Performer of the Year” by Joe’s Pub Broadway World Awards.
Mulder says that in cabaret you’re in charge and you pick the shows you want. It’s intimate and more like a direct conversation with the audience. There is usually a theme or idea that the show is centered around.
Her rich, full voice can best be described as rare and opulent, easily pulling you into her world of music. One song from Illusions, “My Kind of Guy,” is a quirky number with a comedic take on dating men. The words are such a true depiction of something all women have experienced.
Growing up in the Salt City she lived just around the corner from her grandparents, who she says were her biggest supporters and instructors. Her grandmother directed many plays and concerts and always placed Mulder in the spotlight. Her grandfather was a lover of all things jazz including Frank Sinatra and Billy Easton, which can clearly be heard in Mulder’s voice.
“They were a huge influence on me going into performing,” she said. “I am so grateful for everything they have taught me. I would not be the same had it not been for them.”
Mulder says she gets inspiration from many genres of music, ranging from actress and singer Christine Ebersole to pop diva Beyoncé. Her musical influences also include Barbara Cook, a former Broadway star and current cabaret performer. “She makes me cry every time I watch her,” Mulder noted. “It’s pure amazement. I love her.”
Mulder’s own music is timeless and effortless, and comes straight from the heart. Her focus is to connect with people and stir their emotions as her heroes are able to capture her.
“I feel happy and free when singing,” she said. “It’s almost like an out-of-body experience. I love what I do because I can take the positive and negative scenarios in my life and turn them into something beautiful.”
In November, she performed An Evening with Marissa Mulder at Manhattan’s Café Carlyle, a venue known for bringing in major talents. “I definitely knew this was my dream since age 3,” Mulder reflected. “I knew I had to sing and the fact that it’s happening for me is surreal.”
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