“Once hailed as the next big thing, I’ve learned the hard way that lucky stars, can rise and fall. No longer a young ingénue with my head in the clouds, now older and wiser, I can feel the power that aging has given — to the shape of my dreams.” – Denise Marsa
THE PASS Premieres in London!Watch London Live TV interview 9/25/18
Reviews Opening Night: The Pass – Written and performed by Denise Marsa
Denise Marsa is one of a kind. She’s a force of nature, a life-affirming singer, an overwhelmingly positive presence. Fueled by her passion, she walks on stage with total confidence. Completely at ease in the spotlight, she delivers The Pass, her own story put in music.
The show is meta in that it’s an artistic performance about the artistic career of Marsa. She offers us episodes of her life in the form of nice little vignettes, featuring acting and jokes, but mostly songs and music played by pianist Tracy Stark.
The songs are the real soul of the show, although tunes are at times reminiscent of Disney movies and the lyrics sound like simplified versions of Rent’s. The storytelling is simple, but effective. Songs simply flow out of Marsa’s life, as much as her life can be traced back and pinned down in songs – they are one and the same thing. One just feels sorry not to know the lyrics, as the temptation to sing along is quite strong. Under the veil of glitter and naivety there are some beautifully deep gems to take home. – read full review
“Denise Marsa is not afraid to stand up and say ‘this is who I am’. This is not a simple process and can take a lifetime to achieve-to throw off the shackles of our personal and cultural history. Denise stands before us, in her one woman show, THE PASS and achieves this. She does this through song and storytelling that is of the highest quality. Highly recommended.” – Peter Tate, Artistic Director, The Playground Theatre, London
The songs featured in the show are all Marsa’s, and they are more evocative than provocative. Maybe, just maybe, there was a missed opportunity to sell merchandise. The quality of the music is such that I may have considered buying an album recording if one were available to purchase at the theatre. Okay, it may be what (almost) everyone else does at their own show, and perhaps many of Marsa’s fans will already have all her records.
It’s all about, as the programme tells the audience, ‘songs and vignettes’, and as all the material is Marsa’s own, it all fits like a glove. A few still images are projected at the appropriate moments, saving the time and effort involved in laborious descriptions. The first half seemed, at least to me, to be skilled and tuneful enough but more than a tad reserved, though patience is rewarded after the interval as the best stories are saved for last. And why not? The reverse would have been anticlimactic to say the least. read full review
Written and performed by Denise Marsa, you go through her life’s journey in the songs she has written and sings, with the superb accompaniment of Tracy Stark. Denise has a great voice, and, as a girl from Trenton, Jersey shares her love of the cities where she has lived, New York, London and L.A. , as she has sought to find her inner self and her joy in songwriting. She was the voice on Dean Friedman’s duet Lucky Stars, and seemed bound for the big time, but despite numerous record offers, the elusive ‘big moment’ is still on the horizon – she has talent and deserves success – let us hope this is the moment. – Spectrum – Hazel – Alan K
Editor’s Pick: This Week London
In late 1978 American singer-songwriter Dean Friedman reached #3 in the UK charts with Lucky Stars, a duet with a young and up-and-coming female singer. Denise Marsa had moved to New York a year before and was performing with her own band when Friedman heard her singing at a club in the city. He then wrote Lucky Stars with her in mind to sing, however Friedman and his record label did not publicise her name on the single and consequently she became known initially as “the sexy mystery voice”. THE PASS is Marsa’s story; from the beginning of her career in the mid-70’s, through the highly volatile, emotional 80’s, on to the tech-driven 90’s into the present day. From her start in her West Village studio apartment dating from 1810, to London to West Hollywood and back again, Marsa is the explorer, the innovator, and the woman drenched in tenacity – a woman unwilling to play the game by anyone else’s rules, a woman determined to do things her own way in an industry dominated by men. read full release
“life -affirming” – “engaging” – “inspiring” – “deeply moving” – “a story of artistic survival”
THE PASS is a unique combination of song and story highlighting Denise Marsa’s entertainingly heartwarming take on career and relationships, featuring anecdotes and vignettes recounted against a background of her original compositions. It’s a show spanning decades, combining nostalgic appeal with contemporary relevance, as well as songs which will linger in your head for days. Watch trailer