A Younger Theater REVIEW: THE PASS, THE PLAYGROUND THEATRE AOFF WEST END THEATRE
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. read full review
The Pass – Written and performed by Denise Marsa
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
THE PASS – THE PLAYGROUND THEATRE
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. – Alan K, Spectrum, Hazel
EDITOR’S PICK: THIS WEEK LONDON
“The Pass…carefully and hilariously deconstructs the career of a fiercely independent woman in an industry dominated by men”. – Theatre Weekly.com 9/16/18
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. read full release
Blog: Jukebox Time Machine
THE PASS is a one-woman show that mingles vignettes with Marsa’s original songs written over the past four decades. With true tales of hit records, publishing deals with Warner Bros. Music and Warner/Chappell, a record deal with a label run by a 21 year-old French billionaire’s son, and Marsa’s own personal highly guarded secrets, the show focuses on Marsa’s development as a musician, artist, and individual struggling with relationships and solitude. read full release
NEW YORK Sep 27, 2017 – NYC performer, singer, songwriter Denise Marsa has undying dreams, a vivid spirit and a substantial music catalog of what many have called “catchy, beautiful, powerful” songs. She is taking yet another bold step in her career, which spans over four decades in the music business, as she prepares for the launch of her new music project THE PASS. read full release
— “Rarely have we heard a singer as able to deliver a message in a song with such strength, humor, and conviction, all wrapped up in tight-as-a-glove harmonies. A thing of beauty, say we. Kudos all around for both the performance and the recording!” Marty Peters, Recording Magazine “STIR IT UP!” read full review
–“American singer, songwriter, producer Denise Marsa is no stranger to the public eye. Marsa moved to New York and began her musical career by forming her own band. Live Forever is Marsa’s second album that has a smooth mellow sound with a hint of country vibe. Marsa’s music is relatable and holds so much depth in each lyric. The first song on the album is “Time to Drive” the song is full of imagery and depth. This song leads the same tempo and beat for the rest of the album. Marsa’s has the ability to paint an image and story with each track …Marsa wrote each song and she pours her heart in the lyrics. Her talent and captivating voice shines through each track.” – Celebrity Cafe’
“I know when I’m listening to something that’s beyond good, because I get chills running up and down my spine. ‘SELF’ by Denise Marsa is one of those spine-tingling albums. Marsa is one of the most talented songwriters I’ve come across in a long time. Having collaborated on numerous projects previously, Marsa finally gets a chance to grab the spotlight. She delivers her songs with both passion and power and the mainly acoustic arrangements are full of melodies. ‘SELF’, however is not about gimmicks; it’s about great songs. Songs that make you wake up in a good mood, get you singing at the top of your voice in the shower and keep you humming to yourself all day.” – Nicole Powers, Rocklove
— KeyMedia Group Announces STEADY from Denise Marsa’s LIVE FOREVER wins top honors at New Mexico Music Awards 2013. Andy Gabrys, co-producer accepts the award.
The Springfield Free Public Library will present a performance by award-winning singer/songwriter Denise Marsa at 2 p.m., on Sunday, Dec. 7. Among Marsa’s credits are “Lucky Stars,” a duet with Dean Friedman that reached No. 3 on the charts in the UK and the international dance hit “Helpless (You Took My Love.)” Marsa’s music has been interpreted by artists from Israel, Japan, Argentina, Spain, Switzerland, England and Greece and she has performed at such noted venues as The Queen Festival Hall and the Odeon in London; The Troubadour, The Roxy and Café Largo in Los Angeles; and Max’s Kansas City, Googie’s Lounge and Rockwood Music Hall in New York City. — Springfield Library to host singer/songwriter Denise Marsa on Dec. 7
–“This was my first experience listening to Denise Marsa on her second album LIVE FOREVER and I really enjoyed her mellow, smooth style. She has a beautiful strong, clear voice that really resonates with me.” – i.e., Mommy blog
–“An exquisite voice and a tremendous sense of songwriting make this acoustic/folk rock release a true gem. Denise Marsa’s debut release is one of the best 10 releases of the year… Period!”- Stavros Moschopoulos, FAOS, United Nations Magazine- Rome, Italy
— “The attendees truly enjoyed hearing award winning singer, songwriter and performing arts advocate Denise Marsa perform at the Springfield Free Public Library the afternoon of December 7, 2014. Joined by guitarist and mandolinist Spencer Katzman, Denise performed songs (some accompanied by herself on piano) from her albums Self and Live Forever. Songs such as “Time to Drive” are as entertaining and easy to relate to. Between songs, Denise offered her insight into the music business and songwriting with questions from the attendees.” – Susan Tegge, Supervising Librarian, Adult Services Department, Springfield Public Library
— Jersey girl Denise Marsa was born in Trenton and currently lives in Manhattan. She got her first taste of fame (kind of!) when singer-songwriter Dean Friedman invited her to sing a duet with him on his second album which was called “Well, Well, Said The Rocking Chair.” The duet was “Lucky Stars,” which is probably best-described as a Broadwayesque musical animated discussion between a man and a woman. In late 1978 that duet hit #3 on the UK singles chart. Jersey Girls Sing: read full article
— “Rootsy Americana with cheerfully strummed acoustics, sharp drum accents and Marsa’s rich, corn-fed alto. Think Mellancamp’s Small Town” – Kelly Bauman, reaL.com (The Land Had a Dream music video)
–“Denise Marsa and her band did an amazing job at our Ann Taylor Salute to Survivors on October 30th. It was very special for the survivors and her performance took our event to a whole other level. It was so powerful – it literally moved people to tears. Her beautiful music and inspiring words brought the hundreds of guests together.” – Stephanie Trachtenberg, Manager, Charitable Initiatives, Ann Taylor Stores, Corp.
— In the love songs, the strength of the voice runs parallel with the strength of emotion being communicated – clever stuff indeed. Other songs have clever lyrics in a different direction. Particularly appealing are the ironic comments in track 7, “Thanks For Asking” and one line: ‘don’t you think there’s a slight possibility Nixon might have been innocent’. Marvelous! – Home Theater Audio Review, Graham Vine
–Denise Marsa – the Mystery Voice on the Song ‘Lucky Stars’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Earth Edition
–“Tired of all the same styles of pop and rock? Denise Marsa offers a break from the monotonous pop and rock with her vibrant melodies and powerful voice. Her clear and crisp vocals allow you to understand and feel every word she sings. The music evokes emotion and stimulates the mind at the same time… So the next time you’re on the road and see someone singing with music blaring from their car stereo, you can bet that they’re listening to Denise Marsa.”- David Dachpian, The Theater Guy, LA