For more than a decade, Justin Bond has thrilled and terrified audiences around the world as Kiki Durane, the booze-swilling, fire-breathing, mind-blowing T-Rex of the washed-up lounge singer set. With the ingenious Kenny Mellman as Herb at the piano, these two fiercely original, yet strangely recognizable titans of the performance world have left a stunning, brilliant and inimitable swath of scorched earth behind them during their long march through the dense jungle of pop-culture, politics, music and modern life. With only days until their opening, they each sat down with Julian to discuss, among other things, their guilty pleasures. First up is Justin who, naturally, takes issue with the very idea of guilt itself. Soon enough, however, the tequilla is flowing…and so is the pleasure!
What the critics are saying
Julian Fleisher uses his four-octave vocal range and his stylistic capabilities to perform something for everyone.Culture Craver
Julian Fleisher, the son of legendary classical pianist Leon Fleisher, has released one of the coolest cabaret albums in recent memory. What makes Finally (Modern) special is the way Fleisher has combined original compositions, including standouts “Leaving the Leaving (to You)” and “All They Need To Know,” with unexpected cover tunes. For example, Fleisher’s reading of “When We Grow Up” (from Free To Be – You and Me ) is sure to produce smiles on the faces of all who hear it. Equally delightful is his rendition of Carly Simon’s “The Girl You Think You See.” LinkThe Bay Area Reporter
The title of Finally is meant to be taken literally—it’s been 11 years since Julian Fleisher’s last solo album, Rather Big. The stars aligned, and Fleisher and his longtime collaborators selected from the songs that concert audiences had grown to love and request. Unlike the Rather Big Band, which featured a massive horn punch, Finally is largely a literate, melodic collection of songs performed with a lightness of touch. The smiling gait of “When We Grow Up” (which hails from the 70′s children’s album Free to Be You and Me) features college buddy Melissa Haizlip and matches well with “Leaving the Leaving (To You),” where the singer assumes passivity and leaves the details of a breakup to a partner. The classic Duke Ellington tune “I Got It Bad (And That Ain’t Good)” stays true to his jazz roots while settling on a “leisurely” pace that’s exactly how it went down live in the studio. By the time the album reaches “Tomorrow”—yes, that “Tomorrow” from Annie—it’s as if Fleisher can get away with anything.iTunes
I trail them around the city worshipfully…ready to swoon as I am to Julian Fleisher and his Rather Big Band!The New Republic
…applaud the casting of Julian Fleisher as George—he has the bonhomie, the knowing looks, the den-mother coddling, the grade-school teacher cheer, the man-of-the-world theatricality, the self-deprecating humor of a man with a great idea and the personality to pull it off. He’s so vividly rendered you believe he might walk off the stage and, if you’re lucky, invite you to a Forties soiree—and you would go with him most anywhere. Fleisher’s singing voice is less than overpowering, but his songs in the show are the kind that make you lean forward and listen. He’s a major strength of this production. You would be glad of the chance to spend time with him even if his housemates weren’t famous writers.New Haven Theater Blog
This seemingly unlikely pairing of the nightclub entertainer and the award-winning actress…could end up with the dynamic duo becoming the next Steve and EydieTheatermania.com