Sam Shaber: Life, Death & Duran Duran

Critics

LemonMeter

100 %

Reviews: 6

Audience

LemonMeter

100 %

Reviews: 5

100% Rating – Better Lemons
2018 Encore Producers' Award
2018 Critics' Choice – Better Lemons
2018 Pick of the Fringe – Hollywood Fringe
2017 Pick of the Fringe – Edinburgh Fringe

Life has three guarantees: you're born, you die and if your name is Rio, you dance on the sand. New York indie rocker Sam Shaber was born hungry like the wolf for rock stardom. But what if you never get to join the band? Maybe you grow up to sing about life and death instead.

Coming off a wildly successful premiere at the Edinburgh Fringe, Sam Shaber: Life, Death & Duran Duran makes its U.S. debut this June at The Complex as part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival. In this original musical storytelling experience, acclaimed New York indie rocker Sam Shaber tells personal tales of adolescent dreams and lost loved ones. Each moment of loss is balanced with a vignette of Shaber as her obsessive, pre-teen, Durannie self (i.e. piercing her own ear with a push pin and declaring herself a future worldwide rock star) to create an emotional roller coaster of laughter, tears and catharsis. Between spoken word and her own songs, which she performs live on stage, Shaber reminds her audience that our loved ones become a part of us forever, and that is what keeps us dancing on the sand.

Co-written and directed by Lynn Ferguson, “Sam Shaber: Life, Death & Duran Duran” had its world premiere at the 2017 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, presented by the Gilded Balloon, and garnered 5-star reviews, celebrity endorsements, BBC raves, and more.

 

Sam Shaber Sam Shaber Sam Shaber: Life, Death & Duran Duran, Photo by Theresa Stroll Sam Shaber guitar Sam Shaber: Life, Death & Duran Duran, Photo by Theresa Stroll

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Reviews

Jim Vejvoda
"A sweet, thoughtful and fun one-woman show. The show is very moving and funny, a bittersweet combo given the personal losses Sam recounts. I am a Duran Duran fan so definitely appreciated all those homages. (Also, I love Nighthawks so was very stoked to learn her dad wrote that movie!)"

sweet - Jim Vejvoda


"Shaber manages to share these painful memories from her past without focusing on the negative. She finds light and optimism in each one,and passes on a message of hope. Furthermore, the trust she puts in her audiences as receivers of her story makes it feel like a privilege to be invited in to listen. She is incredibly honest, which makes it impossible not to be affected."

sweet - Julia Stier - Stage Raw - ...read full review


David MacDowell Blue
"A bittersweet tale of a life not yet complete--Life Death & Duran Duran showcases a musical artist looking back in equal parts at her dreams, loves, losses and disappointments."

sweet - David MacDowell Blue - Night Tinted Glasses - ...read full review


Shari Barrett
"This musical tale of teenage obsession, love & loss will ring true for any of us who imagined we really did share a life with our rock star crush, expecting to hear back when gifts are sent or letters are written. But even more than Sam's obsession with Duran Duran is the love she shared with her father, a successful screenwriter who urged his daughter to follow her heart. A touching tale of love, loss and the power within ourselves to overcome every single challenge and emerge as the person we were always meant to be. Great musical selections played by Shaber to accentuate her stories. Her belief that all the people who have come into her life are still will her after they have died will hit home with all of us who have lost a loved one but carry them in our heart and soul forever. Keep going Sam – 12 albums and 200,000 miles traveled while performing is just the beginning for you!"

sweet - Shari Barrett - ...read full review


"Sam Shaber weaves her story of significant loss in her life with a backdrop of her childhood obsession with Duran Duran and her original music with an endearing combination of humor, sorrow and honesty. Her stage presence and sultry voice blends to take you with her on her heartbreak to humility ride of her life story. I laughed. I wept and I cheered!! Wonderful venue for this intimate show. Love her sparkly Mylar curtain. Sam's original songs and her voice! her story. Everything about this storytelling show is just so heartfelt, moving and inspirational."

sweet - Baila Romm


"From the little girl who wanted to be a rock star to the powerful woman whose voice proves it, “Life, Death & Duran Duran” is a rocky, rocking road trip told through a guitar. The world truly opens up when this woman starts to sing. You won't want her to stop."

sweet - Jonathan Tipton Meyers


"I found this play to be profoundly moving, bold and refreshingly real. There are countless moments of truth and fragile, honest heartbreak told with candor humor and a touching frankness. It's absolutely the very best kind of gentle documentary of a life."

sweet - Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros - NoHo Arts Districtm - ...read full review


"Sam is a passionate storyteller and a gifted songwriter. What keeps us engaged is the sincere emotion she imbues everything with. Highly Recommended"

sweet - Bob Rich - Gia on the Move - ...read full review


"This will end up being one of my favorite shows of the festival this year. The idea of a one-woman show reflecting on life lessons and travels could sound like hell to some theater-goers. This concept can easily go wrong. With this show, however, personal reflection and observation take on a universal feeling that feels like a warm hug when you need it most... Sam Shaber is a talented woman with a fascinating tale to tell. I highly recommend you give her the chance."

sweet - Mike & Russell - My Haunt Life - ...read full review


"WHAT I LIKED Sam Shaber. She's such a relatable person who welcomes the audience into her life, her obsession with Duran Duran growing up in the 80's (reminded me of my own obsession with The Cure, The Beatles and Soda Stereo) takes you back to your own teenage years, back when we were more impressionable and looked up to idols on MTV. The interesting part of the show is the stories of people who came into Sam's life and left an indelible impression in her life, only to realize they're long gone. Talking about their deaths was not depressing though, Sam celebrates their life and their influence in her own life and how they helped mold her into the amazing and soulful artist she is today. Favorite line: “sometimes there are no silver linings”. That's all I have to say about that. WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE I truly enjoyed the whole show, I don't think I would change a thing since it's Sam's experience with life, death and Duran Duran. MY OVERALL IMPRESSION Sam Shaber's obsession with Duran Duran made me forget I was watching a grown woman and took me back to a blossoming teenager"

sweet - Victor Sotomayor


"Sam Shaber's mix of storytelling and original music weaves a tapestry of life to which we can all relate on some level, regardless of what you grew up to be. Her story is a wonderful metaphor of how acceptance of what life throws at you can lead to unexpected gifts. I love her storytelling method of going back and forth between a childhood "Sam" and the adult "Sam," which is reminiscent of creative storytelling in movies such as "The Sandlot," "Big," and "Stand By Me." Plus, Sam Shaber's original songs were an unexpected treat! I'd never heard of her before, but now, as a result of her show, I'm a huge fan of her music! I highly recommend you check out her songs on Bandcamp."

sweet - Stacy Dymalski


"Shaber manages to share these painful memories from her past without focusing on the negative. She finds light and optimism in each one,and passes on a message of hope. Furthermore, the trust she puts in her audiences as receivers of her story makes it feel like a privilege to be invited in to listen. She is incredibly honest, which makes it impossible not to be affected."

sweet - Julia Stier - Stage Raw - ...read full review


David MacDowell Blue
"A bittersweet tale of a life not yet complete--Life Death & Duran Duran showcases a musical artist looking back in equal parts at her dreams, loves, losses and disappointments."

sweet - David MacDowell Blue - Night Tinted Glasses - ...read full review


Shari Barrett
"This musical tale of teenage obsession, love & loss will ring true for any of us who imagined we really did share a life with our rock star crush, expecting to hear back when gifts are sent or letters are written. But even more than Sam's obsession with Duran Duran is the love she shared with her father, a successful screenwriter who urged his daughter to follow her heart. A touching tale of love, loss and the power within ourselves to overcome every single challenge and emerge as the person we were always meant to be. Great musical selections played by Shaber to accentuate her stories. Her belief that all the people who have come into her life are still will her after they have died will hit home with all of us who have lost a loved one but carry them in our heart and soul forever. Keep going Sam – 12 albums and 200,000 miles traveled while performing is just the beginning for you!"

sweet - Shari Barrett - ...read full review


"I found this play to be profoundly moving, bold and refreshingly real. There are countless moments of truth and fragile, honest heartbreak told with candor humor and a touching frankness. It's absolutely the very best kind of gentle documentary of a life."

sweet - Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros - NoHo Arts Districtm - ...read full review


"Sam is a passionate storyteller and a gifted songwriter. What keeps us engaged is the sincere emotion she imbues everything with. Highly Recommended"

sweet - Bob Rich - Gia on the Move - ...read full review


"This will end up being one of my favorite shows of the festival this year. The idea of a one-woman show reflecting on life lessons and travels could sound like hell to some theater-goers. This concept can easily go wrong. With this show, however, personal reflection and observation take on a universal feeling that feels like a warm hug when you need it most... Sam Shaber is a talented woman with a fascinating tale to tell. I highly recommend you give her the chance."

sweet - Mike & Russell - My Haunt Life - ...read full review


Jim Vejvoda
"A sweet, thoughtful and fun one-woman show. The show is very moving and funny, a bittersweet combo given the personal losses Sam recounts. I am a Duran Duran fan so definitely appreciated all those homages. (Also, I love Nighthawks so was very stoked to learn her dad wrote that movie!)"

sweet - Jim Vejvoda


"Sam Shaber weaves her story of significant loss in her life with a backdrop of her childhood obsession with Duran Duran and her original music with an endearing combination of humor, sorrow and honesty. Her stage presence and sultry voice blends to take you with her on her heartbreak to humility ride of her life story. I laughed. I wept and I cheered!! Wonderful venue for this intimate show. Love her sparkly Mylar curtain. Sam's original songs and her voice! her story. Everything about this storytelling show is just so heartfelt, moving and inspirational."

sweet - Baila Romm


"From the little girl who wanted to be a rock star to the powerful woman whose voice proves it, “Life, Death & Duran Duran” is a rocky, rocking road trip told through a guitar. The world truly opens up when this woman starts to sing. You won't want her to stop."

sweet - Jonathan Tipton Meyers


"WHAT I LIKED Sam Shaber. She's such a relatable person who welcomes the audience into her life, her obsession with Duran Duran growing up in the 80's (reminded me of my own obsession with The Cure, The Beatles and Soda Stereo) takes you back to your own teenage years, back when we were more impressionable and looked up to idols on MTV. The interesting part of the show is the stories of people who came into Sam's life and left an indelible impression in her life, only to realize they're long gone. Talking about their deaths was not depressing though, Sam celebrates their life and their influence in her own life and how they helped mold her into the amazing and soulful artist she is today. Favorite line: “sometimes there are no silver linings”. That's all I have to say about that. WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE I truly enjoyed the whole show, I don't think I would change a thing since it's Sam's experience with life, death and Duran Duran. MY OVERALL IMPRESSION Sam Shaber's obsession with Duran Duran made me forget I was watching a grown woman and took me back to a blossoming teenager"

sweet - Victor Sotomayor


"Sam Shaber's mix of storytelling and original music weaves a tapestry of life to which we can all relate on some level, regardless of what you grew up to be. Her story is a wonderful metaphor of how acceptance of what life throws at you can lead to unexpected gifts. I love her storytelling method of going back and forth between a childhood "Sam" and the adult "Sam," which is reminiscent of creative storytelling in movies such as "The Sandlot," "Big," and "Stand By Me." Plus, Sam Shaber's original songs were an unexpected treat! I'd never heard of her before, but now, as a result of her show, I'm a huge fan of her music! I highly recommend you check out her songs on Bandcamp."

sweet - Stacy Dymalski