Members say: Great singing, Entertaining, Delightful, Enchanting, Clever

About the show

Broadway veteran Andrea Frierson celebrates the late great singer Ella Fitzgerald in this solo musical.

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Set against the restless backdrop of the 20th century and the lush serenity of the Ella Fitzgerald songbook, 'Ella & Me' is a valentine to the "First Lady of Song." Ms. Frierson's personal storytelling and song stylings provide a loving glimpse into why Ella's music, heart, and determination to overcome the challenges in her life and career continue to inspire. Part of the York’s New2NY series, which provides a stage between developmental lab and full production.

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through 7/23

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

The Huffington Post

"Frierson’s notion is to intertwine Fitzgerald’s celebrated career with her story...The frequent effect is that the braided stories, as Frierson tells them, start stepping on each other...What’s problematic is that the comparison hinted at in the title gets in the way...Never mentioned are some of the most important Fitzgerald’s recording highlights...A curious lapse...'Me & Ella' would undoubtedly be better were it simply Frierson offering her own story." Full Review

Times Square Chronicles

“Ms. Frierson does not imitate nor does she have the emotional impact of Ella; instead she gives insightful information about Ella’s historical career…What keeps this show together is the jazz trio, led by the incomparable Ron Abel…The direction by Murphy Cross and Paul Kreppel seemed a little at odds, as the show is not seamless. If you sink into the rich arrangements and the stylings of Ms. Frierson, it is sure to be an evening filled with musical highlights.” Full Review

Woman Around Town

"Signature numbers...arrive with confidence and style. Frierson is a fine singer. She has superb control, a classy swing, mellow scat, and a long note that never pushes...The show is in development. At this point Frierson’s own story...intrudes too often with tenuous analogy in order to include certain songs...'Me & Ella' is thoroughly entertaining. Fitzgerald’s story is well told. Much of Frierson’s history is charmingly related. The artist can clearly act and boy can she sing!" Full Review

Wolf Entertainment Guide

“The show is described as a work in progress, but it is already extremely enjoyable in light of Frierson’s talent and likability…Frierson has a potent voice, expert delivery and holds her own captivatingly, with songs well integrated into the text. The direction by Murphy Cross and Paul Kreppel keep the focus on target with simplicity…The overall effect is to both introduce an audience to Frierson’s considerable vocal talent and remind us anew about what a treasure Ella Fitzgerald was.” Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"Frierson is not imitating but paying tribute to the great lady as she intertwines her own life in music and theater, giving insightful information about Ella...The ease and love with which Frierson performs makes her immediately likable...There needs to be better definition going forward as the lives of Ella and Andrea unfold side by side, lest this be thought of as an embellished cabaret show rather than a theater piece." Full Review

Broadway Blog

"Tribute shows are done exponentially, but rarely to the level of quality demonstrated by Ms. Frierson in her warm and winning solo show...Although it lacks intense dramatic stakes, Frierson’s story is worth hearing...Directors Murphy Criss and Paul Kreppel lend gentle touches to both the material and their leading lady by keeping the memoir floating along at a brisk 80-minute pace...As it stands now, it is in excellent form." Full Review

Stage Buddy

"Provides the perfect blast of nostalgia to revive your love for Ella Fitzgerald...Frierson punctuates her storytelling with songs from Fitzgerald’s career that resonate with the moment she’s narrating. Frierson’s gorgeous voice and sparkling stage presence allow the show to shift seamlessly from song to story, creating an immersive experience that covers the breadth of her experiences and Ella Fitzgerald’s life through artistry." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

Funny, Enchanting, Great singing

See it if You like to hear the backstory of a singer's upbringing with parallels to a legendary star combined with brilliant interpretations of songs

Don't see it if Concert performances bore you

Entertaining, Introspective, Well performed and staged, Very well sung, Sensitive treatment

See it if you like Ella Fitzgerald and want to know more about her and how she crossed paths with another performer.

Don't see it if you simply expect someone to be imitating Ms. Fitzgerald.

Absorbing, Delightful, Intelligent, Resonant, Lovely

See it if you enjoy Ella's music

Don't see it if you are looking for a strong story line.

Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining, Great singing, Fluffy

See it if I you like jazz, intimate performances

Don't see it if If you expect a big production

Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You want a night out with great music and singing. Andrea & the trio of musicians were wonderful. Learned so much about Ella from this piece

Don't see it if If you want to see a polished show. It's still a work in progress & it's explained at the beginning. If you don't like jazz, stay home.

Funny, Delightful, Masterful, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if The only reason not to see this is you're deaf. It's a great evening!

Don't see it if You're deaf, otherwise I can't think of a reason not to.

Enchanting, Must see, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if The actress protraying the life of Ella Fitzgerald, did an amazing job. Would go back to see AGAIN.

Don't see it if Don't like Jazz music, or music by an iconic singer.

Thought-provoking, Refreshing, Charming, Great singing

See it if you're interested in Ella and how she inspired a younger generation. The juxtaposition of Frierson's and Ella's stories works nicely.

Don't see it if you're looking for a finished production - Frierson is on book, per Equity contract, & she looks like she's performing in rehearsal clothes.

Also It was explained to the audience that this work is still evolving and ... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Delightful, Great singing, Uneven, Overstuffed

See it if you enjoy great singing. MAE is more of a concert than a piece of theater. Andrea weaves her story and Ella's bio, not always successfully.

Don't see it if you want coherent story-telling. The 2 threads get tangled. Songs are mostly wonderful, but not all. Selection should be carefully weighed.

Also I had a really fun evening. Andrea Frierson is talented and charming. ... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you wish to see a very talented singer perform Ella's songs while telling about Ella's life and her own life.

Don't see it if you wanted to see someone sing in Ella's style and not her own. Also I got confused between her telling Ella's story then switching to hers.

Also The singing is excellent but I was disappointed that she concentrated ... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Refreshing, Entertaining, Great singing, Great jazz trio

See it if you're a fan of Ella and want to spend 90 minutes with Andrea Frierson and her lovely voice.

Don't see it if you need to see a finished production. This show, as advertised, has not yet been frozen..

Delightful, Quirky, Romantic, Great singing, Fluffy

See it if Wonderful music by Andrea F. and jazz trio. Good portrayal of Ella. Parallel story of a young woman following in Ella's footsteps.

Don't see it if The story is disjointed, the bio too worshipful, and the characters are shallow with little conflict or struggle. Music-A. Story-C.

Slow, Great singing

See it if you want to hear great songs by a great singer telling a dual story about her life and how Ella influenced her life in a flawed story line.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy 1 person shows with songs thrown in between a back and forth story about the author and Ella's bio.

Must see, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you love the "American song book" and the First Lady of Song. See it if you want to be inspired and entertained.

Don't see it if you aren't interested in witnessing a new work in progress.

Delightful, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You like the music of Ella Fitzgerald and can relate to a fan's appreciation. Some wonderful singing.

Don't see it if You like big scale musicals. This is an intimate production.

Ambitious, Relevant, Confusing, Great musicians, Excellent singer

See it if you enjoy great music & excellent singing. Expected to be entertained by one of my fave performers from 80s Star Search, & I DEFINITELY was.

Don't see it if you don't understand York Theatre's New2NY program (see below). Script needs work but there's MUCH promise for clearer & more concise flow.

Also As stated on their site, "The New2NY Series presents simply-staged con... Read more Read less

Clever, Delightful, Riveting, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you enjoy wonderful singing and story telling. This lady has a passion for Ella Fitzgerald and she expresses it in music.

Don't see it if you don't like jazz or the music of Ella Fitzgerald.

Intelligent, Profound, Great singing

See it if you love Ella and want to learn about her story along with that of Andrea Frierson's, a wonderfully talented lady of song.

Don't see it if you are one of the few people who don't like Ella Fitzgerald and don't like autobiographical musical presentations by a seasoned performer.

Interesting, Entertaining, Great singing, Solid live orchestra

See it if You like a one woman musical. It's an homage to Ella but a personal story about the performer's life too. Songs enjoyable,porgy&Bess best

Don't see it if You want a super cohesive polished show. It's a self described musical in progress and has a nice weaving of stories.

Clever, Refreshing, Entertaining, Great singing, Simple

See it if You like a small, intimate show with good music.

Don't see it if You don't like Ella's Fitzgerald, need a show with elaborate staging, or don't like 1 person shows.

Delightful, Exquisite, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if If you are a jazz fan. If you would like to learn about Ella Fitzgerald and someone who was inspired by her.

Don't see it if If you don't like Ella

Banal, Disappointing, Slow

See it if You want to see a cabaret show.The narrative was very weak. This woman is a performer - not a writer - clearly.

Don't see it if You expect to learn about EF. Ella somehow got lost in this show. Skillful singing but not much heart to it.

Delightful, Must see, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You would like to hear a great singer singing the songs and telling the life of Ella Fitzgerald.

Don't see it if You don't like Ella's music.

Disappointing, Tough to sing ella and this show didn't do it well. much of the dialogue seemed almost forced.

See it if Don't recommend it

Don't see it if You are my expecting a good cover for Ella Fitzgerald

Funny, Disappointing, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You are an Ella fan. Enjoy workshop productions in development.

Don't see it if You want a fully-realized musical. You don't like one-person shows.

Also The music was absolutely wonderful. The script is the culprit here. Wr... Read more Read less

Cast & Creatives (5)