Elena Bennett, Fred Barton
Buy New $8.33
"An audacious work that walks a tightrope
 between seriousness of purpose and camp." 
– Barbara & Scott Siegel

Karen Murphy's CD TORCH GODDESS, based on her one-woman show of the same name, pays tribute to the musical zeitgeist of the Eisenhower era, when torch songs topped the Hit Parade and naughty novelties belied the Hollywood romance of stolen glances by candelight. Backed by Fred Barton's eccentric period arrangements for piano (Barton), bass (Jay Leonhart), drums (Jimmy Musto), and the occasional moody sax (Mike Migliore), Ms. Murphy alternately croons, vamps, scats, and belts through thirteen iconic Fifties songs from the Broadway, Hollywood, and Hit Parade repertoire, from sumptuous romantic ballads to high camp.

Karen Murphy:
is available at, i-Tunes, and 30 digital download services.

"Once in a while a cabaret performer comes on the scene with a vision so unique, a performance so original, it can only be described as electrifying.  Such a find is Karen Murphy in TORCH GODDESS.

"Not exactly a traditional cabaret evening. Not exactly a theatre piece. Murphy has invented a new form. Call it cabaret deintegro.  She appears to be satirizing the genre and yet, despite her ability to get laughs simply by raising an eyebrow, every note of every song is sung with raw, honest sincerity in a voice as clear as crystal.

"Feigning disinterest, sipping from a glass of champagne, Murphy gently purrs, 'How Did He Look,' then segués into a riveting version of 'Cry Me A River.' And she sings the hell out of it, leaving enough passion smoldering for 'Steam Heat' with all the sizzle you might imagine. Dazzling, too, is the 'Theme from "Peter Gunn."'  Who knew there were words? In the hands of this talented singer, it is simply exhilirating.

"Karen Murphy's TORCH GODDESS is mesmerizing, entertaining and just a lot of fun. It is not to be missed." – LA, Cabaret Scenes

"TORCH GODDESS is as much a performance piece as it is a cabaret act, but call it what you will, it's an audacious work that walks a tightrope between seriousness of purpose and camp. It's one of the special pleasures of TORCH GODDESS that Murphy never falls from her dizzy tightrope to land in the safety nets of either ditsy or deep.  It's so much more satisfying, and so much richer an experience, when her torch song interpretations can be taken either way, often at the same time.

"Bathed in a light suggesting cabaret noir, Murphy looks like a cross between Madeline Kahn and Rita Hayworth by way of David Lynch.  She begins with a comically mysterious version of "Stranger In Paradise," and continues on with a drily hilarious version of "Kiss Of Fire."

"She is such a good actress that it's easy to overlook her splendid voice, which can swoop down to deep, husky blue notes before charging up the scale through brassy, Mermanesque tones, until she hits the heights of surprisingly delicate high notes.  A rich, expressive voice with lots of individuality, Murphy can put over the '50's hit 'Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me' like you've never heard it before, starting slow and building to an almost insanely wild finish.

"And speaking of original interpretations, what Murphy does with 'Secret Love' is nothing short of mind-boggling. What once was a saccharine love song, she insidiously turns into a sly parody that makes it seem as if a crazed Joan Crawford has inhabited her soul. Acted to the hilt, it's one of the show's grandest moments. But then her show is loaded with grand moments... Musical Director Fred Barton has given Murphy – and her audience – a show full of originally conceived songs." – Barbara & Scott Siegel, Dramalogue