As a nightclub vocalist, Miles has been honored with multiple MAC Awards and twice honored in the category of Outstanding Cabaret Male Vocalist at the New York Nightlife Awards. He has headlined across the country and internationally on the stages of some of the finest nightclubs and concert halls. His latest solo show "...Reappearing In My Mind" recently enjoyed a triumphant engagement at Feinstein's and has been playing to standing ovations around the country. His leading man charm, glorious voice and passionate artistry have established him as one of New York's most celebrated male vocalists.
We're happy to spotlight each of Miles' award-winning solo shows here, including players featuring YouTube selections from each show. In fact, Specific Overtures is on YouTube in its entirety! So pour yourself a two-drink minimum, sit back, and enjoy a night out, from the comfort of your favorite device.
"...Reappearing In My Mind"
Miles Phillips made his triumphant Feinstein's debut with a concert specially conceived to celebrate the occasion. His leading man charm, glorious voice and passionate artistry have established him as one of New York's most celebrated male vocalists. This show featured favorites from his theatre, recording and nightclub appearances as well as special presentation of unpublished gems by some of his favorite Broadway composers.
The diverse collection of songwriters represented in the program included: Michelle Brourman, Karen Gottleib, Kate Bush, Marc Blitzstein, The Rolling Stones, Stephen Schwartz, The Beatles, Lionel Bart, Frank Loesser, William Finn, Jeff Harris, Johnny Mercer, Peter Larson, William Shakespeare, Jason Wynn, Leonard Bernstein, Cy Coleman, Alan & Marilyn Bergman, Herrman & Harman, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Kander & Ebb and Stephen Sondheim. Miles had the special honor of presenting, with John Kander's blessing, the first public performance of a beautiful song "If You Leave Me Now" which was cut from The Happy Time.
Phillips' longtime musical collaborator, MAC winning composer Jason Wynn, served as Musical Director. They were joined by Miles' old friend, multiple award winner Julie Reyburn, for a special reprise of an arrangement of 'Another Hundred Eleanors' that Julie had performed with Miles back when they were both just getting their start in New York cabaret. Feinstein's was packed with ardent fans, friends and the cream of cabaret society. The show was a hit and the response from audiences and critics was glowing!
Hailed as "A Triumph!"
"Multi-talented and multi-award winner Miles Phillips made his first appearance at Feinstein’s at Loews Regency to a capacity crowd of cabaret royalty. … The entire show was extraordinarily romantic in nature and Phillips projected charm and warmth that cast a spell over his audience. … full of stunning emotional moments. A tour de force. No one has sung better than Miles Phillips in this gorgeous room, proving once and for all that he is a major artist able to play the big rooms, and with his acting and musical talent project a romantic image that connects intimately with every single person in his audience."
Joe Regan, Jr. / Cabaret Scenes
Quiet Stars premiered to cheering houses and unanimous acclaim at The Metropolitan Room in October of 2007. His passionate foray into the "songs of the night" - following the course of a night in New York, from twilight to dawn - was his most romantic show to date.
The diverse collection of songwriters represented in the show included: Kate Bush, Meredith Wilson, The Rolling Stones, Carlisle Floyd, Bronski Beat, Frank Loesser, Sergio Mendes, Alan & Marilyn Bergman, Mark Campbell, Steve Marzullo, Tracy Stark, Patsy Cline, Cy Coleman, The Bee Gees, Stephen Sondheim, Bock & Harnick, Kander & Ebb, Herrman & Harman, Rodgers & Hammerstein and, or course, Antonio Carlos Jobim.
Miles received the 2008 Outstanding Male Vocalist MAC Award for his performance in Quiet Stars.
"The cabaret act of the YEAR! … an absolutely stunning high … a show full of highlights … what a unique talent Phillips is, one of our finest singers and actors … and in this act he surpasses anything he has ever done before! … Miles did something that he was to repeat several times during this act: he re-invented a familiar song with new energy and emotion and you felt as if you were hearing the song for the first time ... The stunning pyrotechnics of the amazing ‘Walkin’ After Midnight Medley’ will not likely to be equaled by anyone in any other act this year! … One cannot praise enough the musical collaboration between Phillips and Wynn on this show. They are indeed soul mates and perfectly complement each other in every way! … I suggest you reserve early, because this is going to be the act to beat when cabaret awards are given out for the year.”
Joe Regan, Jr. / NightifeExchange
"With his new show, Quiet Stars, award winner Miles Phillips took an uncommon approach. Instead of reaching out to his audience in the conventional manner of cabaret, Quiet Stars created a very personal world of Phillips' own, and he invited his audience in to share it with him ... In fact, there was a certain 'do you understand?' quality to the show, for the melodies and lyrics in many of the songs required his audience's involvement as Phillips sang. To fully appreciate Quiet Stars, they had to do more than just sit back and let sounds and sentimental words wash over them. The feelings he sang about were not only emotional but also often sexually raw and direct ... His tunes varied from Rodgers and Hammerstein's classic 'We Kiss In A Shadow' to 'He Never Did That Before,' which metamorphosed in Phillips' rendition from exuberance to puzzlement to anger and convictions of infidelity ... Quiet Stars was a strong show and an interesting one, one that would be difficult for a less versatile performer than Phillips, who is a well-trained actor with a fine and finely tuned voice."
Peter Leavy / Cabaret Scenes
Specific Overtures opened to unanimous acclaim in the Autumn of 2005. The show was Miles' exploration of life's “stepping off” points – moments of trust and reaching out that are integral to the human experiences of friendship, love and faith. The song list featured an impressive range of material from show tunes and standards to pop and rock. All of it presented in Miles’ inimitably warm, breezy, yet passionate and fiercely intelligent style.
Miles teamed again with award winning musical director and composer, Jason Wynn. Their creative energies and engaging chemistry, central to the success of The Unrest Inside Me, once again thrilled critics and audiences alike. The show also had a couple of surprises in store: mid-show, as Miles was singing 'Baby, Talk To Me' - Rob Langeder and Kristopher Monroe popped up from the audience and Technical Director Michael Barbieri popped OUT of the booth to join Miles and Jason onstage for some gorgeous 5-part harmonies. Then Rob stayed onstage to join Miles in a show-stopping pairing of Jerry Herman's "I've Never Said I Love You" and "Kiss Her Now" from Dear World.
Miles was named one of the most outstanding Cabaret, Jazz and Comdy Performers of the Year by New York's top critics for his performance in Specific Overtures at the 2006 Nightlife Awards in the category of Outstanding Cabaret Male Vocalist! Other honorees that evening included: Elaine Stritch, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Chita Rivera, Rebecca Luker, Jack Jones, Michael Feinstein, Karen Mason, Tom Andersen, Colm Reilly, Sandy Stewart & Bill Charlap, John & Bucky Pizzarelli, Jimmy Webb & Glenn Campbell, Jason Graae, Kristen Schaali, Judy Gold, Greg Giraldo, Demetri Martin, Paula West, Annie Ross, Freddy Cole and special Legend Honoree Eartha Kitt!
Miles was also honored with the 2006 MAC Hanson Award. Other special honorees that year included Betty Buckley and Phoebe Snow.
Everybody's Talkin' about Specific Overtures!
"Miles Phillips is an actor/singer. He's also a very smart and perceptive artist. When he puts on a show you can expect an act as rich as a seven layer cake, with seven levels of meaning as well. His new show, cleverly titled Specific Overtures, deals with those moments when we step off into the unknown. It might be taking a chance on love or starting a new job. In its simplest form, it's about putting out your hand to another person without knowing if your gesture will be reciprocated. In the instance of someone reading this review, who is otherwise unfamiliar with Phillips, it might be choosing to see Specific Overtures. Phillips has a warm, pleasing light baritone. He's not a belter, but passion can infuse his voice with an emotional ardor that surpasses the bark of a belt, providing, instead, a genuine bite. He's comfortable singing in a variety of styles that segue easily from standards to pop and rock, but all of his material is lyric driven. And all of it is carefully chosen to explore the theme of his show; as a consequence, he often unearths fresh perspectives out of songs you thought you knew. He makes those new perspectives stick thanks to his skills as an actor. One of the - if not the - most conceptually satisfying show of the year it is performed with considerable charm, grace, and style."
Barbara and Scott Siegel (The Two of Clubs) / TalkinBroadway
"Artfully conceived and smartly staged, with beautiful singing, heartfelt and insightful interpretations, and a good deal of charm. Altogether a splendid show. I look forward to seeing it again."
Roy Sander / Columnist & Cabaret Critic
"With his cleverly titled show Specific Overtures, and affable manner, singer Miles Phillips turned up a winner in his not too long ago gigs at the Encore ... Loosely examining life's 'stepping off' points through an impressive song list culled mainly from musical theatre, he shared an hour of intimations of the human experience through funny and poignant reflections of friendship, faith and love. An experienced actor with considerable credits in musical theater and the recording studio under his belt, his no frills, down to earth humor made the hour fly and added balance to the more earnest moods. With multi-talented musical director/co-arranger Jason Wynn at the piano and on occasional backup vocals, it all lived up to the great word of mouth the show had been getting. Phillips' voice is a confident baritone that, at times, recalls a young Neil Diamond or the late Larry Kert in its resonance and intonation. This was particularly true on a searing medley that linked 'Simple Song' and 'I Go On' from Leonard Bernstein's Mass, (words by Stephen Schwartz). Both of these artsy masterpieces, are musically and lyrically structured in a way that, while innocent enough in their semi-secular messages, are deceivingly difficult to interpret for many singers. Extended legato and fortissimo passages can also be tricky. Phillips handled them with tenderness and ease resulting in a bona-fide highlight that was inspiring. With a penchant for Sondheim, Phillips' other offerings showed off an emotional vocabulary that exposed layers of meaning ... In a show filled with pearls, particular standouts included an intense 'Anyone Who Had a Heart' (which has almost become a cabaret anthem) by Burt Bacharach and Hal David and a wonderful Jerry Herman medley of 'I've Never Said I Love You' and 'Kiss Her Now,' both from Dear World, (joined by terrific singer Rob Langeder) that created some magic. Harry Warren's plaintive 'This Heart of Mine' was understated and simple and scored another home run. His strength lies in exposing an emotional punch right from the heart. Everything he sings has an inner joy that's palpable."
John Hoglund / Back Stage
"This is another example of a fantastic pairing of talents - Mr. Phillips' magical vocals and Mr. Wynn's inspired arrangements. It was an enjoyable hour of overtures, covering all the many meanings of the word. Special treat was the surprise back up vocalists who appeared out of the audience half way through the show and joined Miles onstage (Rob Langeder, Kristopher Monroe and Michael Barbieri), with Rob staying on to sing a duet with Miles. It all made for a most entertaining hour of cabaret."
Stu Hamstra / Cabaret Hotline
"To invoke an old but pleasant saying, Phillips has a way about him. That way is made up of equal parts steel-girder-strong baritone and take-me-as-I-am personality ... exquisite ... genius ... genuinely gracious ... that's what I call intimate-room savoir-faire."
David Finkle / Back Stage
"Did you ever go to a show that made you just come home wanting to work on YOUR music because you were so inspired by the quality of what you just saw? ... I was at Miles' show yesterday afternoon and let me just say this ... if this show doesn't put Miles Phillips 'on the map' (to the masses, as he has always been this in my book) as one of the greatest Cabaret singers to step on a stage then there is just something wrong in the universe. At my table last night were Judy Barnett, Jeanne MacDonald, Colm Reilly and Shane Matthews (owners of Helen's), Mychelle Colleary and numerous other folks who all seemed to agree that what we saw last night was as good as any Broadway show. Miles' voice is just stupendous. Really. It's one of those voices that doesn't seem to have a top or a bottom. Miles' ear is a marvel so the harmonies and the charts that he and Jason have done are worth seeing the show for alone. Then we get a 'special moment' in the show which I won't spoil because Miles HAS to bring this show back soon. And there's a duet with his best friend Rob Langeder (I starred with both of these men in the Question W Revue by the way along with Joan Crowe) that just, as Judy Barnett put it, 'Knocked my socks off so I was glad that I was wearing a pair!' ... If I had an award to bestow, it would be yours, Miles. If he brings this show back it MUST SELL OUT every night. If he made this show a little longer and got backing, it could be an off-Broadway show. THAT'S truly how good it was. (Note to self: MUST start playing lotto so that I can produce shows like this!) ... Like all of us I suppose, I get 'green eyed monsters' all the time over other people's talent ... but when I see the level of talent like I saw in Miles, well, it humbles me in one way then inspires me to constantly set the bar higher. He has been blessed with a talent that needs to been seen ... I'm still on the high of having seen a really wonderful show and a genuine STAR being born!"
Sue Matsuki / MAC, Bistro & Julie Wilson award winner
"I REALLY REALLY loved Miles' work. It was gorgeous to listen to, intelligent, enormously moving, brilliantly constructed. And he ain’t bad to look at either! Go go go!"
Laurie Krauz / MAC & Bistro award winning Jazz artist
"I had been hearing such raves about Miles' show that I wondered how it could possibly live up to the advance hype. What a delight to find that it was even better than expectations. Full of joy and energy, Miles uses his glorious voice to create an evening of story-telling, shaped in love and filled with excitement - a real catharsis and the experience we all hope for when we see live entertainment."
Cynthia Crane / Multiple award winning vocalist
The Unrest Inside Me
The Unrest Inside Me grew from Miles' reflections on his "Life Upon The Wicked Stage" after taking several years’ break from the cabaret stages, while he was busy working as an actor (and processing the end of his marriage and the aftermath of 9/11). The result was his joyous, moving, multiple award-winning celebration of the journeys of the actor, and the formidable challenges of balancing Art, Travel, Showbiz and Love.
Miles teamed again with his longtime Music Director, Jason Wynn. From shows to songs to co-arrangements, critics and fellow musicians consistently hail their innovative and moving musical collaborations. Their great friendship and charming onstage rapport was featured brilliantly in the show.
The Unrest Inside Me opened in 2003 at Mama Rose's and ran for months into the summer of 2004. The show returned in 2007 to celebrate the opening of The Metropolitan Room.
Miles received the MAC Award as Outstanding Male Vocalist for The Unrest Inside Me and was honored in the category of Outstanding Cabaret Male Vocalist at the 2004 Nightlife Awards.
MILES PHILLIPS' SHOW AT MAMA ROSE'S DAZZLED!
"It's refreshing to watch a cabaret show with a tall, handsome, leading man who knows how to sing, but still doesn't take himself too seriously. Thankfully, Miles Phillips did just that in his lovely and entertaining show The Unrest Inside Me which just concluded an encore engagement at Mama Rose's ... musical excellence which begins with a firm technique that includes superb phrasing and a burnished top register that rings with authority ... As if that weren't enough, his taste is superb in picking repertoire that's interesting, unusual and unappreciated. Not just anybody can sing 'I Wish It So' by Marc Blitzstein or Michele Legrand's treacherous 'On My Way to You' with the ease Phillips can, always backed by the supple playing of Jason Wynn. Not to mention he's charming, funny and has the chutzpah to sing 'The Road to Morocco' with Wynn as an encore. Ya gotta love a guy like that. Pick up Phillips' terrific CD 'might as well be...' from his debut show."
David Hurst / Showbusiness Weekly
"The quality level of shows in cabaret clubs around the city has been unusually high during the last month ... the most ambitious of them comes courtesy of Miles Phillips. Called The Unrest Inside Me, it's an unusual mix of nonchalant attitude and intense, intelligent turns. The absorbing show centers on the trials and tribulations of a performer's life; among its highlights is 'Art and Love,' written by Phillips himself. The song displays yet another weapon in this entertainer's arsenal of talents, inclusive of charm, wit, and a lovely voice."
Barbara & Scott Siegel / TheaterMania
"Miles Phillips stirred up some enthusiasm among the cabarati – or is it cabarenti? – during his Mama Rose's turn the last few weeks, and the reason is plain. The good-looking blond fellow, who's as sure of himself as George W. Bush at a Republican Party fundraiser, sings in a robust baritone. He also may have impressed the patrons with his 'Unrest Inside Me' theme, a consideration of the conflict between following one's art and one's love that's much juicier on stage than it sounds in print ... Phillips set out the potential for career versus romance in his second medley, Lionel Bart's 'Where Is Love?' and the Oscar Hammerstein II – Jerome Kern 'Life Upon the Wicked Stage,' and then stuck to it with a generous amount of invention. For R. Dworsky's 'Goin' to the Dance With You,' about a walk on the amorous side, he twirled with a ringsider. He got to the depths of his dilemma in 'I Wish It So,' the Marc Blitzstein song (from Juno, Blitzstein's Broadway musical based on Juno and the Paycock) that includes the phrase Phillips took for the act's title ... Phillips provided an easygoing act with intriguing undercurrents of harder going."
David Finkle / Back Stage
"One of cabaret's best singers ... Glorious voice ... well selected songs, emotionally landed each moment ... I really enjoyed the whole emotional trip ... loads of fun!! This talented lad's been gone far too long from New York's cabaret stages ... welcome back, Miles, you've been missed!"
Michael Nelsen / MN Online
"might as well be..."
Back in the summer of '99, Miles read an article in The Advocate...
They asked a bunch of celebrities what there favorite teen flick was. Comedian Jason Stuart replied that his was Where The Boys Are, and credited the scene where Connie Francis went walking down the highway in a daze "because she'd had sex once" as one of the main reasons.
Miles was "incensed" and immediately fired off a tongue in cheek letter to the editors: The main concern being that "it was not Connie Francis, but poor Yvette Mimieux who was wandering down the middle of a busy highway, high on one too many grasshoppers, not because she'd had sex once, but because she'd taken the wrong turn at the good girl/bad girl fork in the road, and fallen victim to the smooth talking of a bunch of 'Yalies' and could never go back home and face her family. Even though all she really wanted was her daddy."
The letter was printed, Miles started hearing from folks all over the country, and a mission was born. Miles couldn't get the movie out of his head, and decided to put on a show in celebration of the film and all the emotions and wanderlust of Spring Break.
Miles teamed with some of his favorite artists in the city.
Mark Janas: Longtime friend, Musical Director and composer of the new Broadway-bound gothic musical PoeSCrypt served as Music Director, arranger and played keyboards for the shows.
Andy Gale: Miles' friend and coach, and star of far too many a Broadway show to list, provided his watchful, loving, creative, supportive eye as Director.
Michael Barbieri: "The man who sings with (and from) his lighting board," the hottest technical director on the cabaret scene ran the board and lit up that beautiful room at Judy's.
Percussionists Matt Aiken & Ken Weisbach: Matt started the run in April, and Ken took over for Matt when he left for the summer.
Julie Reyburn: Dear friend, fresh from her cabaret hit Fate Is Kind, joined Miles for an acoustic moment or two, providing beauty, moral support and a hand on guitar and vocals.
The show was a hit! Critics and Audiences embraced its warmth and humor. Miles had an amazing time and the show was extended, revamped for the new season and re-dubbed The Summer Set. Once again, the show was extended into the Autumn as The September Songs.
The show was also digitally recorded on video, live during the April run. The legendary Margaret Whiting happened to be in the studio when the video was being transferred. She caught Miles singing on the monitor and said "Who is this guy? Turn that up!" She immediately sat down and watched the show through to the end and then raved about Miles and the show, proclaiming "This has to be a CD!" Bradshaw Smith relayed the message from Ms. Whiting and not long after, as she suggested, "might as well be..." was released as Miles' acclaimed debut solo album!
"God bless you, Connie Francis, wherever you are!"
"... passionate heart, luscious voice and a great sense of humor ... a very entertaining set!"
Bradshaw Smith / Broadway Beat
"Super vocalist Miles Phillips is back for an encore show at JUDY'S Chelsea ... I've actually seen this show twice, and it is a delightful collection of songs and showtunes (Miles' forte is musical theatre) and even a lovely song sung in Spanish!”
Stu Hamstra / Cabaret Hotline
"Phillips is a charming performer/singer with a slew of very creative arrangements ... I heartily recommend ... a delightful show. Great fun!"
D.L. Lepidus / The Westsider
"What a lovely surprise, a new (to me) male singer who's able to touch special places in my heart, using a blend of contemporary and Show music. Especially moving were contemporary J.D. Souther's 'Prisoner In Disguise,' with Julie Reyburn supplying harmony and guitar, and S. Colvin's 'I Don't Know Why,' also there was the beautifully arranged medley, 'Another Hundred People/Eleanor Rigby,' which brought back memories of the wonderful arrangements Brian Lasser used to do for Karen Mason and their Beatles' medleys. Another magical moment was a Strouse medley, Rags' 'Wanting' and Annie Warbucks' 'It Would Have Been Wonderful,' bringing to mind the wonder of discovering one's heart opening to new love and the desire which follows. There was the unexpected phrasing in Funny Girl's 'Who Are You Now,' creating a sense of the surprise of discovery. My favorite moment, however, was 'My Favorite Year,' one of those songs I just love to hear. It flowed seamlessly into 'You Must Believe In Spring.' All bringing a nice sense of romance to the evening. 'Where The Boys Are' capped off the evening, playing well against earlier songs, 'Summer In the City' and 'Boy From New York City' ('Shy'... yeah, right!). Looking forward to a new show soon (hint, hint)."
Michael Nelsen / MNnyc.com
Aside from the major award-winning shows featured above, Miles has enjoyed wonderful successes in shows ranging from early solo acts like Out Of Context and Presence (The Christmas Songs), to even more award-winning shows like The Pleasure Of Your Company and Words Words Words & Music, to all-star tributes and extravaganzas, to smash hit series like Sondheim Unplugged and Simply Streisand, to performing with some of Broadway's biggest stars in some of Broadway's biggest shows like Mame, Chess, and Hello Dolly! And along the way he's made some wonderful friends!
Classical, Studio, National Anthem, A Capella
A classically trained bel canto lyric baritone, Miles has considerable experience with classical music, including an All-Star concert of Handel's Solomon, conducted by John Aldis. An accomplished studio singer, Miles has been featured on many jingles and demos. His performances of the National Anthem include: The Chicago Bulls, Wembley Stadium, Arlington International Race Track, The Oakbrook Polo Club and appearances throughout the midwest singing for Big-Eight Basketball games. When not performing solo, Miles served as the resident bass with the jazz quartet A Capella Four as well as working with his vocal ensemble Chicago Vocal Authority.
Miles' award winning career has included appearances in nightclubs, stadiums and concert halls from Honolulu to London, including:
At The Tracks
Drury Lane Oakbrook
Gable on Clark
The Omni Ambassador
The Wellington Theatre
Darien Arts Center (Darien)
Palace Theater (Waterbury)
Helen Bonfils Theater
Denver Center For The Performing Arts
The Off Larimer Street Jazz Cafe
The Senate Lounge
New Jersey Performing Arts Center
Danny's Skylight Room
Don't Tell Mama
The Dutch Treat Club
The Iridium Jazz Club
The Laurie Beechman Theatre
The Metropolitan Room
Tribeca Performing Arts Center
Bob Egan's Cosmopolitan Club (New Hope)
Odette's (New Hope)