TESTIMONIALS

IT’S A NEW ART FORM!!

I've heard Bernstein, Rubenstein, Bobby Short, Beverly Sills, Pavarotti, Dizzy Gillespie, Peggy Lee, Ray Charles

and hundreds of others, and I have never seen or heard anything like this.

It made me smile, it me laugh out loud, it made me cry, it ASTONISHED ME MUSICALLY. 

John Snyder, five-time Grammy award-winning recording producer

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SOPHISTICATED CONCERT MUSIC BURSTING WITH EROTIC ENERGY.

This show seems willing to question everything.

The New York Times

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That’s Not Tango is an EVENING OF SHIMMERING MUSIC AND PERFORMANCE by Lesley Karsten.

[She] takes the music and life of Astor Piazzolla and opens it up like Russian dolls, exploring his genius as a musician and composer and his failures as a father, husband, and friend. The show is smart, fizzy, fun, and ultimately very moving in ways that you can't anticipate when you first take your seat.

Maria Maggenti, film director and screenwriter

(Puccini for Beginners, The Incredibly True Adventure of

Two Girls in Love)

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Tantalizing! Lesley Karsten... portrays the musical God in gender-bending fashion.

Exceptional musicians transport listeners to A SOUL-FILLED REALM OF NIRVANA.

Their exquisite flair makes it seem that this was music they were born to play.

Manhattan Digest

 

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THERE'S A NEW MAESTRO IN TOWN.

Along with her four virtuoso musicians, Lesley Karsten inhabits the soul of composer Astor Piazzolla,

who forever changed the music of tango.

With narration both humorous and poetic, Karsten takes us on a globe-trotting journey

as this renowned creative genius discovers his own musical influences, his profound human flaws,

and the struggles of his successes and his failures.

The music alone would have been worth the price of admission -

but this uniquely uplifting theatrical experience is so much more.

I WAS BLOWN AWAY.

Norman Beil, former General Counsel of the David Geffen Company

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Ms. Karsten is a MIRACLE OF NATURE. Coming on stage, scowling at the audience, her voice a smokey Edith Piaf baritone, she relates the endless tribulations and triumphs of Piazzolla.
Ms. Karsten announces and denounces Piazzolla’s threats from the Tango Establishment, feuds with his children, and almost unwanted fame toward the end of his life (as well as a Hamlet-like love for his father). As she piles up her relationships and music together in a verbal fugue, the musical trio strikes up Piazzolla’s own 'Fuga y Misterio.' The miracle is the incredible musicianship… as intensive, virtuosic and original as any chamber group in New York.
That's Not Tango is A FASCINATING ALMOST MESMERIC exercise in acting and music. Ms. Karsten's emotions and the tango-based music can be spellbinding.

 

ConcertoNet.com

 

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I CANNOT REMEMBER A BETTER PERFORMANCE.

If that performance is the last one I ever see, I will die fulfilled.

The word EXTRAORDINARY simply does not do it justice. 

Barry Nickelsberg, Chief Development Officer, The Carter Center

 

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We enter Piazzolla's heart through his ears; the music of New York, Paris, Harlem, and Buenos Aires sweep us away. In the end, the threads of the man's life come together in a powerful marriage of text and music. 
You don't have to know who Piazzolla was or to even have listened to his music, to be moved and engaged by this show. If you've heard Piazzolla's music before – YOU HAVEN’T HEARD IT LIKE THIS.

 

Discover Hollywood

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The audience is engaged by eavesdropping on a highly personal, emotionally charged soliloquy

delivered by a rapturous Karsten, embodying Piazzolla ruminating on the landscape of his life.

As Piazzolla, she is at once incisive, outraged, humorous, depressed, thoughtful, penetrating and flirty. With all that, it is the music, the music, the music that makes us remember the folly and the passion we all share. A TRULY UNFORGETTABLE AND UPLIFTING EXPERIENCE.

Alexander Cooper, architect, urban designer, Battery Park, Times Square and Hudson Yards Redevelopment Project 

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The show begins with an AGGRESSIVE INTENSITY. Piazzolla tells his story, beginning with his childhood in New York. [The playwrights] pick the perfect moments to feature the music for maximum impact. The three musicians ... performed the music with a passion and perfection that would have made Maestro Astor Piazzolla proud.
That´s Not Tango achieves something very difficult: CAPTURING THE SOUL OF AN ARTIST in 90 minutes.

Pasion Argentino

 

 

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GLORIOUS! 

The music of Astor Piazzolla is infectious; it tugs at your heart and very soul.

The joy of hearing this music with world-class musicians was a very rare treat indeed.

Thank you for one of the most UPLIFTING, LIFE-AFFIRMING and ENJOYABLE performances I have attended in a very long time.

 

Philip Greenberg, Conductor/Artistic Director, Kiev Philharmonic Orchestra

 

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I HAVE SEEN THIS SHOW 3 TIMES AND WOULD HAPPILY SEE IT AGAIN.

The performers​ show great virtuosity and the music is enchanting.

This is a must-see for anyone who is interested in or even curious about Piazzolla.

William Weigel, composer and senior counsel, Davis Polk and Wardwell LLP

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I AM STILL REELING FROM THE EXPERIENCE.

I am a frequent theater patron and cannot remember the last time I was swept away and

taken on such a beautiful, transformative journey.

An absolute perfect piece this is - the impeccably timed, absolutely authentic narration;

the achingly gorgeous music. This is art at its finest.
     Nothing I have seen on Broadway, off Broadway, or regionally comes close. I only hope you find a long-standing venue so that many more can experience the genius of Astor Piazzolla and this gem of a show.

Valerie Slosky, actress 

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That’s Not Tango is a musical monologue in which Karsten, as Piazzolla tells the audience his mythical story, traveling from the musician and composer’s boyhood on New York's Lower East Side to Argentina and back again, laying bare Piazzolla’s family and internal conflicts, his genius and thorny character, his inspirations and complicated relationship with Argentina, his musical manifesto and milestones. The relevatory and compelling text is accompanied by Piazzolla’s songs including 'Adíos Nonino' and 'Milonga de

Angel,' which, as any tango fans knows, make for a dramatic soundtrack."  Billboard