By Ed Kliszus

Richard C. Walter at Chelsea Table and Stage

It was a delightful night with Richard C. Walter at Chelsea Table and Stage. Accompanied by an entourage of gifted musical theater artists, Walter transported the audience through a unique, fervent, and engaging emotional journey expressed through his original music. The heart of Walter’s music captured the essence of human experiences that delve deeply into universal themes like love, friendship, hope, and the pursuit of one’s aspirations – themes that resonate with audiences across generations and cultural divides.

Walter carefully introduced each selection, providing intuitive insights into each song’s provenance, intent, and meaning. He expressed great deference to his colleagues, mentors, and collaborators. We were set to enjoy a variety of well-crafted stylistic works penned freely through poignant, dramatic, and chromatic shifts. Here are a few examples.

Seating at Chelsea Table and Stage (courtesy

Seating at Chelsea Table and Stage (courtesy

The opening work, ‘The Course of True Love’ performed by Rachael Worthington and Tim Rogan, was powerful and vivid and evoked enthusiastic audience accolades. ‘Closer Than Before,’ a work from Walter’s new EP album, was performed by chanteuse Victoria Frings. Frings suspended each listener’s disbelief as she drew them into a virtual musical setting that was pensive, dreamy, dramatic, and climatically passionate.

‘The Man He Chose for Me,’ performed by Victoria Frings and Kevin Massey, depicted lush scenes of amorous depth, soul, passion, and love.

‘Pieces’ performed by Santina Umbach exemplified Walter’s finest sonic expressions of elegiac, passionate, and metaphysical delights. Embracing the venue, Umbach began singing while seated, transforming her posture, facial expressions and sounds to convey emotions, conviction, and vulnerability. Umbach drew spellbound attention as she deeply connected with an entranced audience. She wryly noted as listeners nodded, “He needs time, and I need space.”

‘The Door,’ performed masterfully by Jonathan Christopher, reflected Walter’s ability to express one’s innate struggle and ruminations about life. He asks, “Am I missing out?” “What’s on the other side?” Powerful. Inventive. Refined.

Walter’s music is rooted in the transformative power of music and storytelling – a power capable of transcending time, culture, and individual experience to touch the hearts and minds of those who witness it. He commands the collaborative nature of musical theater, beautifully blending music and narrative to produce seamless songs. Walter creates leitmotifs representing characters and themes that take an enchanted audience on a riveting and emotionally stimulating journey through the magnifying experience of the conjunction of music and drama.

Many of the songs performed tonight were from shows Walter is developing. Gauging the enthusiastic audience’s response to the music, it’s clear there is much musical theater excitement to come.

Tonight, Walter also presented songs from his recently cast recording of Madame Clicquot: A Revolutionary Music. This work tells the story of the life and achievements of Madame Clicquot, who transformed her family’s small champagne business into a global industry leader. The music is a blend of classical, pop, and contemporary styles, reflecting the changing times of the story. Madame Clicquot: A Revolutionary Musical is a celebration of female ingenuity and a tribute to the enduring legacy of the Champagne house bearing Madame Clicquot’s name.

The evening ended with a well-earned and extended standing ovation.

Watch for Richard C. Walter and enjoy the evolution of a brilliant musical star. He’s just getting started!

The Band

Kenneth Gartman, Musical Director and pianist
Andy Zinsmeister, Guitar
Alon Bisk, Cello
Dan Berkery, Drums


Rachael Worthington
Tim Rogan
Nick LaughlinBlaine Krauss
Megan Dwinell
Joanna Carpenter
Michael Schwitter
Lisette Glodowski
Victoria Frings
Jonathan Christopher
Kevin Massey
Kai An Chee
Santina Umbach

Chelsea Table + Stage

152 West 26th Street (bet 6th and 7th Avenues)
(Hilton Fashion District Hotel)
New York, NY 10001
Tickets and Shows


Readers may also enjoy our reviews of Felicia Finley in Backwoods to Broadway, Divina: A Fantasy Cabaret with Regina Gibson,  Seth Sikes,  Jenn Colella: Out and Proud, and  Amanda McBroom at Birdland.