Amanda McBroom firmly in the black

Most babies are born in nine months. For singer and songwriter Amanda McBroom, who appears at the Rrazz Room this weekend, her newest arrival only took about a decade to debut.

“I started on it in about 2001,” she says of “Dangerous Beauty,” a musical written with longtime collaborator Michelle Brourman that recently made its premiere at the Pasadena Playhouse.

“I’m very, very proud of it,” says McBroom. “There was ‘yea’ press and ‘boo’ press — it’s one of these pieces that people are either gonna love or hate — but I think she’s a winner!”

The composer of “The Rose” is now getting some “Beauty” rest and also getting back on stage herself. “I’m really happy to be coming to the Rrazz Room for the first time and just coming back to San Francisco in general.”

If her mood is black while she’s here, it’s only because of the name of her show. “I don’t usually title my cabaret shows, but we developed this last fall for the Metropolitan Room in New York.”

“They’re always saying ‘We need a title!’ or ‘Give us a concept!’ At that particular moment, I was listening to Julie London and I thought: I’m calling it ‘Noir!’ Oooh! ‘Noir!’ Very sexy! Noir, of course, being New York’s favorite color.”

She and Brourman scoured their lists looking for material that, as McBroom puts it, “would look good on Barbara Stanwyck.” If you’re not sure what that means, McBroom recommends a quick screening of 1952’s “Clash By Night” with Stanwyck, Robert Ryan and a 26-year-old Marilyn Monroe. “Probably my favorite noir movie of all times,” she says.

So there will be some “smoky, sultry Raymond Chandler-style stuff,” some Brel — apropos of McBroom’s most recent CD — and some Cole Porter, some Bobby Troup. “I also have some new political stuff,” she says, “because I figure politics of today are pretty noir too, right?”

Also in the show are some McBroom originals she says were put in the trunk years ago because they were too personal. “I started writing songs as letters to different people in my life — letters that I would never send. So some were way too personal or just way too out there and I figured no one would understand.”Brourman kept coaxing her to give them a try, and McBroom finally relented.

“I decided now is the time to be brave and bring out the babies that are just a little uncomfortable,” she says.


Amanda McBroom

Where: Rrazz Room, Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason St., San Francisco
When: 8:30 p.m. Friday-Sunday
Tickets: $35
Contact: (800) 380-3095,

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