— Andrew Gans, Playbill The National Theatre Magazine, February 28, 1999
“Of the four releases Susannah Mars’s Take Me to the World is, perhaps, the most exciting: Mars boasts a powerful voice that she unleashes with great effect on this eclectic mix of songs. The CD begins with its title track, on e of Sondheim’s finest, and receives a gentle treatment from the singer. Amanda McBroom’s “Wheels,” a bright and catchy tune that is ultimately quite poignant, follows, and Mars shades it beautifully. Other highlights include an intense pairing of two Stephen Sondheim tunes, Passions’s “Loving You” and Merrily We Roll Along’s “Not a Day Goes By,” as well as another striking combination: Christine Lavin’s “Regretting What I Said” and Sondheim’s “The Gun Song” from Assassins. A healthy dose of comic tunes is also included.”
— Dave Nathan – AMG EXPERT REVIEW
“Like many of her cabaret singer confederates, Susannah Mars is active in musical theatre and vocal appearances with symphony orchestras in pop programs. Her debut album certifies that the performing philosophy of cabaret is that the medium is the lyrics. With just pianist Bill Wells in tow, Mars takes on a musical agenda of mostly unfamiliar works. Yet she made sure that each of them had a special story told in the lyrics irrespective of their source just so long as they are suited to her approach to cabaret which has a bit of the sardonic in it. Several come from contemporary musical comedy. “Spirograph” comes from Texas Chainsaw Manicurist, a rather giddy musical revue that rather harshly spoofs pop culture and commercialism. Then there’s the tune about an ambitious young lady with an unrequited and unfulfilled love for Humphrey Bogart. Mars borrows from fellow cabaret singer Amanda McBroom with her “Wheels”. Even major contributors to the Great American Songbook, Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke are represented by one of their less enduring tunes, “His Rocking Horse Ran Away” a big hit for Betty Hutton back in 1944. Accompanist Wells has the perfectly proper touch as a cabaret singer’s foil. As one member of the duet, he doesn’t take a back seat, but enhances Mars statements with those of his own- – a characteristic critical to a successful, effective cabaret piano player.
Lee Lessack’s LML has a knack for discovering and recording good bistro and musical show singers – - after all, he’s not a bad one himself – - and his record stays intact with Susannah Mars. Recommended.”
— Bob Hicks The Oregonian, December 20, 1998
“Susannah Mars the cabaret singer may be the greatest Mars of all, she’s done her cabaret act to applause in Seattle and New York. This CD is the distilled essence of what’s best about America’s surging cabaret movement-intelligent sentiment and artistic restraint, balanced with warmth, wit, and great pipes. Mars’ material skews to the unexpected: brilliant little numbers, most from musical theater, that tell vivid stories. From the hopeful title song to a medley of “Loving You” and “Not a Day Goes By,” Stephen Sondheim is well represented. Mars has the vocal gymnastics to turn on a Sondheim dime, and she imbues his songs with a warmth that broadens their sometimes brittle outlooks.
This CD has moments of pure, inspired fun, especially in the rollicking “His Rocking Horse Ran Away.” But the album’s high point may be the elemental, almost impossibly moving fairy tale of Stephen Schwartz’s “Meadowlark.” Mars keeps it simple, pure and blindingly unforgettable, like a fine-honed talent unadorned.”
Susannah Mars is currently in holiday high gear in the critically acclaimed Mars On Life; Holiday Edition at Artists Repertory Theatre, in Portland, Oregon, where she also appreared as Becca in Rabbit Hole. Recently she appeared in Portland Center Stage's…