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The Baldacchino Gypsy Tent Bar at Fort Fringe,
607 New York Ave. NW
Sunday, July 18 at 2:30 p.m.
Friday, July 23 at 7:15 p.m.
Saturday, July 24 at 12:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 25 at 3:15 p.m.
They Say: Escape from the madness. Let the music take you! Run away with us as we explore songs about life, love, and loss. Music from pop, jazz, country and Broadway. Four singers transport you to another place. Honest storytelling. Revealing moments.
Adam’s Take: Just one request is made to the audience of this “contemporary cabaret.” We are asked to run away with the performers. Forget about the sweltering heat, the summer tourists, and the BP oil spill. Let four gifted vocalists and a talented musical director, Mary Sugar, take you on a voyage far away from your own troubles. For some of us that could be good. But beware that this show is designed to have you sit back and embrace sixty minutes of easy listening without asking the audience for much else.
The musical selections varied slightly. Most shared an element of the playful and light-hearted. But some were more soulful. Justin Ritchie’s rendition of Walking in Memphis could have realistically been mistaken for a broadcast of the original. Emily Leatha Everson and Lonny Smith provided compelling and interesting interpretations of If I Had a Boat and Run Away With Me, respectively. And Terri Allen demonstrated her vocal grace in her take on Song of Bernadette. The voices were definitely able to hit the right notes.
That said, this performance was all about the songs. The banter in between each piece seemed at times to fall flat. It was almost too planned as the performers tried to recall rehearsed lines. And the discussion of oneirology—the study of dreams—was unexpected to say the least. A more conversational approach might have made the entire show seem more fluid and helped bolster the cabaret feel.
For better or worse, you can go into this show knowing exactly what you’ll leave with: a couple musical standards that you might not have heard in awhile stuck in the back of your head.
See It If: You are equally devoted to the tunes of “the American songbook” as WNYC’s Jonathan Schwartz.
Skip It If: You believe that any music without a drumbeat is archaic, if not downright awful.