Sunday, February 15, 2015

Whine, Women and Song

Chanticleer Theater proved last weekend that women do age gracefully and are still talented, musical, and beautiful due to their varied life experiences and their love of songs that have identified womanhood throughout the past decades. This particular Cabaret show was entitled “Whine, Women, and Song” featuring the songs of women from roughly the 1930s through the 1970s.

The voices of Vicki Moacek, Laura Randall Stannard, Anne Soderlund, Mary Sorensen, Kim Alger, Dianne Jones, Lori Lynn Ahrends all accompanied by Bernadette Smith were the performers for this women's show with Gary F. Bosanek being the stage director and Shane Lewis being the production assistant.

This particular night was filled with songs traditionally identified as women's songs throughout the from Shirley Temple to Marlene Dietrich to Ethel Waters to Dionne Warwick to Barbra Streisand and many more.

What I found most enjoyable was their ensemble singing. Their harmonious blend was perfect sending shivers through my spine while wallowing in their glorious sound and intonation.

With their opening number of "One Fine Day" to "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" to "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" to their delightful 50s medley of "Lollipop", "Sincerely", "Going to the Chapel", and "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" these women beautifully recreated magical musical moments reminiscent of long ago times.

The acapella songs were outstanding. "He" with Lennon Sisters harmonies, "May You Always" reminiscent of the McGuire Sisters and "Where We'll Never Grow Old" from the musical “Quilters” were unquestionably so well-sung that I would return again and again to hear these women sing these songs.

Naturally with a show lasting ninety minutes and including over thirty songs, the pacing was fast with a variety of songs. And yes, I definitely had my favorite numbers. Mary Sorensen beautifully sang "Tammy" with a voice of innocence and even included the trill around the whippoorwill. Anne Soderlund's "His Eye is On the Sparrow" was heavenly,. Vicki Molacek's Kate Smith songs along with "Cry Me a River" were gorgeous. Dianne Jones created her own version of Barbra Streisand's "People" showing the gloriousness of her talent. Laura Randall Stannard excelled with her Judy Garland "Get Happy" as well as a tap-dancing Shirley Temple for "The Good Ship Lollipop". Lori Lynn Ahrends singing "Secret Love" thrilled the audience. Kim Alger performing as Carmen Miranda and Marlene Dietrich was phenomenal. The seven singers as an ensemble also displayed their professionalism by staying perfectly together when there was a little slip in the rhythm.

This is one of those shows that I would love to see over and over. These women were fantastic proving that beauty in music is still possible and achievable at any age.

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