Tonight was an evening of humour, deep emotion and some very strong adult content (they used the F-word!!) from the 6 amazing performers in “Songs from the Shower”, a cabaret in Port Perry.
SECOND BIAS ALERT: My husband, Andrew Smith, was one of the 6 incredibly talented performers in this show.
Despite these obviously bias’, I must say that tonight’s compilation of songs from various shows was a thoroughly enjoyable evening! Each performer brought their own spark and diversity to the stage, yet they all blended together and became a true ensemble when required. I thought I would do this a review a bit differently, and instead of focusing in on performers, focus in on specific songs that tickled my fancy.
Let’s kick things off with Donna Lajeunesse and her tantalizing rendition of “Old Fashioned Love Story” from The Wild Party (obviously, I mean the Lippa version, as it is far superior!). Donna has one of the most versatile voices I have ever heard. She can be a legit soprano one second and then Aretha Franklin the next. Tonight was no exception as she had the audience peeing their pants as she told the story of the true Lesbian Love Story of our era.
Lyle Corrigan & Trish Harris killed it in their portrayal of the happily unhappy couple in Tick, Tick, Boom!’s “Therapy”. I was giggling, out-bursting laughing and mouthing the difficult fast-paced words with them both and absolutely loved how they played this song to the audience!
Andrew Smith (Hi, sweetie!) and Catherine Marzola presented us with two hilarious solos from two completely different musicals but that both played off of each other brilliantly: “In Short” from The Book of Love and “In Love with You” from First Date, respectively. This is when the adult content really came into play as they both brought us into the terrifying realm of dating in the 21st century and how that can impact even the most seemingly solid of relationships. They both belted out some high notes, made us all laugh and played off each other superbly!
Todd Appleton brought to life one of the best LOL songs I have ever seen on stage “I Believe” from the hilarious Book of Mormon. Complete with belting high notes, working the downstage stairs and standing on benches (to be closer to God, I assume), Todd gave us a thoroughly accurate rendition of this fantastic number and the company ended Act 1 with an inspiring finish.
ANOTHER'S NOTION WITH KARIN MAHONEY By far the most original way to get your starting note before an acappela group number: circling the rim of two wine glasses! The ensemble did an absolutely breathtaking rendition of the song "Gold" from the Broadway hit "Once". Each cast member has a uniquely distinct vocal quality, yet they managed to blend really well into one unit; no one stuck out or could be heard over the others. The harmonies were solidly locked in, even during dissonant sections. I was most impressed by how they really listened to one another (as the way they were positioned didn’t allow them to look at each other) to allow for a clean start and end of every phrase. My favourite moment was the slide up on “moonbeams”! It sent chills down my spine. I’m pretty sure this song left every audience member holding their breath!
- To Carol Salamone (Hi, Mom!) for her brilliant music direction of these 6 talented performers. You always bring out the best in the singers you work with.
- To Carey Nicholson for finding a way to weave 26 songs form 26 different shows together in an incredibly coherent fashion.
- To Duane Bronson and Leon Racine for adding in their bass & drums to what would have been a piano-only cabaret. I loved the added element you brought to each song as you added so much to each song!
“Songs from the Shower”, presented by Cadenza Productions and Theatre 3×60 is performing July 6-8 and 13-15 @ 8pm and July 16 @ 2pm at the Town Hall 1873 – Centre for the Performing Arts in Port Perry. This lovely cabaret is something you don’t want to miss this summer. So find a hot day to grab some theatre -style air conditioning and enjoy the beautiful singing!
Photo by Hark Nijjar Photography