fauxklore (fauxklore) wrote,

Love Noir

The first of two fringe shows I saw on Friday night was Love Noir: The Music of Lenny, Kurt & Harold. That would be Lenny Bernstein, Kurt Weill and Harold Arlen, of course, and very much my sort of music. The show was a straight cabaret performance by Lonny Smith and Maris Wicker, accompanied by Barbara Schelstrate on piano. Most of the songs were very familiar, though there were some lesser known pieces. For example, I can't imagine anybody in the audience not knowing "Mack the Knife" but "Tango Ballad" (also from The Three Penny Opera) is not performed as frequently. And that was a piece that I thought was done particularly well, with a lot of expression. I was also particularly pleased with the two songs they did from One Touch of Venus - "That's Him" and "I'm a Stranger Here Myself."

They didn't treat the other composers quite as well, in my opinion. Arlen's "Over the Rainbow" was mixed oddly with Bernstein's "Neverland". And I did not care much for the arrangement of Arlen's "Dissertation on the State of Bliss" (which should be familiar to more people from Tom Wopat's recording). Neither of the two songs from West Side Story - "Something's Coming" or "Cool" - sounded quite jazzy enough for me. On the other hand, I thought Maris Wicker's performance of "Ya Got Me" (from On the Town with Comden & Green providing lyrics for Bernstein's music) was excellent and the percussion accompaniment that Lonny Smith provided for that number was amusing.

Even with a few weaker numbers, all in all, my only real complaint about the show was that it was a bit too short. I could have used a little more banter between songs to get things up to a full hour.
Tags: fringe festival, music

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