Shana Farr Does Porter and Coward

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By: John Weatherford

The announcer introduced this show saying that every word sung or spoken by Shana Farr was written by Cole Porter or Noel Coward. And, indeed they were. Ms. Farr has constructed an evening that takes those lucky folks in the audience on a delightful journey.  It takes our protagonist through perchance it’s love, desperately wanting to believe it’s love, realizing the love was one sided and accepting that she is alone; at this point she makes the choice to once again enter the game of love. As a good protagonist she learns a lesson: love will come, when it will come.

This is a terrific show. Watching this sultry singer, with all the poise, beauty and talent that the arts allow, is something to behold. It really is far too limiting to label this classically trained performer as just a singer. She is much more than that. She is an actress with the kind of chops that make you want to see her on the Broadway stage. She has created a character that fills us with hope as she goes on her quest for love. Yet, there is no pity for this love lorn lass. Oh, no, not at all.

Her selection of material from Porter and Coward allows us to share her character’s determination and spirit. Once deciding to re-enter the game of love she soon learns that “It’s the wrong time and the wrong place” and tries another approach, an approach that her soul will not accept. The presentation of Love for Sale is the most passionate rendition of this song that I have ever experienced.

From this moment on, the show takes flight and does not land until the final note. I’m sure many in the audience are still flying high.

Ms. Farr is surrounded by some of the finest musicians this city has to offer. Jon Weber served as musical director as well as accompanist. Anyone who has had the pleasure of experiencing Mr. Weber’s mastery of the piano knows that he elevates the instrument, turning it into an ocean of sound. On the cello was the magnificent musician Adam Fisher. His eloquence with his bow seems to lovingly circle each note and phrase of the music. These gentlemen are more than musicians, they allow their passion for their instruments and their love for their art to seemingly become a multitude of characters that join Ms. Farr in taking her audience on such a glorious ride. Lights and sound by the Laurie Beechman’s George Faya supported the show’s class, humor and joy.

There is one more show on Saturday, May 31st at 7:30 Laurie Beechman Theatre. Treat yourself to an evening that allows cabaret to be all that it can be.

Photos/Video: Russ Weatherford

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