By John Weatherford
I had the good fortune of seeing Liam Forde at Stage 72 Friday evening, June 20th. To say that it was refreshing and filled with the fire of true talent, would be an understatement. Mr. Forde is not only a passionate singer and song writer, he is also a glorious and joy filled life affirming presence. The show began with The Coffee Jitters, letting the packed house know that they were in for a high energy, fun filled evening. And, that it was.
It is not often that one gets the chance to see the early stages of a career that will be as dynamic and purposeful as the masters of music and comedy. As I watch his control of the stage, the cleverness of his choices, the weaving of his metaphors and the use of his multitude of talents, I became aware of how difficult it must be for someone of this magnitude of abilities to make his path to stardom humble.
He is a gracious talent. He has the ability to write lyrics that are both clever and literate. He has the ability to compose music that supports and empowers those well-crafted lyrics. And, fortunatly for his audience, he has the awesome ability to perform those songs with style, flair and exuberance.
Mr. Forde’s musical prowess is up to his quest toward artist importance.
The performers he has selected to share his stage are also up to the task. Emily Ferranti, Julie Thomas and Tyrone Davis, Jr. are filled with the same joy of performing as is he. Director Christopher Murrah did a fine job, however there were times I wanted more focus on Mr. Forde. I also wanted the placement of the piano to allow those of us stage right (house left) to see Mr. Forde when he went to accompany himself. Personally I would prefer that he never accompany himself during this type of show. It is true that he is an accomplished pianist, but Ian Herman, playing most of the songs, is one of the best in the city and up to the task of supporting any of Mr. Forde’s musical needs. The other musicians, Jerry DeVore on bass and Zack Eldridge on drums complimented the shows musical flow.
Playing the flute during Have You Got Any Castles was delicious. And, Knowledgeable Neville was … well, you just have to experience it. As for Mr. Forde’s dancing, it is free and utterly transcending. Most importantly for me, his flair for being real and sincere is invigorating. Experiencing his performance made me feel what it must have been like to see Dick VanDyke during the early days of his career.
I am a Liam Forde fan. I admit it. I look forward, with great pleasure, to see where he takes his many talents. I expect great things and I’m sure I will not be disappointed.
Three shows coming up: August 22, September 5, October 24
*Photos/Video: Russ Weatherford