by Susan Hasho
Peggy Sarlin threw herself a birthday party at The Metropolitan Room which she called a “swanky” place. She brought along her new CD Family and Friends. An accomplished songwriter recorded by the likes of Bette Midler, Patti LuPone and Disney, she took a break from writing and performing after her husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Then two years ago on a restorative walk, she began singing to help with her upset and a song came out full blown with every step. More songs continued to come to her. She made a CD and is now performing again. She has found a very creative path through her journey with her husband’s illness and with herself.
She started off the evening with “How Come It’s Raining…in my backyard and it’s sunny in yours.” Her style is honky tonk here, brassy, bluesy and fun. Her song “Key Lime Pie” is a song tour through food tasted all over the globe, landing back home with her favorite food of all—Key Lime Pie. The lyrics are fun and clever. “When Love Walked by My Side” is a lovely, heartfelt song which she performed beautifully and was the most intimate song in the show.
Musical director Jeff Franzel is her secret weapon. His arrangements are spectacular and serve to expand and flesh out her melodies. As a pianist and accompanist, he creates a beautifully rich sound and has an exciting jazzman’s adept, improvisational gift.
The encore song “I Regret Everything,” a song recorded by both Bette Midler and Patti LuPone, was out- of-the-park wonderful. A favorite of her audience, the performance was accompanied by whoops and hollers as well as full-on singing along.
She’s got a gutsy style but she can croon a ballad as well. She is a charmer onstage connecting with her audience like a good friend. I know she will return to The Metropolitan Room with more new songs and more grit and hope to inspire all her fellow travelers.
The Metropolitan Room, 34 West 22nd Street, New York City. 212-206-0440. www.metropolitanroom.com