By Sandi Durell
What more appropriate title for a show than Only From the Heart Can You Touch the Sky from the beautiful soul of Renee Katz?
How can one explain the feeling of being wrapped in the tender, caring arms of this lovely soprano whose heart is like an open book? The audience is hers from the moment she utters her first sound. It feels unusual, yet familiar.
With musical director-arranger John M. Cook on piano, Renee Katz soars like an eagle with joy, having chosen songs that express her genuine nature . . . “I Wish It So” (music/lyrics Marc Blitzstein, from Juno); “Ferris Wheel” (music Alan Menken, lyrics Victor Joseph) and “I Can’t Take My Eyes From You (music/lyrics Alan Menken).
She poetically introduces many a song that communicates what lies beneath – – passion, sincerity, love, thoughtfulness, new beginnings.
An extremely focused rendition of Skylark (music Hoagy Carmichael/lyrics Johnny Mercer) took on new meaning bringing a warmth and tenderness, only to be equaled by the sad, yet stunning reality of “Meadowlark” (music/lyrics Stephen Schwartz from The Baker’s Wife).
Her positive persona is easily explained in “Everything Is Possible” (music, David Spangler/lyrics Christopher Gore, from Nefertiti) where “the world is born anew.”
Renee Katz sings of hope, with a grace and kindness that is limitless. She also reaches for new horizons with some swinging jazz stylings, i.e. “The Devil and The Deep Blue Sea” (music Harold Arlen/lyrics Ted Koehler) and “Blue Skies” (music/lyrics Irving Berlin) that add an attention-grabbing dimension.
You can experience Renee Katz at Don’t Tell Mama again on Saturday, August 4 and August 11 at 8 pm. I urge you to attend, to give yourself a time out from the extremes we deal with daily and find a gentler, kinder experience that can provide an underlying strength.
Don’t Tell Mama, 343 West 46 Street, NYC $20 cover ($15 MAC ), cash only, reservations: 212 757-0788 (after 4 pm)