By Sandi Durell
Brava Ms. Shedlin! With 19 shows under her belt and a penchant for singing since 1989, the spark still ignites this performer, an octogenarian whose fondest wish was to be a saloon singer, and whose joy and fortitude for the art of cabaret is ever present. She has a low-key style that works for her as she tells her story through the many song lyrics.
Carol Shedlin’s latest edition to her repertoire is Serenade in Blue, with long time collaborator/musical director Jon Delfin on piano and the extraordinary Boots Maleson on bass, with two more shows left at Don’t Tell Mama.
In this evening of longing, loss, sadness, dreams and heartbreak (a wise selection of age appropriate tunes), there’s no doubt Shedlin’s “(I )Gotta Right to Sing the Blues” or anything else that she decides suits her fancy including some naughty blues tunes like Williams/Green’s 1935 “The Right Key But the Wrong Key Hole” and Razaf, Alexander, Pinkard’s “Kitchen Man” (1929) that give her audience a big chuckle.
She’s taken on quite a task, and doesn’t miss a beat on the many lyrics to be remembered (one that dates back to 1919 – “Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives to Me” -a list song), “The Birth of the Blues” (Henderson, DeSylva, Brown – 1926), “Mad About Him, Sad Without Him, How Can I Be Glad Without Him Blues” (Charles/Markes – 1942).
From the sound of these songs, this lady has had quite a life but is still “Kickin’ the Clouds Away” (1925) and “Shakin’ the Blues Away”(1927), looking toward more to come.
Carol Shedlin’s show is well paced and constructed through clever directorial design by Linda Amiel Burns.
You can hear Carol Shedlin’s Serenade in Blue on May 23 and June 1 at 7 pm at Don’t Tell Mama, 343 West 46 Street, 212 757-0788