by: Paulanne Simmons
Brooklyn-based Sky-Pony, an eight person group led by Tony nominee Lauren Worsham and her Obie Award wining husband Kyle Jarow, rocked into Joe’s Pub (425 Lafayette Street) on Jan. 19 with a cavalcade of Broadway stars. The lineup included Alli Mauzey, Lisa O’Hare, Margo Seibert, Duncan Sheik Catherine Walker and Marc Kudisch.
But what they sang was hardly typical Broadway fare. All but three of the songs Sky-Pony sang were written by Jarow. The three exceptions included a particularly ominous rendition of “Lil Red,” a big hit for the Texas band Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs in the 60s. And Sky-Pony, with it’s well-coordinated choreography and cadenced harmonies, is nothing if not a post-feminist girl group singing indie-rock.
This is a group that’s a rawer, more cynical version of The Supremes, singing songs with verses like “Everyone will die” and “If you leave me I will rip your face off.” The band behind Worsham and the others includes a cello that plays alongside a drum that doesn’t often subside.
Nevertheless, there is something definitely theatrical about the presentation. And as we have seen in recent years, the line between Broadway musicals and the pop/rock scene has become so blurred it is often unrecognizable. One only wishes the sound system at Joe’s Pub and the overpowering instrumentals had allowed the audience to hear the songs’ lyrics more often.
But, oh my, the voices onstage that evening! They resonated. They reverberated. They bounded over the stage into the audience and filled every nick and cranny of Joe’s Pub.
Nevertheless, the group is often at its best when the decibels are lowered and they swing into a bluesy number like “Rapture,” a modern riff on “Amazing Grace.”
Try and catch Sky-Pony before Worsham bolts once more for the bright lights of Broadway.