Anna Besserud: I Want I All

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Anna Besserud

I Want It All

Davenport’s, Chicago, IL, September 19, 2014

Reviewed by Carla Gordon for Cabaret Scenes


Anna-Besserud-I-Want-It-All-Davenprot's-Cabaret-Scenes-Magazine_212Anna Besserud brings a powerful soprano and frequent big money notes to I Want It All. This serves her well in the soaring melodies of Cole Porter’s “So in Love” and in “My Ship,” but diminishes the fun in Hans Lang/Bert Reisfeld’s “It’s Oh, So Quiet.” Relative to the conversational art of cabaret, leading with voice rather than story, is risky. This choice is challenging in Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich’s “There’s Nothing That I Wouldn’t Do,” about a woman so insanely eager to please the guy that she volunteers (among other chores) to help him floss. This wit is better served by building the absurdity and singing less. The Broadway medley is jam packed with songs: we get roughly a line of each, but before we have time to connect, another line from another comes. Less would be more. The strongest moment in the show is actually its encore. Besserud leads with her heart, singing “Dream a Little Dream of Me” simply and as a tender farewell and lasting connection. Heart first is a lovely journey for this songbird. It’s one she should pursue more.

Carla Gordon

Carla Gordon is a singer/songwriter, director, and producer. The Chicago Tribune cited her among “Chicago’s most accomplished cabaret performers….a major player in Chicago cabaret.” Reviewer Pam Peterson called her “Honey-voiced wisecracker!” Ageless Magazine called her performance as Sophie tucker, “A gem!” Gordon writes custom material for singers nationwide. Her flagship show, "Blacklisted," featuring songs made famous by artists blacklisted under McCarthyism, has toured to critical acclaim. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Chicago Cabaret Professionals and on the Advisory Board of the Skokie Theater. Her songs air on WFMT’s Midnight Special and are being performed performed by cabaret artists nationwide.