Judy Collins

| November 15, 2016

Judy Collins

Café Carlyle, NYC, November 10, 2016

Reviewed by Ron Forman for Cabaret Scenes

Judy Collins Photo: David Andrako

Judy Collins
Photo: David Andrako

It took me quite a while to experience a live performance by Judy Collins. Now that I have seen and heard her perform, I regret all of those missed opportunities. She came on stage dressed in black, holding her guitar, looking stunningly beautiful, her blue eyes as blue as ever and the voice, that amazing voice, is still there. What surprised me was how funny she could be in describing her dysfunctional family growing up and her anecdotes about people that she has worked with, including Bob Dylan. She was joined on stage by singer/songwriter Ari Hest, who had recently joined Collins on their album Silver Skies Blue.

Collins opened with “Chelsea Morning” in a voice as beautiful and pure as ever. After a series of very funny anecdotes about her first meetings with Robert Zimmerman (Bob Dylan), she performed “Masters of War” and had the audience join in on “Mr. Tambourine Man,” a song she had witnessed Dylan write. When she sang her first hit, Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now,” it sounded as fresh as it did in 1967.

 Hest then joined her for five songs that they had co-written, beginning with “Strangers Again,” their voices working in harmony, and ending with the title song of their recent album Collins replaced Musical Director Russell Walden on piano and displayed the skill that had made her a classical pianist prodigy at age 13, with her performance of “The Blizzard.” She had the first hit recording of “Send in the Clowns,” her closing number, sung as poignantly and beautifully as ever. She performed two encores: The first had Hest back on stage for “Someday Soon”; the second was, ironically, quite sad, with her back on piano to perform Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne,” not knowing that Cohen had passed away that evening.

Judy Collins continues at the Carlyle through Nov. 19.

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Category: Cabaret Reviews, New York City, New York City Cabaret Pick of The Week, Regional

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