A Fête with Liam Forde
Amarnick-Goldstein Concert Hall, Boca Raton, FL, March 29, 2017
Reviewed by Jeffrey Bruce for Cabaret Scenes
Liam Forde, an abundantly talented young man, gave a satisfying, if uneven, cabaret performance last evening at Boca Raton’s Lynn University.
A prodigious singer, the man seems to be able to do everything: play piano, compose songs, act up a storm. Aided on piano by his long-time accompanist Jon Weber, Forde sang a gamut of classics quite beautifully: “I’m Old Fashioned” (Kern/Mercer), “You Fascinate Me So” (Coleman/Leigh) a quiet “Don’t Worry Baby” (Brian Wilson/Roger Christian), as well as some James Taylor and Billy Joel.
“Quiet” is the operative word. His manic energy goes a long way. By his own admission, in a quiet aside, he said, “I need a director.” What he needs to do is stand still! His ballads were exquisitely delivered and compelling. Levant/Heyman’s “Blame It on My Youth” is a perfect example of what Forde is capable of when he’s not constantly running around the stage. Another example of his artistry is what he did with “I Want to Be with You” from the Broadway musical Golden Boy. Beautifully done.
A director will suppress energy when not needed. When he sang, it was glorious. A director will tame the inane chatter in between songs. We can tell how talented he is. A quick wit and admirable intelligence could add up to a wonderful dialogue between performer and viewer. I suggest that Forde, who has done so well thus far, think about scripting a bit of patter to have the audience get a better picture of who he really is. What we got was a slick, talented, almost too-smooth persona. I want to know about the “there” there.