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Kristoffer Lowe: You’re Getting to Be a Habit with Me: The Songs of Harry Warren

| April 29, 2017

Kristoffer Lowe

You’re Getting to Be a Habit with Me: The Songs of Harry Warren

Amarnick-Goldstein Concert Hall, Boca Raton, FL, April 26, 2017

Reviewed by Jeffrey Bruce for Cabaret Scenes

Kristoffer Lowe

Kristoffer Lowe has everything….except experience. Here is “an old soul,” a young man enraptured by the music of the legendary Harry Warren. Warren, who composed over 800 songs, very many of which you are familiar with, never got the recognition he so rightly reserved, and Lowe aims to raise his profile.

Equipped with a lovely tenor, Lowe has an interesting style. Not schmaltzy enough (thank God) to be considered a crooner, he finds it unnecessary to end each song “big.” In an evening that was heavy on ballads (and that was a good thing), he ends most in a whisper; it’s different and effective. If there was a sameness to the ballads, it’s because he appeared more concerned with the sounds he was producing than getting more involved with the lyrics. As I said, he’s young and this was only his second solo show. While Lennie Watts was credited as director, I saw no directorial touches. Guidance is something that Lowe needs immediately to shape his show and develop more than an “Aw, shucks, I’m an Alabama boy” persona.

We learned more about Lowe from his charming patter than from the lyrics of the songs. There lies the problem. The sound is beautiful, but he now has to learn how to “let loose” and relax into the libretti. The most effective and affecting moment was when he was sitting on a stool, stage left, and sang a plangent “You’ll Never Know” (words by frequent Warren collaborator Mack Gordon) to his beloved grandmother. The beautiful voice, and the gorgeous lyrics, abetted by his Musical Director Tracy Stark on piano and Paul Shewchuk on bass, showed him at his most vulnerable.

His stories of Warren were terrific. I especially liked Warren’s comment about Irving: “They bombed  the wrong Berlin.” Producer David Merrick, “the abominable showman,” managed to keep Warren’s name out of the credits for 42nd Street during its nine-year run on Broadway). I wondered where his “people” were to contest this. An ending to the story would have been enlightening. Lowe’s medley of songs from that show (lyrics mostly by Al Dubin) was terrific. He was having fun and so was the audience.

He talked about how he would have liked an evening of just ballads. That would have proven tiresome. A bit more diversity in the types of songs, along with a more relaxed Lowe, plus a director who can truly form his act would be life-changing.

Kristoffer Lowe is a star on the rise. As I said in my opening, “Kristoffer Lowe has everything.” He now needs to entrust his behind-the-scenes development to the proper people. I know he will and look forward to watching and listening to “the evolution.” That voice!

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Category: Cabaret Reviews, Florida, Florida Cabaret Reviews, Regional

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