Ira Lee Collings – Life Is a Song So Why Not Sing It, Plus Weed Songs

| September 27, 2017

Ira Lee Collings

Life Is a Song So Why Not Sing It (Plus Weed Songs)

Don’t Tell Mama, NYC, September 26, 2017

Reviewed by Rob Lester for Cabaret Scenes

Ira Lee Collings

If there were a job listing that read:

“Help Wanted: Impish Leprechaun. High energy and charm required. Must grin, and cast a spell. Singing a plus,”  

Ira Lee Collings would get the gig. A seemingly ageless sprite, capering Collings has actually sashayed into his 80s. Although he’s been doing shows at Don’t Tell Mama for years, his profile has been raised recently: he won a special cabaret honor, the Hanson Award, for those long-toiling in the musical fields and not previously nominated for a MAC Award; he was chosen as a participant in the AIP Long Island Cabaret Festival last May; was this website’s Pick of the Week and a Pick also in the September/October issue of the magazine. And a song he reprised from an earlier show sums up his buoyant reaction: “Nothing Can Stop Me Now.” It was his encore, evidencing no flagging of spiritedness.  

Embracing his age and his comfort with being open about his sexuality, he’s cheekily labeled himself “The Gay Geezer.” (That’s his “identity,” not a song title, but wait! That could be a fun original.) And so, matter-of-factly, he’ll take on a classic woman-seeks-man saga, without guile and without changing nouns and pronouns. This time it’s the pleading “Lover Man (Oh, Where Can You Be?)” sung with passion and the sense of passions unrequited. During the evening, his intensity or exuberance caused some hit-or-miss pitch concerns on opening night of this reprised act with MD John M. Cook. He showed no reticence while strolling into the audience, crooning in someone’s eyes or bringing someone onstage. Referencing radio/TV’s Your Hit Parade cued warbling ditties such as “Baby, Baby, Baby” and a game and gleeful “Hound Dog.” I believe that “I Believe” got the biggest hand, maybe because his sincerity and optimism came as a satisfying surprise.  

The remaining dates for Mr. Collings at Don’t Tell Mama are October 2 and October 29.

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Category: Cabaret Reviews, New York City, New York City Cabaret Reviews, Regional

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