Lois Morton: Edith, Marlene, Sophie…and Me

| November 8, 2017

Lois Morton

Edith, Marlene, Sophie…and Me

Don’t Tell Mama, NYC, November 4, 2017

Reviewed by Bart Greenberg for Cabaret Scenes

Lois Morton

Songwriter and chanteuse Lois Morton returned to Don’t Tell Mama with a new celebration of iconic singers who performed in languages other than English. The singer admitted she conceived the show in order to show off her command of a variety of languages (German, French, Yiddish, and a smattering of others), which she did with ease and conviction, often switching between these languages and English within a single song.

Between the selections, Morton offers up a great deal of information about the performers, some of it fascinating (a tale of Sophie Tucker’s dangerous journey to the United States, involving a surprising hero), and some take on too lecture-ish a tone (some business with photographs proved awkward and unnecessary).

But the song choices are a delight, from the exotic “La Foule” (Angel Cabral/Michel Rivgauche) to the comic “You’ve Gotta See Mama Every Night” (Con Conrad/Billy Rose) to the classic “Lili Marlene” (Hans Leip/Tommy Connor/Norbert Schultze). Each was delivered with a simplicity and clarity that enriched it, with an emphasis on a clarity of lyrics.

Morton also offers up a few of her own songs, including the delightful “English Doesn’t Turn Me On,” detailing her attraction to foreign language and foreign men (rhyming “prepare us” with “Banderas”), as well as a very moving tribute to her late husband, “The Last Goodbye.”

Providing able assistance was musical director Paul Greenwood, whose own simple approach to the melodies complemented the singer. Throughout, Morton’s joy of life infused the program with energy and delight.

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

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