Ann Morrison: The Furniture Set

| January 9, 2018

Ann Morrison

The Furniture Set

Feinstein’s/54 Below, NYC, January 3, 2018

Reviewed by Bart Greenberg for Cabaret Scenes

Ann Morrison

Ann Morrison established herself in lovelorn roles in the original cast of Merrily We Roll Along and in Good News. Somewhere along the way, she has transformed herself into an impish, eccentric cabaret artist in the tradition of Dorothy Loudon and Blossom Dearie. Her current show, The Furniture Set, grew out of a unique setting: a home furnishing store in her hometown of Sarasota, Florida that also serves as an alternative theater space. The items on display led to songs and meditations on her life, loves, and passions.

An a cappella medley of “Love (Bed) for Sale,” “Who Will Buy?,” and “Big Spender” among others, all with altered lyrics, launched the evening off to a wacky start. A later trio—“Go to Sleep” (Alan Jay Lerner/Burton Lane), “Here in My Bed” (Mark Campbell), and “On My Bedside Table” (John Bucchino)—formed a charming one-act play and helped to explain why Morrison was clad in blue pajamas and kimono throughout the evening.

Morrison remains a wonderful actress, creating characters in a salty rendition of “Black Coffee” and a wonderfully manic drunken spree in “Cocktail Table,” one of several original songs penned by the singer and her very talented musical director John Shirley, separately and in collaboration. She also created each piece of furniture on stage through mime, elaborating on both their comic and emotional values.

And then, after all the quips (“Men are like rugs. Lay him right the first time and you can walk over him for years”), family stories, and comic moments— like all great clowns– Morrison, thrilled with a glorious rendition of “The Room Is Filled with You” (Harvey Schmidt/Tom Jones).

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

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Lea DeLaria

Engaging and funny as hell.