Craig Pomranz

| February 13, 2018 | 0 Comments

Craig Pomranz

Tom Rolla’s Gardenia, Los Angeles, CA  February 9, 2018

Reviewed by Elliot Zwiebach for Cabaret Scenes

Craig Pomranz
Photo: Richard Termine

Craig Pomranz is the epitome of a consummate cabaret performer—charming, informative, amusing, lyric-focused and vocally on target. He uses his rich voice for maximum impact to give each song a variety of moods and colors, taking an audience across a range of emotions as he moves from soft and gentle to powerful and dramatic within each three-minute segment.

In a show celebrating various aspects of love, Pomranz offered a grab-bag of songs, from the familiar to the lesser-known, a hallmark of each of his shows. He offered upbeat notions of love on a sweetly expressive “It’s Love” (Comden & Green/Leonard Bernstein, from Wonderful Town); a soft and easy “They Say It’s Wonderful” (Irving Berlin; Annie Get Your Gun); a warm “You and I” (Leslie Bricusse; Goodbye Mr. Chips); and what he called “the essence of simplicity” on “What the World Needs Now Is Love” (Hal David/Burt Bacharach)—encouraging the audience to sing along with him.

Reflecting love’s darker side, Pomranz captured the gentle tone—despite the heartache of the lyric—on a contemplative “Love Is a Losing Game” (Amy Winehouse). He sang about what people are willing to settle for in “The Smallest Amount of Love,” a sweet song with plaintive lyrics written by his pianist and music director Michael Roberts.

Pomranz was mesmerizing on moody, moving versions of “Don’t Explain” (Billie Holiday/Arthur Herzog, Jr.) and “No One Has Ever Loved Me” (Stephen Sondheim; Passion), and sweet and heartfelt on “What a Difference a Day Made” (Maria Grever, with English lyrics by Stanley Adams). He turned the soft rock “I’m Not in Love” (Eric Stewart/Graham Gouldman of the group 10cc) into a moving ballad.

On a brighter note, he had fun with multiple verses of “Let’s Do It” (Cole Porter) and the full lyrical ironies of “Say That We’re Sweethearts Again” (Earl Brent).

Pomranz was ably abetted by Roberts and—at one of his two performances in Los Angeles—by guitar maestro Dori Amarilio sitting in, unrehearsed, who added extra warmth on three numbers.

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Category: Cabaret Reviews, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Cabaret Reviews, Regional

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