Jenifer French: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!—A Tribute to the Sherman Brothers

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Jenifer French

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!—A Tribute to the Sherman Brothers

Davenport’s, Chicago, IL, September 13, 2014

Reviewed by Carla Gordon for Cabaret Scenes

Jennifer-French-The-Sherman-Brothers_Davenport's-Cabaret-Scenes-Magazine_212Brothers Richard and Robert Sherman were Walt Disney’s go-to staff song writers, creating iconic film scores for Disney Studios. They also wrote peppy pop tunes for Annette Funicello albums and Hayley Mills films, like “Let’s Get Together” (“Yeah yeah yeah”) from The Parent Trap). In a high-octane performance, Jenifer French has fun with it all.

It isn’t until the show is well under way that we find out how well she can sing and tell a meaningful story.

The song is “Feed the Birds” from Mary Poppins. French’s vocals are lush as she tenderly shares the Shermans’ call for kindness, sharing that Disney requested it at every weekly meeting. Guests George Howe (who also served well as musical director) added excellent vocals, and Daryl Nitz (director) offered hilarious comedy duets, as well as world class schmoozing with the audience. Arranged by Howe, the medley from Mary Poppins went down like that spoonful of sugar, offering seamless transition from one iconic Poppins song to another. Describing her closing number as an “earworm,” and inviting the audience to join in, “It’s a Small World” was the perfect closer.

Carla Gordon

Carla Gordon is a singer/songwriter, director, and producer. The Chicago Tribune cited her among “Chicago’s most accomplished cabaret performers….a major player in Chicago cabaret.” Reviewer Pam Peterson called her “Honey-voiced wisecracker!” Ageless Magazine called her performance as Sophie tucker, “A gem!” Gordon writes custom material for singers nationwide. Her flagship show, "Blacklisted," featuring songs made famous by artists blacklisted under McCarthyism, has toured to critical acclaim. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Chicago Cabaret Professionals and on the Advisory Board of the Skokie Theater. Her songs air on WFMT’s Midnight Special and are being performed performed by cabaret artists nationwide.