Pat Christenson: My Mama Done Told Me (But I Did It Anyway)

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Pat Christenson

My Mama Done Told Me (But I Did It Anyway)

Davenport’s, Chicago, IL, April 24, 2015

Reviewed by Carla Gordon for Cabaret Scenes

Pat-Christenson-Mama-Done-Told-Me-Cabaret-Scenes-Magazine_212In her debut solo show, Pat Christenson brings musical theater sensibilities and a strong alto belt to joyfully explore sundry misbehaviors. Christenson’s journey explores different musical genres. Paul Anka’s “Teddy” tells, in that innocent early pop/rock way, of an over-the top crush on the prototypical shy guy.  The girl may be entering eighth grade, but she WILL be Teddy’s wife!  Country music is represented by “Walkaway Joe,” (Vince Melamed/Greg Barnhill) for which, despite Mama’s warnings that a certain Joe is the proverbial bad boy, our then seventeen-year-old Pat falls hard.  “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered” and “Mad About the Boy” are an effective pairing representing musical theater; both center on desire trumping reason.  It’s fun to hear Jack Yellen’s references in “I’m Living Alone and I Like It” (music: Dan Dougherty), a talk-song written by him for Sophie Tucker filled with sly sexual references. In Maggie Roche’s “The Married Men,” Christenson finds the wit of Roche’s lyrics, but doesn’t plumb its bittersweet underside. As a cabaret artist, Christianson excels at sass and fun.  As she spends more time in the genre, that will, no doubt, be balanced with more moments of tender simplicity.

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.