Megan Loughran: I Sing Standing Up

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Megan Loughran

I Sing Standing Up
Don’t Tell Mama, NYC, December 11, 2015
Reviewed by Victoria Ordin for Cabaret Scenes
Photo: Michael Benabib

Sometimes you see a performer hit a number out of the park at a revue and think, “I’d love to see her to do a whole show by herself.” This was my feeling about Megan Loughran after September’s sold-out Harvard-Yale Cantata at Feinstein’s/54 Below, which Loughran (Yale ’09) also co-produced.“The Pregnancy Song” (Bobby Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez) is so imaginative and funny that even when sung by a lesser talent, the melody and lyric are sure to please. But the applause for Loughran that special night was simply deafening.

In I Sing Standing Up—which returns to Don’t Tell Mama on February 8—Loughran combines an old-fashioned zaniness with a modern edge and a graceful, strong voice to create a compelling onstage presence. Whether she’s musing about the laziness of ordering fruit salad or the masochism of spinning class—both truly original bits that had me nearly in tears—or discussing her somewhat random fear of doppelgangers and her odd attraction to the island edition of Househunters, Loughran projects a confidence rare at any age.

Unless you’re performing only original material, opening one of your first shows with songs you co-wrote is bold, but “Weird with Me” and “You Need New York” (Loughran/Andy Roninson) were the ideal set-up for the performer’s half-standup/half-musical reflection on life in New York in one’s late 20s. Not a single number fell flat, but “The Party’s Over” (Styne/ Comden & Green) and an unusual rendition of the main title from Friends, “I’ll Be There for You,” as a ballad, deserve mention. Also excellent were “Yesterday” (Paul McCartney)/“Tomorrow” (Strouse/ Charnin; arr. Matt Baker) and “Dream” (Johnny Mercer)/ “When I Fall in Love” (Young/ Heyman). And one can’t hope for a better musical director and pianist for a New York debut than cabaret veteran Tracy Stark, who helped Loughran put on a polished yet passionate show. 

NOTE:  Megan Loughran’s encore Don’t Tell Mama performance of this show on Monday, February 8th is  at 7 pm.