Deborah Stone: Still Exactly Where I Belong

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Deborah Stone

Still Exactly Where I Belong

Don’t Tell Mama, NYC, March 23, 2017

Reviewed by Ron Forman for Cabaret Scenes

Deborah Stone

After a lengthy career on stage, Deborah Stone made her debut as a cabaret performer this past January. If I had to describe her in one word, it would be “chanteuse.” She looks sophisticated and elegant. Her diction and elocution are superb. Her voice is a very sweet soprano that rises to the occasion. She has a delightful sense of humor that works well in her patter and in songs that require it. What makes her very special is her ability to transform many of her songs into mini dramas. Her experience on stage comes through in her ability to make every word of a lyric meaningful.

Stone was a bit tentative in her first two numbers, “Something’s Coming” and “Autumn in New York.” But that was explained by her description of her recent experience of going on a cabaret stage for the first time, which led into a very funny performance of “Shy” from Once Upon a Mattress. She gained momentum with an extraordinary performance of “Anyone Can Whistle.” The medley that began and ended with “I’m Old Fashioned”—with “Simple Little Things” (110 in the Shade) woven smoothly in the middle—displayed her very pretty sound. She showed her flair for comedy with Cole Porter’s “The Physician” (“But He Never Said He Loved Me”).  She brilliantly transformed Stephen Sondheim’s “The Ladies Who Lunch” into an interesting short story. Her lilting and sometimes thrilling soprano voice worked very well with “Do I Hear a Waltz?” and “Garbage” (Dear World). Stone proved that she could also be a belter with “Some People,” followed by a moving and very dramatic “Lush Life.” She was bold and brassy with “Chief Cook and Bottle Washer” (The Rink). Stone surprised me with her closing number, showing off her experience as a dancer, swiveling and swaying and making contact with audience members with “Whatever Lola Wants.” Her encore: a dramatic “The Rose.”

Ron Forman

Ron Forman has been a Mathematics Professor at Kingsborough Community College for 45 years. In that time, he has managed to branch out in many different areas. From 1977 to 1994 he was co-owner of Comics Unlimited, the third largest comic book distribution company in the USA. In 1999,after a lifetime of secretly wanting to do a radio program, he began his weekly Sweet Sounds program on WKRB 90.3 FM, dedicated to keeping the music of the Great American Songbook alive and accessible. This introduced him to the world of cabaret, which led to his position as a reviewer for Cabaret Scenes.