Rose Kingsley: Rose Kingsley Sings the Songs of Johnny Mercer

  • Post author:
  • Reading time:3 mins read

Rose Kingsley

Rose Kingsley Sings the Songs of Johnny Mercer

Feinstein’s/54 Below, NYC, October 24, 2017

Reviewed by Marilyn Lester for Cabaret Scenes

Rose Kingsley

With a superb understanding and control of her voice, no one would ever guess that Rose Kingsley was also an operatic diva. Kingsley has made the transition from the opera stage, where she enjoyed great success, to pop/blues/jazz singing with ease. She displays a thorough understanding of vocal dynamics and a technique that allows her to use her four-octave range to best effect. She has a particular fondness for Johnny Mercer, having worked closely with these selections on the West Coast (her base) with music director and Mercer son-in-law, Bob Corwin.

online pharmacy with best prices today in the USA

Jon Weber, master of the keys, music directed this outing of Mercer with his usual command of the material. Kingsley does the songs proud. Her “Blues in the Night” (Harold Arlen) and “Skylark” (Hoagy Carmichael) were but two examples of sensitive delivery and fine phrasing. Ditto “I’m Old Fashioned” (Jerome Kern) and “Laura,” which Mercer set lyrics to after David Raksin’s film theme had become popular.

online pharmacy with best prices today in the USA

Kingsley’s narrative, a well-researched and fascinating look into Mercer and his output, is delightfully supplemented by the fact that the singer herself is terrific fun. She’s completely at home and relaxed on stage, rounding out the delightful experience of her show. It was a treat to hear the original “Autumn Leaves” in French (Joseph Kosma/Jacques Prévert, with English lyric by Mercer), as well as a creative pairing of “Goody Goody” (Matty Malneck) and “Too Marvelous for Words” (Richard Whiting). Guitarist Andrew Poretz was Kingsley’s special guest. Poretz, who has an extroverted stage presence the equal of Kingsley’s, revealed a well-honed talent for singing as well as guitar playing. Sans his instrument for this outing, he offered a swinging “Day In, Day Out” (Rube Bloom) and, with Kingsley, “Come Rain or Come Shine” (Arlen), in which both demonstrated a feel for the music with excellent synergy. The energetic and personable Kingsley closed out her superb tour of Mercer (and a supremely entertaining show) with two works composed by Henry Mancini—“Moon River” flowing gracefully into “The Days of Wine and Roses.”

Marilyn Lester

Marilyn Lester left journalism and commercial writing behind nearly two decades ago to write plays. That branch in the road led to screenwriting, script-doctoring, dramaturgy and producing for the stage. Marilyn has also co-authored, as well as edited, books. It seemed the only world of words she hadn’t conquered was criticism, an opportunity that presented itself via Theater Pizzazz. Marilyn has since sought to widen her scope in this form of writing she especially relishes. Marilyn is a member of the Authors Guild, Dramatists Guild, Women in the Arts and Media and The League of Professional Theater Women.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. carl hymans

    it was a great and fun show. thank you for the wonderful review Marilyn!

  2. chuckiepie

    But she didn’t sing Johnny’s “Strip Polka”?

Comments are closed.