Tamika Whitson: One Night Only

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Tamika Whitson

One Night Only

The Duplex, NYC, April 13th, 2018

Reviewed by Chris Struck for Cabaret Scenes


jpg” alt=”” width=”212″ height=”212″ /> Tamika Whitson

Tamika Whitson is a self-proclaimed shy church girl who exuded modesty. But, as she took the stage, she transformed into a well-dressed, glamorously fabulous woman with a full-bodied voice and more than a touch of diva. (Hair, make up and wardrobe by Lynette Pierce.) While at times Whitson’s enormous voice squeaked rough at the edges (she taught herself how to sing), some of her songs rang all the bells. One can imagine her belting a chorus and jazzing up a group of friends. Her obvious warmth brought them out to support her in her moment of stepping out of her comfort zone to do a solo show, and she impressed!

Whitson’s best moments came with the classic “Killing Me Softly with His Song” (Charles Fox/Norman Gimbel/Lori Lieberman) and “Peel Me a Grape” (Dave Frishberg), but, more surprisingly and showing off her inner fun side, she did a pretty good job on Amy Winehouse’s “F#*k Me Pumps.

” Diva status was raised even a little bit higher as she belted, “With your empty purse, every week it gets worse, at least your breasts cost more than hers.

” Smoking.

Steven Kuo and Lynette Pierce backed Whitson up on Sam Cooke’s “Bring It on Home to Me,” but, let’s be honest, it was Whitson’s night to shine. Helping her do that, Darius Frowner handled the piano and music direction for the show. He did a particularly solid job through the ’80s/’90s medley which went through songs like “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” and “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me).” Though, Frowner’s combination with Whitson on “Piano in the Dark” (Brenda Russell) still lingers as she chimed a resonant, “I cry just a little when he plays the piano in the dark.” For a shy church girl, she definitely has a big voice.

Chris Struck

Chris Struck's debut novel, Kennig and Gold, is due to be officially published in June 2019. He's written reviews for Cabaret Scenes since August of 2017. For more information about the writer, see StruckChris.com