Jillian Laurain: An Evening of Musical Infusion

  • Post author:
  • Reading time:2 mins read

Jillian Laurain

An Evening of Musical Infusion

Don’t Tell Mama, NYC, May 19, 2018

Reviewed by Chris Struck for Cabaret Scenes

Jillian Laurain

Jillian Laurain sometimes gets ahead of herself, but it’s easy to see why her fans adore her. She has a classic voice and a classic persona. One could imagine her growing up in any of New York’s boroughs, dreaming of going to Juilliard and taking in shows at the Met. With an operatic voice and style and a touch of the glam required, she certainly seems like she could have once fit the bill. It makes it nice to see her performances at NYC’s Don’t Tell Mama. The talent and bar are high and competitive, leaving few who are as dedicated as Laurain to the craft.

An Evening of Musical Infusion brought jazz, Broadway, and that opera-style voice together in a way that sometimes worked and sometimes didn’t. Working alongside affable music director Matt Baker, Marco Panascia (bass) and Kenny Hassler (drums), Laurain entertained and forced a few spontaneous laughs. The moment of the show, though, definitely came at the end of Chicago’s “All That Jazz” (Kander & Ebb) when the lights came to life in a crescendo of yellow and red until Laurain hit the final note and said the magic word, “Jazz,” with her hand flung into the air. Other songs I enjoyed were Harold Arlen and Ira Gershwin’s “The Man That Got Away” and Ira and George Gershwin/DuBose Heyward’s “Summertime” and the Gershwins’ “I Loves You Porgy.”

In the end, you know you’ll get some laughs from Laurain, song choices that will show off her voice, and a touch of what makes New York New York. We’ll see what she comes up with next.

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