Scott Evan Davis: Fragments

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Scott Evan Davis


The Laurie Beechman Theatre, NYC, June 26, 2018

Reviewed by Bart Greenberg for Cabaret Scenes

Scott Evan Davis

Scott Evan Davis brought Fragments, a song cycle of some of his most challenging material, to The Laurie Beechman Theatre, performed by a quartet of fine interpreters, all skillfully and fluidly directed by Stearns Matthews. Each of the singers, backed up by Davis at the piano, had the chance to shine—both musically and dramatically—with flawless enunciation from all.

The songwriter’s work is clearly inspired by the strong hand of Stephen Sondheim, for both good and bad.

The songs are contemporary in both feeling and theme. The dense lyrics require concentration on the part of the audience.
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The mood is often sardonic or pained, and the characters are complex and on the edge of nervous breakdowns.

The damage of a dark childhood is captured in “Dear Santa” and “Broken,” which showed off the considerable talents of Adam Von Almen and Jamie Zeidman, respectfully. Angela Shultz wonderfully encompassed the suppressed rage of a trophy wife in “He’s Perfect.” On the more sensitive side, Kevin Dozier offered a simple and pure love song, “Someone Else’s Eyes.

Before the next performance, Davis may want to rethink the order of some of the material. Unfortunately, some of the most dense and oblique work comes early in the cycle, putting up walls rather than inviting the audience in.

Some of the most appealing work came late in the evening, such as the heartbreaking “Before I Forget” and the touching “Save Me the Rose,” inspired by an episode of a classic sitcom.

Ironically, many of the songs deal with breaking down walls between people; more work needs to be done breaking down walls between the writer and the audience.

Fragments returns to The Laurie Beechman Theatre Tuesday, July 17 at 7 pm.

Bart Greenberg

Bart Greenberg first discovered cabaret a few weeks after arriving in New York City by seeing Julie Wilson and William Roy performing Stephen Sondheim and Cole Porter outdoors at Rockefeller Center. It was instant love for both Ms. Wilson and the art form. Some years later, he was given the opportunity to create his own series of cabaret shows while working at Tower Records. "Any Wednesday" was born, a weekly half-hour performance by a singer promoting a new CD release. Ann Hampton Callaway launched the series. When Tower shut down, Bart was lucky to move the program across the street to Barnes & Noble, where it thrived under the generous support of the company. The series received both The MAC Board of Directors Award and The Bistro Award. Some of the performers who took part in "Any Wednesday" include Barbara Fasano and Eric Comstock, Tony Desare, Andrea Marcovicci, Carole Bufford, the Karens, Akers, Mason and Oberlin, and Julie Wilson. Privately, Greenberg is happily married to writer/photographer Mark Wallis, who as a performance artist in his native England gathered a major following as "I Am Cereal Killer."