Deb Darr: Cause I Wanna….

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Deb Darr

Cause I Wanna…

Davenport’s, Chicago, IL, August 26, 2018

Reviewed by Carla Gordon for Cabaret Scenes

Deb Darr

After a five-year hiatus, Deb Darr brought a compelling musical reflection to Davenports with Cause I Wanna. About to enter her seventh decade, Darr shared personal ruminations about activities she still seeks to pursue.  One of her most relatable “wannas“ is the wish to impart values about which she holds strong beliefs to younger members of her personal universe—in this case, a budding step-grandaughter.  She lands this with aplomb, singing “There Is Nothing Like a Dame,” which retains Oscar Hammerstein’s wit but takes on new depth when delivered from Darr’s feminist point of view. Continuing with generational thoughts, she saluted her mother, a poet and WW II pilot, by reading her mother’s poem and singing Craig Carnelia’s “Flight.” The poem is moving, but a bit grim.  In “Nina from Argentina” (Noél Coward), Darr shares her love of travel and wish to continue to do so and adds needed comedy to the show. She made her bones on Broadway and can belt with the best of ’em. In past shows, her vocals could be overwhelming in cozy Davenport’s.  In this outing, she wisely turned down the volume and thus turned up her connection to her audience in this personal journey. Closing with Bob Dylan’s tender “Forever Young,” she reflected on another “wanna,” and its gentle wishes served as a benediction to all who were listening.

Carla Gordon

Carla Gordon is a singer/songwriter, director, and producer. The Chicago Tribune cited her among “Chicago’s most accomplished cabaret performers….a major player in Chicago cabaret.” Reviewer Pam Peterson called her “Honey-voiced wisecracker!” Ageless Magazine called her performance as Sophie tucker, “A gem!” Gordon writes custom material for singers nationwide. Her flagship show, "Blacklisted," featuring songs made famous by artists blacklisted under McCarthyism, has toured to critical acclaim. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Chicago Cabaret Professionals and on the Advisory Board of the Skokie Theater. Her songs air on WFMT’s Midnight Special and are being performed performed by cabaret artists nationwide.