Iris Williams: Let the Music Begin

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Iris Williams

Let the Music Begin

Beach Cafe, NYC, September 8, 2018

Reviewed by Chris Struck for Cabaret Scenes

Iris Williams
Photo: Dan Callister

Iris Williams has been there, done that, and has all the T-shirts to prove it. She’s a television star, an icon, and a singer for royalty (17 times for the Queen of England!). With her sheer talent and force of will, she’s been able to perform for decades and impress audiences. In the relaxed setting of the Beach Cafe, filled with fellow performers and cabaret friends, this was a classy affair with gems like “The Folks Who Live on the Hill” (Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein) and “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive” (Johnny Mercer/Harold Arlen).

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While her long-time accompanist Art Weiss stroked the keys, she turned to some other classics such as “The Way You Look Tonight” (Dorothy Fields/Kern) and “La Vie en rose” (Edith Piaf/Louiguy/Marguerite Monnot).

My favorite came when she turned to Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim for “Children Will Listen,” which she performed excellently. Here she reminded the audience, “Careful the things you do, children will see and learn.” It’s a sobering reminder to be a good role model every day and at any age.

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Williams’ show became a social gathering as she cheered old friends and welcomed new ones with some charm and a touch of flattery.

Just about every song she chose had that weight of quintessential classic, and that’s the string that held them together as she breezed through each with professional élan. Her simple clarity of voice and poise made her an easy pick to enjoy on a Saturday evening. She will be at the Cabaret Convention on October 12 to rekindle the romance of yesteryear.

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