Marnie Klar: Marnie Klar Sings Bobbie Gentry

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Marnie Klar

Marnie Klar Sings Bobbie Gentry

Don’t Tell Mama, NYC, December 7, 2018

Reviewed by Alix Cohen for Cabaret Scenes

Marni Klar
Photo: Takako Harkness

Marnie Klar is a tall, attractive drink of water. Her freshness adds to the authenticity of this show. When the vocalist tells us about her subject’s independent, inherently feminist life, she speaks with passion. Biographical material is, alas, predominantly factual rather than anecdotal/colorful and loaded in at the top of the show instead of alternating with the music.

The performer has a fine, clear, beautifully controlled instrument.

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Here, she aptly employs key changes by slip/sliding between keys and adding some southern color. Duets with and back-up by music director/pianist Steven Ray Watkins, a self-avowed country boy, add color and texture. (Musicianship tonight is solid.) Gentry is a good choice.

Unfortunately, Klar seems not to have given lyrics much thought. A single emotion is evident during most numbers, but never nuanced in accordance with what’s being said. Nor does the performer share a minute of her show.

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She moves the mike stand left, right, and center avoiding direct connection/eyes, shutting us out. Gestures are few, stock, and seem halfhearted. Some of these songs are infectiously rhythmic, yet Klar doesn’t step, bounce, or indicate any awareness of that.

Much of this could be put down to nervousness which makes one sympathetic, but doesn’t change things. Marnie Klar has the raw material but….

Alix Cohen

Alix Cohen’s writing began with poetry, segued into lyrics then took a commercial detour. She now authors pieces about culture/the arts, including reviews and features. A diehard proponent of cabaret, she’s also a theater aficionado, a voting member of Drama Desk, The Drama League and of The NY Press Club in addition to MAC. Currently, Alix writes for Cabaret Scenes, Theater Pizzazz and Woman Around Town. Additional pieces have been published by The New York Post, The National Observer’s Playground Magazine, Pasadena Magazine and Times Square Chronicles. Alix is the recipient of six New York Press Club Awards.