Jennifer Roberts: An Evening with Jennifer Roberts

  • Post author:
  • Reading time:4 mins read

Jennifer Roberts

An Evening with Jennifer Roberts

 (One Man Band Music)

January 26, 2019

Reviewed by Alix Cohen for Cabaret Scenes

In a medley of three songs, Richard Maltby Jr./David Shire’s exuberant “Travel” bookends “The Glamorous Life” (Stephen Sondheim), and then things settle down in “The Little Grey House” (Maxwell Anderson/Kurt Weill). Interspersed are scripted ersatz demands and reminders from Roberts’ agents and accompanist. She’s apparently a working actress with catch-as-catch-can jobs.

It’s a wryly performed scenario. Roberts seamlessly changes tracks.

In “Nobody’s Heart” (Richard Rodgers/Lorenz Hart) Tedd Firth’s piano is as palpably sensitive as Roberts’ vocal: unfussy, nuanced, sorrowful. Hope follows in the form of “I Walk a Little Faster” (Carolyn Leigh/Cy Coleman), a pensive admission rhythmically in opposition to its title.
online pharmacy no prescription drugstore

The performer imbues this with what seems to be signature sweetness and sincerity. Later, “You There in the Back Row” (Barbara Fried/Coleman) exhibits the same qualities with octaves arching like rainbows. Sheldon Harnick’s “The Ballad of the Shape of Things” is a contemporary madrigal. Firth’s piano winks while Roberts’ vocal wisely plays it straight. Nifty.

Combining “Live Alone and Like It” (Sondheim) with “By Myself” (Howard Dietz/Arthur Schwartz) feels organic. Accompanied by a Bob-Fosse-like vamp, Roberts begins as upbeat and determined as an ingénue. Listen for the single interjected “anyway” that makes the lyric feel like dialogue. When positivity segues to resignation, one might assume reality didn’t live up to hype. As she bounces back in with “Myself,” we’re left to wonder what happened.

Caveats: “Home” (Karla Bonof) and “People Get Ready” (Curtis Mayfield) are gospel songs which, though well performed (especially the second) don’t seem to fit.
online pharmacy no prescription drugstore

buy prednisone online no prescription

“On the Other Side of the Tracks” (Leigh/ Coleman) is interpreted as a gentle bossa nova. Its lyric describes energy and stubborn ambition, neither of which the melody describes.

Jennifer Roberts has an engaging voice, and her musicianship is excellent. I keep listening for a theme though, something that would make sense of the song sequence.

Perhaps next time.

With Tedd Firth (music director/arranger/pianist), Steve Doyle (bass), and Tom Hubbard (guest bassist). “Travel” voices: Tom Wopat, Peter Carey, Jonathan West, Jason Ellis, Tom Hubbard, Sidney Myer, Lance Roberts.

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.