I was excited about the New York Pop’s program Women of Notes: In Dedication to Female Composers and Lyricists. Though some of the most amazing music on Broadway, and off, as well as in the pop scene have been written by women. We rarely see evenings dedicated to them.
Honored were Mary Rodgers, Betty Comden, Carolyn Leigh, Dolly Parton, Carole King, Ingrid Michaelson, Georgia Stitt, Lynn Ahrens, Jeanine Tesori, Marketa Irglova, Kristen Anderson Lopez, Shaina Taub, Sara Bareilles and Tracy Chapman, missing were Carol Hall, Lucy Simon, Micki Grant, Amanda Green, Maureen McGovern, Gretchen Cryer, Cass Morgan and Kristen Childs. And that’s just in the musical theatre world. In the pop world Adele, Odetta, KD Lang and the list is extensive. I bring this up because we were given two by Mary Rodgers, four by Carolyn Leigh and two by Jeanine Tesori and Sara Bareilles.
Heading the night were Adam Kantor (The Band’s Visit) and Betsy Wolfe (Waitress) and though each had a wonderful moment or two, they did not have the vocal or acting chops to carry off these pieces.
The night came alive when Ingrid Michaelson and Sara Bareilles performed.
The Pops choose the overtures to Once Upon a Mattress and Thoroughly Modern Millie to highlight.
Ms Wolfe who had a record number of costume changes and looked beautiful. She has an amazing range and tone. She excelled in her song from Waitress and singing “Miss America” with Ingrid Michaelson.
However she started off the show singing “Shy” from Mattress and was anything, but what the lyrics called for. On top of that there was a dance number with two guys who were more into themselves than her. Highly confusing.
Mr. Kantor showed off his skills on Georgia Stitt’s, “Sonnet XXIX” and “What Do I Need with Love?” from Thoroughly Modern Millie. Again there was moments of bewilderment when he sang Carole King’s “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” and Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car.” Pop songs need pop singers and Mr. Kantor is not of that ilk.
To close the night the fabulous pop singer Sara Bareilles sang a fabulous rendition of “Chasing the Sun”, showing how it should be done.
I am a huge fan of the Pop’s and Steven Reineke and I look forward to their holiday concert “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” with Megan Hilty December 15th and 16th.