Dianna Agron at the Cafe Carlyle, definitely has the “It Factor”, as she embodies those actress of the 30’s. Looking like a debutant of that era, she glows in a red and black lounge outfit with frills. Her blonde hair and her personality shine as she starts her set off with Nancy Sinatra’s “Not The Loving Kind”. Ms. Argon’s nerves are also on display as she forgets the lyrics to not one, but three songs, but she is unapologetic with an “Oh Well” attitude and this Glee alum’s audience instantaneously forgives.
On Nico’s “These Days” and Peggy Lee’s “You Belong To Me,” “I Want To be Seduced and “Is That All There Is?” Ms. Argon shows a connection to lyric as she makes these songs her own. Where Ms. Argon excels is in her acting. She takes these songs in a new and interesting place. She does have to work on pitch problems though, as she has a tendency to go flat every other verse, but she gets her intent out with a low purr.
Her band is wonderful with Gill Landry on guitar and Margot on violin. Each of these performers also sing duets and backup for Argon. Rounding out the band is Sarah Goldstone on keys, Alex Chakour on bass, Malcom Parson on cello, Audrey Hayes on viola and Jeffrey Miller on trombone. Though the repertoire is for the most part 60’s oriented, the feel is again 1930’s and the band and Argon excel on Marianne Faithfull’s “The Sha La La Song” and “Oh! You Beautiful Doll”.
The Velvet Underground’s “After Hours”, The Sapphires’s “Who Do You Love” and Eartha Kitt’s “I Want to Be Evil,” all showed a darker side to Ms Argon as she twists the lyrics to her advantage. There is a somber tone here as her happy birthday sounds like it came from “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Even her patter teases “the whole show isn’t “going to be Sleepytown.” Ms Argon, does almost everything tongue and cheek as if this was a walk in the park.
The surprise of the evening was the delightful Kay Thompson and Audrey Hepburn call and response “On How To Be Lovely,” sung with Margot.
Argon ended the evening on a warm note with the pop standard “Dream a Little Dream of Me” and The Mamas & The Papas “Dedicated To The One I Love”, making her audience feel warm and fuzzy.
I look forward to seeing this talented performer on the rise.