Being the daughter of an beloved gay icon buys you a lot of applause and respect. This was never more evident than when Lorna Luft took to the stage at Feinstein’s/54 Below. As part of Gay Pride Week she paid honor to the June 12th mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Earlier this week, Luft visited the Stone wall Inn, where a memorial to the 49 victims of the Orlando.To mark the 47th year of her mother Judy Garland’s passing on her 47th birthday audiences members were rewarded with a tearful surprise, a first time live performance of “Over the Rainbow,” the song made famous by her mother, Judy Garland. Luft told the audience that she had never performed the song “not because it was too hard for me emotionally, but because I always felt you can’t improve on perfection.”
Colin Freeman, her musical director, conductor, arranger and husband, lead a terrific 3 piece ensemble where Freeman played the keys, Josh Priest (Drums) and Jim Donica (Bass). It is hard to criticize such an icon, but Mr Freeman’s arrangements do not help out Ms. Luft who is strong on the emotional connection and the acting. but her belt is rough and brassy with a wide, vibrato. Singing softly is not her forte. Her energy and heart, however do make up for the inconsistent vocals.
Lorna represents to many the sad loss of her mother. She gives her audience a connection to what has been lost, taken away and given back in her daughter. That in itself makes Ms. Luft worth seeing.
Lorna Luft Celebrates Pride Week: Feinstein’s/54 Below, closed.