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BWW Review: Lorna Dallas HOME AGAIN Is A Welcome Show In Person Or Online

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BWW Review: Lorna Dallas HOME AGAIN Is A Welcome Show In Person Or Online

Lorna Dallas doesn't even have to open her mouth to sing before capturing the heart of the audience. The iconic performer steps onto the stage at Birdland in this video of her 2018 show HOME AGAIN and takes a moment to get herself and her guests in the mood, in the moment, and ready for what's to come. In that moment, it is possible to see the journey that brought the venerated singer to this place in time. That's it, just a moment, and you can see her trace the tracks of a career and life that have brought all the experiences and emotions that inform her ability to showcase not only the stories in the songs she sings but her own tales as they relate to the tunes.

What a pleasure it is to watch a professional ply their craft. Let us not dismiss the talents of all of the artists working in cabaret and jazz and all of the concert venues, large and small; nevertheless, when a performer has the magic and majesty, the technique and the insight that a person like Lorna Dallas has, the act of observance of their craft becomes more than a pleasure, it is a privilege. No mere singer is Lorna Dallas, rather, she is a singing actor who has an ability to find the emotional and intellectual core of a song, zero in on it sentence by sentence, and provide her audience with a fully realized expression of the authors' intents, her own perspective, and something inside of each individual that will resonate with the trajectory on which she is taking them. Note the facial expressions that translate what she is singing, see how Ms. Dallas connects with the Birdland guests who are watching, observe the eloquence of her hand gestures, especially enjoy the ease with which she converses with the crowd. There are those singers who are most comfortable with a park and bark philosophy of performing: hit the stage, take the mic, sing, and say goodbye. So amiable is Lorna Dallas that one might find his or herself happy to sit and watch her just talk for an hour, but that would be just plain silly, since the voice, the voice, the voice.

There are those who say that the male voice grows stronger with time, while the female voice weakens. To those people, one should say the words Lorna Dallas. The truth can only be that that train of thought regarding the female voice is without merit because many women maintain the power and beauty of their voices for their entire lives, and Lorna Dallas is, clearly, on track to be one of those women. With a long history of performing, Ms. Dallas has had numerous opportunities to showcase the magnificence of the instrument Mother Nature and hard work have granted her, and that tradition continues right up to the present day, as only months ago Dallas was presented with a Bistro Award for Consummate Cabaret Artistry for her 2019 show STAGES. In this video, it is easy to see that the consummate artist is in tip-top shape and still singing every day: this voice is untouched by time, with high notes that thrill and a musical vocabulary that will leave viewers sighing and shaking their heads. Lorna Dallas is timeless, energetic, elegant, and wonderfully funny, especially alongside her longtime musical director, Christopher Denny, one of the geniuses and true good guys of the business; Dallas is indeed lucky in her association with him, as are the audiences who revel in their collaboration.

Lorna Dallas Home Again can be seen on Youtube and features the works of Jerry Herman, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Stephen Sondheim, Amanda McBroom, Ivor Novello, Michele Legrand, Marilyn & Alan Bergman, Irving Berlin, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Jerome Kern and many more, including her Home Again director, the incomparable Barry Kleinbort. The hour-long show is a complete joy to watch as Dallas reminisces about the shows she has done, the songs she has recorded, and the people in her life, using that glorious Dallas voice on the music and the mischievous Dallas personality on the rhetoric - in fact, some of the most engaging moments of Home Again are seeing Ms. Dallas tell tales on her husband and girlfriends like Amanda Mc Broom. This is one of those times when an audience knows their performer better when they leave than they did when they came in, and that's one of the things that makes Lorna Dallas a special person and performer.

Now, let us not mince words - the experience of watching a video of any singer cannot compare to seeing them live, but in a world where live performance has been placed on hold, one must make the most of the viewing platforms that are available, and Youtube can be a music lover's best friend. Happily, the filmmaker behind HOME AGAIN is Michael Lee Stever, who has a way with a camera lens and an instinct for what makes a great show video, making this viewing party at home one to share, either in person or virtually. One day we will all be back in the clubs and one hopes Lorna Dallas will be back at Birdland, but until that day comes, there are fans who can enjoy her artistry, and there are new fans waiting to be made. Even after the clubs reopen, the existence of this online video will create an opportunity for viewers around the world to witness the revenant craftspersonship of a professional singing actor who, deeply, cares about the song, the audience, and the art form that nurtures all who care to partake, in person, online, or anywhere they can find it.

Photo by Kevin Alvey provided by Richard Hillman Public Relations

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From This Author Stephen Mosher