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Review: GOLDIE DVER: SWEET BEGINNING Is a Reason For Thanksgiving at Laurie Beechman Theatre

Review: GOLDIE DVER: SWEET BEGINNING Is a Reason For Thanksgiving at Laurie Beechman Theatre

Goldie Dver Launches Her Album at The Laurie Beechman Theatre

Review: GOLDIE DVER: SWEET BEGINNING Is a Reason For Thanksgiving at Laurie Beechman Theatre Thanksgiving is still two and a half weeks away. But for those lucky enough to be at The Laurie Beechman Theatre last night, Thanksgiving came early, in the form of Goldie Dver and her show, SWEET BEGINNING. Gratitude was the topic of the night. Dver, who is a 68-year-old breast cancer survivor, has much to be grateful for. At an age when many singers are thinking about writing memoirs, Goldie Dver is just getting started. She spent the pandemic in the studio with her music director, Michael Roberts, creating many of the tunes that make up this show. The result is a forthcoming album of very personal jazz and theatre standards with a few surprises. Ms. Dver looks great, sounds, great, and breezes through her treatise on gratitude with a light and confident touch. She is, as Irving Berlin would say, 'The Hostess With the Mostess' on the Ball.

Continuing with the theme of gratitude, Dver donated a portion of the proceeds from last evening's show to the Phyllis Newman Women's Health Initiative. And a lovely evening it was. Goldie Dver is a performer of great passion who has the enviable gift of allowing the audience to come to her rather than the other way around. She is equally at home with theatre songs and jazz standards. She talks to her audience, and frequently with her audience, but never at her audience. It seems odd to say a 68-year-old has arrived, but Goldie Dver makes that statement logical. Last night she announced her presence as an important cabaret performer.

Review: GOLDIE DVER: SWEET BEGINNING Is a Reason For Thanksgiving at Laurie Beechman Theatre

Her show opened unconventionally with the first of two guest stars. Bill Zeffiro was on keys to play "I've Still Got New York," a song he wrote especially for Goldie Dver. It is a bluesy ode to the Big Apple that has the feeling of an instant standard. After welcoming her music director, Michael Roberts, to the stage, she followed with a mashup of Ed Kleban's "Self Portrait," Maltby and Shire's "Today is the First Day of the Rest of My Life," and Jerry Herman's "It's Today." The medley was a somewhat uneasy mix of styles and tempos, but the theme of new beginnings held it all together. A better fit was a medley of "The Impossible Dream" combined with "It's Impossible." Ms. Dver laid back into the bossa nova arrangement and inhabited the lyric. She gave us a groovy walking bass version of Leslie Bricusse's "Talk to the Animals" from Doctor Doolittle and a beautifully acted rendition of the Bergman's "Where Do You Start?"

Review: GOLDIE DVER: SWEET BEGINNING Is a Reason For Thanksgiving at Laurie Beechman Theatre She welcomed her second guest star, Carolyn Montgomery, for a mini-set from her own show in tribute to Rosemary Clooney. Ms. Montgomery is also the Executive Director of the American Songbook Association. She gave us a very bittersweet reading of "It's Only a Paper Moon," and a wonderfully vampy "I Get a Kick Out of You". Ms. Montogomery can turn the slightest lift of an eyebrow into the most suggestive of double-entendres. She then brought Goldie back to the stage and the two women ripped through Irving Berlin's "You're Just in Love." The chemistry between the two friends was infectious.

Review: GOLDIE DVER: SWEET BEGINNING Is a Reason For Thanksgiving at Laurie Beechman Theatre

The highlight of the night, for me, was a clever combination of "What About Today?" from Starting Here, Starting Now, and "Easy to Be Hard" from Hair. The rock arrangement by Michael Roberts was unexpected and truly wonderful. Ms. Dver took a moment to encourage everyone to vote as a lead-in to a song written for her by Roberts. "This is Mine" is an anthem about personal autonomy that strikes a chord in a world where personal freedoms are being slowly stripped away. Goldie Dver's performance of it was sharp and focused. She wrapped up her concert with a Newley/Bricusse tune "Sweet Beginning" that came full circle back to the theme of gratitude. Goldie Dver is the picture of gratitude. And we, her audience are grateful for her.

Review: GOLDIE DVER: SWEET BEGINNING Is a Reason For Thanksgiving at Laurie Beechman Theatre

I would be remiss if I ended my thoughts without mentioning the awesome band who were Ms. Dver's constant support. Michael Roberts is a wonderful and sensitive music director/pianist/orchestrator/arranger. John Miller on bass, Chip Fabrizi on drums, and Josh Plottner on reeds did excellent work. Kudos go to Marc Daine on guitar, especially his solo work with Ms. Dver on "Where Do You Start?" Director James Beaman kept the hour and 40 minutes moving along at a clip. The show was structured with a light hand and a thoughtful eye. If Goldie Dver's album SWEET BEGINNING is as delightful as the show that launched it, it should be in every Christmas stocking this holiday season. Thank you, Goldie and company for another reason to give thanks in this season of plenty.

Review: GOLDIE DVER: SWEET BEGINNING Is a Reason For Thanksgiving at Laurie Beechman Theatre

To learn more about Goldie Dver, visit goldie@goldiedver.com. To see more great artists at The Laurie Beechman Theatre, check out westbankcafe.com. SWEET BEGINNINGS is available on Spotify and all major streaming platforms.


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