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An Exquisite Heidi Kettenring Opens MSMT's Concert Series

Kettenring Shines in the Music of Linda Ronstadt, Joni Mitchell, Carole King, and Karen Carpenter

An Exquisite Heidi Kettenring Opens MSMT's Concert Series

Chicago's Leading Lady and beloved superstar of MSMT, Heidi Kettenring returns to the Pickard Theatre for three splendid concerts featuring the music of Carole King, Karen Carpenter, Linda Ronstadt, and Joni Mitchell. An exquisite chanteuse, Kettenring combines vocal richness and power, interpretive flair, and sheer elegance and class in an evening of song and sentiment that goes straight to the heart.

Kettenring has surrounded herself with five quality musicians for the band and backup vocals. Music Director Alex Newkirk plays keyboards, and, together with Lara Filip, provides interesting harmonies and tonal palette in the backup vocals. Jimmy Dority on guitar, Ryan Bennett on drums, and Alyson Ciechomski on bass complete this close-knit, harmonious ensemble.

As a vocalist, Kettenring displays an impressive vocal range. Her instrument is capable of earthy chest tones all the way up to lyrical soprano high notes, and she can riff and play with dynamics with fluid ease. Her musicianship is superb, and she sculpts a song with seamless skill Her rich-hued voice has the timbre of a fine vintage wine, flecked with flashes of gold. It can caress or cry, whisper or lament; it has tenderness and sass, sweetness and sultry lure, openness and generosity. It is a voice which befriends you immediately and ushers you into a magical world. And Kettenring is a brilliant actress - which means that on the concert stage, she is a consummate storyteller, finding the deepest meaning of the text and drawing the listener into the immediacy of the moment.

Kettenring's choice of repertoire focuses on four of her favorite female artists of the past fifty years, Carole King, Karen Carpenter, Linda Ronstadt, and Joni Mitchell. Kettenring sings twenty-three of their best-known hits, devoting a quarter of the program to each singer/songwriter. She also intersperses the songs with commentary about these artists juxtaposed with personal anecdotes that shapes a connection between Kettenring and these songwriting greats.

An Exquisite Heidi Kettenring Opens MSMT's Concert Series Among the many highlights of the ninety-minute concert: a haunting "Blue Bayou" and "It's so Easy" from Linda Ronstadt; a set by Joni Mitchell that includes a originally phrased, passionately sung "A Case of You" and a heartwrenchingly wise "Both Sides Now"; a soaring rendition of Carole King's "Beautiful" and a delivery of "You've Got a Friend" that becomes a mini-drama, as Kettenring channels both King and a lost schoolmate of hers, giving the song a passionate poignancy; and finally a set of Karen Carpenter songs, performed with an unforgettable intensity and identification from the uplifting hopefulness of "Top of the World," to the longing of "Superstar," to the sheer embrace of "Close To You."

The title of Heidi Kettenring's program is dervived from Carole King's song, but one cannot help but reflect that it is aptly chosen. Kettenring's style as a performer is open, embracing, intimate and - yes - friendly. She inhabits the music so completely and naturally that she seems to confide it to the audience and confer it on them as a gift. MSMT is truly blessed to have Heidi Kettenring as one of the theatre's luminaries and truest friends.

Photos courtesy of MSMT

YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND runs from June 20-21 at MSMT's Pickard theater, 1 Bath Rd., Brunswick, ME 207-725-8769

From This Author - Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold

Born and raised in the metropolitan New York area, Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold took her degrees at Sarah Lawrence College and Fairleigh Dickinson University. She began her career as a teacher... (read more about this author)

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