BWW Review: Courtney Freed Channels Freddie Mercury in Dazzling DON'T STOP ME NOW
It's going to rain all weekend, Portland, which means we'll all need a little pick me up. What could possibly fit the bill better than an evening of jazz takes on Freddie Mercury's music and stories about the legend himself performed by local vocal rockstar Courtney Freed? That's right - nothing! Whether you're a die-hard Freddie Mercury fan or just love a good cabaret, you will have a blast at DON'T STOP ME NOW: THE Freddie Mercury EXPERIENCE.
If you've seen Freed before, perhaps at a Portland Sings! concert or in a musical, you already know what a captivating performer she is. In this show, she positively dazzles, and not just because she's wearing a dress made entirely out of silver sequins. On opening night, from the moment she came out and sang the first few notes of "Take My Breath Away," Freed had the audience in the palm of her hand. That feeling only intensified over the course of about 80 minutes, as she wound her way through 11 songs, interspersed with stories about Freddie Mercury and the impact his music has had on her life. In true cabaret style, there's some comedy, some tragedy, and even a dance bit.
The set list spans Mercury's career. Queen aficionados will likely know all of the music. If (like me) all you've ever heard is their Greatest Hits album, you will recognize about half, which means plenty of new favorites to discover. Reece Marshburn's musical arrangements preserve the songs' original flavor while adding a jazzy feel, and Freed's killer pipes are well supported on stage by David Saffert on the piano, Tom Goicoechea on drums, Bernardo Gomez on base, and Josh Gilbert on saxophone, flute, and ukulele.
DON'T STOP ME NOW runs this weekend only at CoHo Theatre. I guarantee you'll have a fantastic time. Details and tickets here.