Divine Divas – A Cabaret
Winter Park Playhouse, Winter Park FL
If I had to pick 3 divas more diverse than Bette Midler, Billie Holiday, and Barbara Streisand, I’d be hard pressed. Midler is the brash one, Holiday the earthy one, and Streisand the arty, vulnerable one. There’s a loose association between these three and singers Heather Alexander, Cathy Merkel-Roddy, and Mandi Jo John, but tonight’s show mixes and matches their numbers and never ties a particular artist to any of the styles.
Holiday’s selections gets right to the point, even if its clouded in double entendres, with “Ain’t Nobodies Business By My Own” ,”All of Me” (Merkel-Roddy) and “This Joint Is Jumpin’ “(John). The Divine Miss M brings a bathhouse energy to “Second Hand Rose” (John) and the crazy ballad “Otto Titzling” (Alexander), while the trio croons Streisand’s numbers “Evergreen,” “People Who Need People” (John), and the torchy “Happy Days Are Hear Again” (Alexander). Between the tunes there’s banter and Sophie Tucker Jokes, but the surprise hit was innocent looking newcomer Kyle Mattingly on piano. He plays in church on Sunday mornings and in this music hall on Saturday nights. He’s the essence of a good, solid diva – sacred and profane, and you never know which will arrive on stage any given night. He’s a solid addition to this Winter Park tradition.
For more information on Winter Park Playhouse, please visit http://www.winterparkplayhouse.org