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Archikulture Digest

by Carl F Gauze

I Have Dreamed: The Songs of Richard Rodgers

I Have Dreamed: The Songs of Richard Rodgers
Featuring Larry Alexander
Musical Direction by Christopher Leavy
Additional Accompaniment by Ned Wilkinson
Spotlight Cabaret Series
November 29, 2017
Winter Park Playhouse
Winter Park, FL

I don’t think everything we heard tonight was the original lyric. But it still sounded great as we looked back to the blessed songwriting of Rogers and Hart and then Rogers and Hammerstein. These two composers set the standard for early and midcentury American standards, the songs they wrote when our grandparents dated still resonate today. We open with the old standard “Johnny One Note,” and I’m pretty sure both Mr. Alexander and pianist Chris (Never Hits a Bad Note) Leavy play way more than just that one note. There was a plug for another show buried in there; Mr. A is so slick you hardly even noticed it, and the subliminal message made me get a ticket for the other show he’s leading in the main stage production.

What really makes this cabaret stand out is the depth of background information. While we all remember Rodger’s great hits, his path to those hits is often rocky and circuitous. His duet with Hugger in Chief Heather Alexander takes us through the rocky development of hits like “Blue Moon”. And while most cabaret shows emphasize “Don’t sing along, just because you paid a sawbuck to see this show doesn’t mean you can sing” is transformed into a contrapuntal version of “Do-Re-Mi.” Always innovative, Mr. Alexander wrapped up by singing the encore before he left the stage; this saved us about 5 minutes in fiddle around time. This guy isn’t a regular here yet, but I think he’s got potential.

For more information on Winter Park Playhouse, please visit http://www.winterparkplayhouse.org

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