Cambridge Chronicle & Allston
January 29, 2004
of Love: Popular Singers Scan the Romantic Horizon
By Matthew S. Robinson
Though spring may be the time when young hearts turn to love, it is never
too soon to get your ticker in gear, especially with Valentines
Day just around the corner.
To help get people in the mood, local cabaret stars Bobbi Carrey and Will
McMillan will be performing a set of romantic musical numbers in a new
show called If I Loved You at Scullers on Wednesday, Feb.
Music is all about connecting with peoples hearts, Carrey
observes, so a Valentines Day show was a natural!
From romantically minded duos like Rogers and Hart (Blue Moon),
Sager and Manchester (Come in From the Rain) and Jenkins and
Mercer (P.S. I Love You) to solo songwriters like Jonathan
Larson (Ill Cover You) and Cole Porter (What is
This Thing Called Love?), If I Loved You will explore
the many faces and aspects of love.
Everyone seems to have something to say about love, Carrey
observes, from artists, scientists and inventors to cartoon characters
and, of course, composers and lyricists.
In fact, Carrey explains, she and McMillan have been collecting quotes
on the subject from such legendary lovers and love-minded writers as Plato,
Shakespeare and - Albert Einstein?
Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love,
Carrey said, quoting the apparently romantic genius. It is a brilliant
combination of physics and romance!
Musically speaking, If I Loved You is a combination of the
many popular performances Carrey and McMillan have done together previously
along with a number of new selections.
For the past two years, Bobbi and I have toured New England with
shows focusing on Irving Berlin, Richard Rodgers, Broadway favorites and
songs that were nominated for Academy awards, McMillan said. If
I Loved You allows us to include some of our favorites from these
shows, and then spice things up with newer songs.
Though many of the selections featured in this musical valentine
are beloved standards by the legendary likes of Stephen Sondheim and Irving
Berlin, there will also be some love songs that come from off the beaten
Will is performing a great song by Babbie Green about finding a
dog at the pound, Carrey says, and Im doing a wonderful
song by Amanda McBroom called The Portrait about a woman remembering
and longing for her mother.
And even though the songs vary greatly in terms of their mood and point
of view, Carrey and McMillan find common threads weaving among them all.
Many of the older songs alluded to sex and sexiness, whereas more
contemporary songs come right out with it, Carrey observes. Still,
the traditional romantic ballads are still as lush and rich as anything
today, and vice versa.
As love is such a broad topic, Carrey and McMillan have tried to put together
a show that represents as wide an array of relationships as possible.
This show is about connecting ourselves to the song and then connecting
ourselves to the audience, Carrey explains. From the love
between partners to the love between owners and pets to the love between
ex-spouses, the show will run the gamut of the heart.
And even if you are not presently involved in a relationship, that is
no reason to avoid the issue, especially when it is presented so thoughtfully
When people hear about a show like this, they worry that they cant
go because they are not in a relationship, McMillan said. This
is a show you can go to either with a date or alone. It is a performance
of beautiful music about a topic we all have known and hopefully will
When asked what makes a great love song, McMillan and Carrey reveal a
few more selections from their forthcoming show.
Peggy Lees Fever is one of the sexiest songs I
have ever sung, Carrey said. But we also do a song from Rent
that, though more contemporary, is buried in wonderful metaphor that makes
it as lovely as any other love song.
Such diverse yet similar selections make it difficult to give a cut-and-dried
definition, Carrey admits.
That is why we are doing the varied show we are, she says.
Its about connection. McMillan suggests. Of the
thousands of love songs that have been written, perhaps only a few really
relate to your present situation. So, for you, those songs are great.
And though the topic is inherently personal, Carrey and McMillan are hoping
to connect with others through their varied selections.
There are so many facets of love and we want to deal with as many
as we can, McMillan says. Love is not either-or.
Bobbi Carrey and Will McMillan will perform with pianist Doug Hammer at
Scullers Jazz Club (400 Soldiers Field Road, Allston) on Wednesday, Feb.
11. For information, go to www.scullersjazz.com.