Wednesday, November 24, 2004
Local Stars Return To Town
By Matt Robinson
As so many of us know, love can be a difficult pursuit. From choosing
the right partner to maintaining the passion and romantic
fire to overlooking those little foibles. Despite its difficulties and
often inherent pain, however, love remains the most prevalent and popular
topic of discourse throughout the world. Literally thousands of books,
plays, poems, and songs have been written on the subject, with millions
more burning in the hearts and minds of the afflicted.
It can be an overwhelming morass to muddle through. Fortunately, there
are musical guides like the award-winning pair of Bobbi Carrey and Will
McMillan to help us all get through it. On Wednesday, December 1, 2004,
the pair will return to Scullers (400 Soldiers Field Road) to continue
to harmoniously hack their way through the jungles of musical romance.
Its eternal, says McMillan of the genre. Love
has been around for so long and is so tied in to so many other aspects
of life, I am surprised that there are any songs that are not about love.
As a historically minded cabaret singer who has written and performed
shows on such topics as the music of Broadway and the music of the World
Wars, Carrey is well versed in the ways in which music has changed. And
the love song is no exception.
How we fall in love has changed since the days when people sent
letters by horseback to now when people fall in love over the Internet,
Carrey remarks. And the music of love has changed as well. That
is why we wanted to include Cole Porter alongside Billy Joel and Rodgers
& Hart with Stephen Sondheim. They are all great love song writers,
but the songs are very different.
In addition to the changes in message, the media of love songs has also
affected the style. Before microphones, people had to belt out the
songs, and that made them write songs that had certain sounds in certain
places, McMillan suggests. When electricity and amplification
came along, people were free to sing more lightly and to express themselves
differently. And that changed the nature of the songs.
As the talent wrangler at Cambridge Center for Adult Educations
Blacksmith House and a founding member of the Boston Association of Cabaret
Artists (www.bostoncabaret.org), McMillan has seen and heard more than
his share of singers blessing and bemoaning their social lives and knows
what it takes to be a great love song singer.
It has everything to do with how connected the person is to the
song and how much they are able to let their own personal experiences
filter through and be expressed by the song, he says. Many
people consider cabaret to be a venue for people to air their laundry
and tell inappropriate stories, but it is really a place for people to
connect with the music. And that is what we try to do.
Having wowed the hometown crowd at their Valentines Day show, Carrey
and McMillan have decided to return to their favorite local room (aside
from the Blacksmith House) to showcase their latest duets.
Were back at Scullers because we love it and they are so good
to us, McMillan says. Our last show was one of the most successful
ever and we want to do it again. We want to make that connection again.
Taking songs from their new CD, If I Loved You, the December
1 show will feature such timeless favorites as the Rodgers & Hammerstein-penned
title track, Rogers & Harts I Wish I Were In Love Again,
and a melding of the Jimmy Van Heusen/Sammy Cahn chestnut The Tender
Trap and Cole Porters True Love, as well as more
contemporary favorites like Jonathan Larsons Ill Cover
You (from the award-winning musical Rent), Stephen Sondheims
The Little Things You Do Together, and Billy Joels And
So It Goes.
The music we have chosen is evocative of so many different places
and times, Carrey says. And love songs are evocative, in that
they tap into not only history, but future fantasies.
Its been a surprisingly emotional undertaking, McMillan
adds, but thats because we picked songs with which we strongly
resonate. For the new show, the duo will return with talented accompaniment
of pianist Doug Hammer. The album is filled with all these musical
colors, McMillan explains, but for the show, we want to keep
it simple and let the songs essence through.
And though many fans will return to hear the dynamic duo perform again,
McMillan and Carrey hope to reach new people with a new show. We
have changed some of the songs and some of the quotations about love we
use in the show, McMillan says, but most of the songs that
made it on the CD we are keeping so they can get a feel for what they
can hear at home.
Our hope is that people take this musical journey with us,
Carrey says, and that, when they are done with it, they feel they
have gotten somewhere.
Copyright Allston-Brighton Bulletin