Boston Herald
November 26, 2004

McMillan and Carrey Sittin’ In A Tree…S-i-n-g-i-n-g

By Sarah Rodman

Will McMillan and Bobbi Carrey know a little something about love. Or at least what a lot of great songwriters, philosophers, authors and famous folk have had to say about the topic.

In preparation for the release of their splendid concept CD “If I Loved You,” the dynamic local cabaret duo scoured the Internet and Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations for thoughtful musings on amour. They use the quotations in the CD booklet and in their live show of the same name to accompany tunes by Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hammerstein and Billy Joel, among others.

One of the best is by Carl Jung and could well describe the pair: “The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: If there is any reaction, both are transformed.”

In other words, McMillan and Carrey have chemistry, and it is in abundant evidence on the 16-song release, which covers love in all its permutations including that between parents and children, friends, lovers and, of course, ex-lovers.
When they sing the Stephen Sondheim classic “The Little Things You Do Together” about the joys and frustrations of partnership and marriage, McMillan and Carrey sound like they know exactly whereof they sing. And they do, just not with each other.

“The first thing (my boyfriend) said to me after seeing us sing was, ‘It’s a good thing that I knew Will was gay because it would’ve completely freaked me out,’” Carrey said with a laugh. The platonic pair’s intimate harmonies will be on display at Scullers in Boston on Wednesday.

There’s plenty of love between the friends, however, and it shows not only in the delicate intertwining of their voices on “If I Loved You” but in the way they amiably and easily finish each other’s thoughts in an interview.

“You’ve got the yin and the yang,” said Carrey, beaming at McMillan.
McMillan handles public relations for the Cambridge Center of Adult Education, where he also runs a cabaret series. Carrey is now all about her singing. As a senior vice president of marketing at Fidelity in a previous life, Carrey tends more toward the analytical, while McMillan, with his poetic sailing metaphors and talk of chakras, leans toward the intuitive.

The pair meet in the middle with their music. Normally solo acts, Carrey and McMillan were mutual admirers until 1999, when a friend introduced them, kick-starting their collaboration.

Previous shows have featured the songs of Irving Berlin, Rodgers, Hammerstein and Lorenz Hart as well as famous film and stage music. “If I Loved You” grew out of their desire to put together a compilation of those shows. But as they assembled their favorites, they noticed the love theme emerging. They checked the calendar - it was early February - and light bulbs went off in their PR and marketing minds.

Quotes and images and stage banter turned into a full-fledged show and, following a sellout at Scullers, the idea for the CD was born.

The process of collaboration, even with all its emotional peaks and valleys, has only solidified the pair’s friendship. Said McMillan, “We are learning as time goes on to honor and respect how different we are rather than getting stuck on how different we are.”

Sounds like good advice for anyone in love.

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