Cabaret Hotline Online
February 16, 2005
Review: If I Loved You
By Ida Zecco

In a Valentine’s Day tribute as well as celebrating their recently released CD. Bobbi Carrey and Will McMillan presented a sweet, musical love story, IF I LOVED YOU, at The Cambridge Center For Adult Education, on Saturday, February 12th at 8:00 pm. The show included beloved standards such as “They Say It’s Wonderful,” (Irving Berlin) and “What Is This Thing Called Love?” (Cole Porter), as well as some contemporary selections such as “And So It Goes,” (Bill Joel) and “I’ll Cover You,” (Jonathan Larson). IF I LOVED YOU is cleverly constructed to include quotes about love by famous artists, composers, lyricists, philosophers, etc. This creative continuity proved a welcomed change from the standard (and sometimes sub-standard) patter of cabaret performances. Quotes, like “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will have peace,” (Jimmy Hendrix); and my personal favorite, “Dear Lord, please grant me chastity and self-restraint, but not now,” (St. Augustine).
Both Bobbi and Will, as individual performers, are vocally proficient as well as having the ability to weave a good yarn. Additionally, they harmonize and sing together solidly. Will McMillan’s “Blame Those Gershwins,” (Steve Sweeting) and “Easier To Love,” (Richard Maltby, Jr./David Shire) were beautifully sung and exceptionally performed. Bobbi Carrey’s tender rendition of “Life Story,” (Richard Maltby, Jr./David Shire) and “The Lies of Handsome Men,” (Francesca Blumenthal) struck deep chords of truth that turned them into gems.
Doug Hammer as Music Director, Arranger and Accompanist was outstanding. His playing balanced this duo perfectly as well as supported every emotional nuance of musical interpretation. Bravo, Doug!
That said, this reviewer believes that this show requires two things: 1) reassessing and/or order placement of song selections and 2) a stage director. The production includes some excellent song choices. But there are too many ballads…While Bobbi and Will are very good singers, they sometimes appear physically restricted on stage. This is not a lack of talent-there is plenty here-it is a lack of a qualified stage director.
A multitude of ballads or some uneven staging did not affect the joyful impact that these two had on the packed house at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education; who whistled, applauded and cheered throughout the show. Hopefully, Will and Bobbi will continue to produce, hone, perfect and perform this lovely show, IF I LOVED YOU, as well as to promote and sell their CD of the same name.

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