Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Molly Ollie Infree

This is partially in bad taste and a bit of "shadenfreude" or wishing the bad fortune of others. But it came up in our Executive meeting last night, pertains to cabaret, and gave us all an amusing chuckle.

In case you have not heard; Molly Ringwald is reinventing herself and entering the genre of cabaret singer. And this is not meant to slam. I am all about continuing to grow as an artist and trying on some of those dreams we have always dared to conquer. Unfortunately she brings clout with her along with major expectations. So it was that recently she appeared at the Dakota with her new show and was skewered by local critic Jon Bream. Here are some of his abridged comments where he took on the persona of favored Ringwald director John Hughes in a fictionalized dialogue.

Ringwald: “Good evening, Minneapolis. Usually we’re the Molly Ringwald Quartet. But tonight’s it’s the Molly Ringwald Trio.”  
Hughes: Wait a minute. You forgot to explain. The alto saxophonist is missing, right? He played a key role on your new album of standards, “Except Sometimes.” Explain yourself. Sometimes. You’re off to an awkward start....

Ringwald: “I have exactly 11 copies of my CD to sign. There were supposed to be two boxes shipped here. … What should we do now? I see lots of love-dovey people here this evening. There’s always that special someone you don’t necessarily tell your husband or wife about.”
Hughes: Who’s running this operation? Pack the CDs yourself. Ninety percent of the fans are turning out because you were one their favorite movie stars. They want an autographed CD. Nice setup, though, for “My Old Flame.” Good clear enunciation. But you seemed a little tentative like when you glided up singing “the sky,” you sounded nervous enough to want to pull the cord on your parachute...

Ringwald: “The next song is another one I just recently started to sing. Peter arranged it. It’s by Billie Holiday, who was known for singing, not writing, songs. It’s called ‘Don’t Explain.’ ”
Hughes: Nice move to sit on a stool for this slow, penetrating song. You got inside it. There was pain in the pauses in your phrasing. You went deep. Loved the way you kept repeating ‘don’t explain’ in a pained voice at the end. This suggests your potential as a jazz singer....

Ringwald: “How’s everybody’s dinner? Their food is very good. I had a salmon sandwich.”
Hughes: Who wrote this script? And when you introduced one song as “this is track 9 on the CD,” hello? Please say something intelligent, something that’s as classy and fitting as your black cocktail dress....

Ringwald: “What time is it?”
Hughes: Really, you do need a script. The set list should dictate the time, not your watch. Be in the moment. Pay attention to the lyrics and the crowd, not your watch.

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