Julie sings Dick and Larry

30 Nov

An evening with Rodgers and Hart called ‘Any Old Place With You’

The cabaret room at Ye Old Rose and Crown in Walthamstow is a great venue for trying out any  new solo performance, but this particular one is already perfected enough to go straight into a larger venue.

Julie Ross is an excellent interpreter of these wonderful songs written by, in my opinion,  the most accomplished and extraordinary  songwriters of the twentieth century.

Richard Rodgers, of course, went on to work with Oscar Hammerstein in productions like Oklahoma, Carousel and South Pacific, but to my mind, these numbers cannot compare with the extreme wit, sophistication and sensitivity of Lorenz Hart.

The show included songs from all their top shows including  The Girlfriend, Pal Joey, Connecticut Yankee and Babes in Arms-  which was presented at the Rose and Crown earlier in the year. This show contains a plethora of standards, ‘My Funny Valentine’, ‘The Lady is a Tramp’, ‘Where or When’, ‘I wish I were in Love Again’ all of which have  Hart’s quirky lyrics. What a genius.

And Julie is just the girl to show him off.. She is a terrific performer. Cool, relaxed, never belting just acting out Hart’s poetry and making the most of it. She is a brilliant actress and works in the way all the best actresses do making the words seem like they are being rendered for the very first time.  But she is performing thirty nine songs and each one has to have it own individual interpretation.  I must have seen ‘Ten Cents a Dance’ done dozens of times but never with the emotional impact she gives to the story.

It was with great joy I witnessed her performance of the Jessie Matthews song from Evergreen ‘Dancing on the Ceiling’  I remember it so well from a very happy time in my life. It was a tour of Cornwall and the company were living in a St Ives Cottage. There was a gramophone but we only had one record. Sinatra  doing ‘Dancing on the Ceiling’ and on the other side, my ultra favourite song ‘It never Entered My Mind’ a number that has a mixture of heartbreak and gentle wistful humour that gets me in tears every time. Of course Julie’s version was no exception.

So what else is there to say about this lovely woman with the curly red  hair and canny resemblance to Bernadette Peters? She gave us lots of information about the two guys as well as singing 39 of their songs. She has the intelligence, the sense of humour and the humanity to make the very best of the very best.

This may have been a tryout – but believe me, it won’t be the last we hear of it.

A wonderful heart lifting experience.  Thanks Julie.

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