Mark Nadler


His Lovely Wife, Ira - Ira Gershwin With and Without George

 Wednesday 27 April 2011       by Paul Vale

Essentially the title says it all in this entertaining docu-cabaret brought over from New York by Mark Nadler. While Nadler might often be associated with vocalist KT Sullivan across the Atlantic, this is very much a solo endeavour perfectly suited to the intimacy of the newly re-designed Pheasantry venue.

For those unfamiliar with the family connection, lyricist Ira Gershwin was in fact the older brother of composer George. His career spanned nearly seventy years to include some of the most literate numbers from the Great American Songbook.

Nadlerís evident passion for his subject shines through in both his interpretation and deconstruction of some of the numbers. Fascinating Rhythm is broken down as a lyricist searching frantically to marry rhythm and rhyme. At a deeply emotional level, his acclaimed The Man That Got Away is sung unaccompanied to reflect Iraís distress at the early death of his brother.

There are equally timeless hits including Someone to Watch Over Me, Embraceable You, and New World on the playlist, although it is not really until the finale and I Love to Rhyme that we get a real sample of Nadlerís remarkable keyboard skills.

Donít be fooled into thinking that this is a fairly dry evening. There is something infectious about Nadlerís enthusiasm for his subject. Unquestionably talented, his digressions on the life of the lyricist often seem personal and his impression of Leonora Gershwin, Iraís straight-talking wife, is hilarious