Words, words, words - the signature of one of the great American songwriters, Cole Porter. And who better to interpret his many lyric lists, than elegant chanteuse, Karen Akers!
Ms. Akers’ latest show rendition is a tribute to Mr. Porter at the historical Oak Room=2 0of the Algonquin Hotel in New York City. Looking willowy and lovely, Akers opened with an animated “I’m Throwing A Ball Tonight,” and we were suddenly elevated to guest status at her private and posh party.
Interpreting Porter lyrics is an art. It’s not only about the attention to enunciation, but the intelligent humor that separates a quintessential Porter lyric from all others. With a mixture of esoteric Porter songs such as “Come to the Supermarket (in Old Peking),” where everything is available from “lizard, gizzard cakes,” to “Thank You So Much Mrs. Lowsborough-Goodby” (the social dragon) “ah that infinite weekend,” Akers can spit out droll wit with the best of them!
Then there’s sexy, sultry Porter where “Anything Goes,“ “Always True To You (in My Fashion)” and the spicy “Let’s Do It,” are perfect Akers’ specialties. In fact, even Irving Berlin and Noel Coward tried to insert themse lves in the Porter “Let’s Do It” act by writing their own special lyrics (“Somerset and all the Maughams do it…Ernest Hemingway could just do it. . .probably we’ll live to see machines do it”) all adding to the cleverness of the moment.
Akers’ low and mellow register brings subtle meaning to love songs like “I Get A Kick Out of You” or optimistic blues “Where Have You Been?” An upbeat “Can Can” arrangement, with varying tempo changes, was another gem from Don Rebic, Musical Director/Arranger for Ms. Akers. Along with Dick Sarpola on bass and the touch of genius hand of Director Eric Michael Gillett, this show will please everyone.