Karen Akers









There can be few finer fits of songwriter and performer than Cole Porter and Karen Akers. Both exude sophistication and simple elegance. Both enjoy yet underplay a sense of fun. Both are able to burrow beneath the surface of witty word-play to reveal a song’s poignant emotion. Case in point: Karen’s newest outing, titled Akers Sings Porter: Anything Goes, a month-long engagement at The Algonquin’s Oak Room.

For some Porter songs, the lyrics and their intricate, unexpected rhyming take center stage, and Karen reveals these qualities straight on: such songs as “Anything Goes,” “Always True to You (In My Fashion),” “The Physician” and “Let’s Do It,” this last including additional lyrics by Noel Coward and Irving Berlin. But it’s to such familiar numbers as “Don’t Fence Me In,” “I Get a Kick Out of  You,” “Where Have you Been,” “It’s All Right With Me” and a suite of Porter’s songs about Paris that Karen brings a depth and feeling that offer a fresh look at both composer and interpreter. Counter-pointing the simplicity of her presentation is the quietly colorful accompaniment of Don Rebic on piano and Dick Sarpola on bass. Directing both the show and the continuing evolution of Karen as an arresting performer is Eric Michael Gillett.

Karen continues at the Oak Room through October 24.


Cabaret  Scenes
September, 2009