Barb Jungr



By  Will Friedwald


Dec. 26, 2013


Barb Jungr 'Dancing in the Dark'

Easily one of our major contemporary vocal artists, the Rochdale-born Barb Jungr is as much provocateur as she is a singer, as evidenced the way she builds her latest show around "Dancing in the Dark" by Bruce Springsteen, rather than the 1931 standard that most cabaret goers would expect—and darned if she doesn't succeed in making the Springsteen song sound almost as compelling as the Schwartz & Dietz classic. In fact, in reinterpreting the music of the leading singer-songwriters, she typically makes the songs sound more meaningful than the composers themselves—apparently no one told her that's not the way it's supposed to work. This current show follows an arch of exceedingly melancholy seasonal texts, from Joni Mitchell's "River" to "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," all of which emphasize the bleakness of the midwinter solstice. She might have been tempted to title it "Christmas Night of the Soul," but that would be giving too much away. As always, Ms. Jungr is the alternative to alt-cabaret.