Musical Direction by Wells Hanley
Directed by Gerry Geddes
Reviewed by David Roberts
Theatre Reviews Limited
The trio of talent at The Metropolitan Room on Monday February 25, 2013 – Parker Scott, Wells Hanley, and Rubin Kodheli – creates a synchronicity of sound that outreaches perfection. There are times when the voices coming from these three sources are indistinguishable and easily could be one voice.
We have said almost all that can be said about Parker Scott’s voice and his unique interpretive skills: the adjectives compound and sometimes serve to show simply the paucity of our critical vocabulary. Those adjectives are important for Parker’s ongoing review of his practice and for the overall health of the theatre (including cabaret). Adjectives like ‘distinctive’ and ‘unique’ are precise descriptions of Parker’s reprise performance of “No Expectations” on Monday evening. He reaches new heights in this performance: bluesy, jazzy tones counterpoint with operatic exactitude creating an auspicious vocal matrix.
But I believe we need to begin to honor Parker for the unique contribution he has made to the industry and to the genre. What follows is a stream of consciousness review of “that side” of my friend Parker and all that he continues to do for us. The “review” will make direct and subtle reference to his current performance at the wonderful Metropolitan Club.
We meet. These meetings are intentional, serendipitous, welcomed, dreaded. But meet we will and meet we must. Whatever the reason for the meetings, what is significant is what happens during the time we spend with those others who brush up against our lives. Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass” meets “An American Hymn” (Molly Ann Leikin/Lee Holdridge) in Parker’s haunting rendition of this song based on an arrangement by Dick Gallagher.
Visiting a place where we’ve been before and wanting to go back because we liked it and enjoyed it is a commendable goal. But most of the time when we revisit we enjoy the same things and see the same things but rarely do we venture down a new street or into a new area. Parker’s performance on Monday takes him down new streets, new alleys. The reason we go back in the future is because there will be even more to explore and to learn. That’s what happened at the Metropolitan Room and what will happen when Parker finally visits Paris this summer. His deep and rich understanding of “Non, je ne regretted rien” (Michael Vaucaire/Charles Dumont) and “Hymne a l’amour” (Edith Piaf/Marguerite Monnot) honor not only the magic and mystery of Edith Piaf but also celebrate the wonder of unconditional and timeless love.
It’s All Right with Me” (Cole Porter) from the 1953 “Can-Can “showcases a collaboration between Parker Scott, pianist Wells Hanley, and cellist Rubin Kodheli which far transcends mere collaboration. This song along with “Taking the Wheel” (John Bucchino, based on an arrangement by Dick Gallagher) and “You Are Here” (Gerry Geddes/Anthony Gaglione, based on an arrangement by Dick Gallagher) showcases a team of professionals who work tirelessly to reach and share musical performance perfection.
As always, Parker Scott’s naming of his performances is more than random. In “No Expectations,” Mr. Scott invites the audience in every musical number to forego the “back seat” and “start dreaming again.” This lyric from John Bucchino’s “Taking the Wheel” encourages the listener to begin “dreaming again,” to “think, feel, and [take] action. This is a performance for making the dreams of 2012 the realities of 2013.