Recommended *** A few years ago, I covered a newcomer to the Cabaret scene in Chicago, making what was in fact her debut. Her name is Lynda Gordon and she truly has worked hard to master her craft. While she is still on the road, she can certainly hold her head up high based on the crowd reaction to her one night showing at the second floor recital hall at PianoForte Chicago, a nice little venue in the south loop at 1335 S. Michigan Avenue. You enter through a Piano store that carries the best of the best, make your way to the elevator and up to the second floor where there is a wonderful stage with comfy seats, solid sound and lighting. What might be a perfect place for a one woman “cabaret” performance. Ms Gordon’s title was “Strangers in the Night” and her theme was “a musical romp exploring the mysteries of love!”
With noted Cabaret performer Bob Moreen at the piano, who also served as her musical director, the packed house of friends and family along with other cabaret performers enjoyed her romp. One of the beautiful things about the Cabaret circle is the loyalty they give each other. They are sort of like a family unto themselves, each supporting the others and making sure they are never alone when they perform. They are always ready with ideas and suggestions as well. In fact, veteran Carla Gordon ( no relation) assisted Lynda with her patter, an important part of the Cabaret performer’s show. The show began with a unique rendition of “The Old Devil Moon” as Lynda then talked to us about her weight problems (songs like “I want to be round”), her dating situation and how the computer world has changed the dating scene with all the specialties. Most of the songs were oldies that came from old shows and that most of the audience was unfamiliar with. She did do a thrilling and powerful version of “Where is Love” from “Oliver”, and to be honest, I would love to have heard her do even more show tunes instead of the dating and romance. Most Cabaret performers do the love lost, love found bits and it might be to her advantage to use her comic timing and great face for more comical tunes.
I can imagine her doing the piece from “Once Upon A Mattress”, “Happily Ever After” and bringing down the house. When I first witnessed her perform, she opened with a Sondheim number and took me out of my seat! Maybe she should look at more of his work as working with his words and her delivery could just set her apart from all of the other members of her “extended family”. Just a thought from someone who enjoys her talent and would like to see even more growth the next time she hits the stage in Chicago. By the way, her “Strangers in The Night” dealing with the internet was very cute as was “Never Do Anything Twice”.
This was a one night only performance, but I am sure this stage will be used for future Cabaret performances. The location again 1335 South Michigan Ave. www.pianofortechicago.com , 312-291-0000
To see what is happening on the Cabaret scene, visit www.chicagocabaret.org
Remember the name- Lynda Gordon, and if you see that she is doing a show at Davenport’s, The Skokie Theatre, or one of the other venues known for Cabaret performances, give her a try. You will see her style and hear her heart in her music. If she decides to do more comedy, you will have the time of your life.