1/3/2020 TARA VAUGHAN’S SHE ROCKS: THE WOMEN OF ROCK Georgia Ensemble Theatre
DANCING IN THE AISLES
It turns out my first musical of 2020 isn’t a musical at all: it is a concert, a rockin’ concert, a series of “cover” performances that had some of the audience dancing in the aisles. It’s a Boomer’s Wallow in the songs of the 60’s and 70’s (and later). And it is a complete delight!
G.E.T. first met Tara Vaughan in 2016 as part of the back-up band in Yesterday and Today, that most excellent Beatles Interactive Experience (*). Ms. Vaughan is a dynamo on the keyboard and decided to put together this concert featuring music made famous by women. Including familiar numbers by the likes of the Supremes, Aretha Franklin, Carly Simon, Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Nicks, Heart, Tina Turner, Amy Winehouse, and many many more. She even reaches the whole way back to Etta James for a gentle coda of “At Last.” Did I mention this show is a joy from beginning to end?
If I must play the critic, I have to admit that Ms. Vaughan has that currently popular singing style that elides consonants to point of incomprehension (you, know, the “Adele School”), but she is such a charming front-lady, and, we know most of these songs so know the words anyway. It also helps that her voice is truly wonderful, a velvet alto that seduces, soothes, and often
amazes. The incomprehension is only a distraction when she pulls out her own compositions, which, truth to tell, were pleasant to hear, even without understanding a blind word (**). It may be just my old-fart expectations, so you hit should me with an “Okay, Boomer!” for this.
So, if I have to pick favorites, (aside from her charmingly loopy narration about her Omaha home, her Mom, and her deep friendships), I’d have to cite “(You Make Me Feel Like) a Natural Woman”, “You’re so Vain” (directed at an audience member, since Carly will never tell us who the song is really about;
if indeed it’s about anyone specific), “Will You Love Me Tomorrow”, the aforementioned “At Last”, and “Lady Marmalade.” Her band gets a few turns to solo (I especially liked Natalie Thomas’ “You Can’t Hurry Love” and “Chain of Fools”, a “You’ve Got a Friend” duet, and of course, any guitar solo from the incomparable Max Meyer, who you may remember from the Beatles show.
So, nothing more really needs to be said. If you like this sort of music, you’ll probably like this show. This is a case where a shout of “Okay Boomer, These are for you!” is NOT an insult.
-- Brad Rudy (BKRudy@aol.com @bk_rudy #GETSheRocks)
* Because they are all in town, there will be a one-night-only encore of Yesterday and Today on January 13.
** A Video of one of her originals, “Blame it on my Youth,” can be found here -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lf0VUAI3vEY; A teaser video of previous incarnations of She Rocks can be found here -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fV_1nomQkjc