Beginning with DeBorah Sharpe's gospel-tinged rendition of "Where You Lead," each performer brings his or her own style and personality into their solos. Sharpe later offers a tender, introspective "Up on the Roof" and, backed by the company, a comically funky "Smackwater Jack."
Beginning with DeBorah Sharpe’s gospel-tinged rendition of “Where You Lead,” each performer brings his or her own style and personality into their solos. Sharpe later offers a tender, introspective “Up on the Roof” and, backed by the company, a comically funky “Smackwater Jack.”The searing tenor voice (and pelvic dexterity) of Joe Giuffre is showcased on “I Feel the Earth Move,” as well as more subdued outings on “Daughter of Light” and “Every Breath I Take.” Baritone John Michael Morgan proves hauntingly effective with the ballads “Where Does the Love Go,”"Speeding Time” (accompanying himself on guitar) and “Go Away Little Girl.” Karen Olson Pierce has a soaring soprano voice and a marvelous sense of phrasing in her renditions of “It’s Gonna Take Some Time This Time,”"Only Love is Real” and “Beautiful.” Probably the most soulful voice in the ensemble belongs to Dwayne Stephenson, who works his way beautifully through “Growing Away From Me,”"Hey Girl” and “Home Again.” With “Jazzman,” Melissa Berman simply takes off with her hard-driving vocalize improvisations, trading jazz choruses with saxophonist Paul Navidad. She then changes dramatic gears for the tender “Child of Mine” and “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow.” The highlights of the show come when the sextet unites and more than fills the 800-plus seat house. Holding everything together is the excellent backing by musical director Darryl Archibald and his disciplined six-piece ensemble. The successful flowof the evening is aided by Tom Ruzika’s fluid lighting design and Sherry Linnell’s simple but effective costuming.