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Tapestry

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."

With:
Cast: Melissa Berman, Joe Giuffre, John Michael Morgan, Karen Olson Pierce, DeBorah Sharpe, Dwayne Stephenson. Unlike other revues that have chronicled various songwriters' careers, the Intl. City Theatre production of "Tapestry," based on the music of Carole King, makes no attempt to create dramatic vignettes around each song. There are simply 40 King songs woven together by an outstanding sextet of unique vocal soloists. The audience is allowed to discover anew the craftsmanship of one of pop music's most skilled artists. Director Caryn Morse, aided by Sheree King's understated choreography, has paced the evening to perfection. Moving at will about designer Lisa Hashimoto's marvelous, multileveled grand piano set, the singers segue from one song to another in a variety of settings.

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.

Tapestry

Production: Tapestry (Long Beach Center Theatre; 862 seats; $ 22 top) Intl. City Theatre at the Long Beach Center Theatre presents a musical revue in two acts, adapted from the songs of Carole King.

Crew: Music, King; lyrics, King, Gerry Goffin; director , Caryn Morse; producer, Shashin Desai; musical direction, Darryl Archibald; choreography, Sheree King; sets, Lisa Hashimoto; lighting, Tom Ruzika; costumes, Sherry Linnell. Opened March 1, 1996; reviewed March 2; runs through March 10. Running time: two hours, 10 minutes.

With: Cast: Melissa Berman, Joe Giuffre, John Michael Morgan, Karen Olson Pierce, DeBorah Sharpe, Dwayne Stephenson. Unlike other revues that have chronicled various songwriters' careers, the Intl. City Theatre production of "Tapestry," based on the music of Carole King, makes no attempt to create dramatic vignettes around each song. There are simply 40 King songs woven together by an outstanding sextet of unique vocal soloists. The audience is allowed to discover anew the craftsmanship of one of pop music's most skilled artists. Director Caryn Morse, aided by Sheree King's understated choreography, has paced the evening to perfection. Moving at will about designer Lisa Hashimoto's marvelous, multileveled grand piano set, the singers segue from one song to another in a variety of settings.

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