In the best numbers, Juilliard-trained Vlahos covers well-known, though not often-heard tunes, giving them a dark edge. Most memorable are Cab Calloway’s “Minnie the Moocher” and John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy.”
A Maurice Ravel sound poem, “A Piece in the Form of an Habanera,” is pure emotionality that makes for aural delight.
Other highlights include two Vlahos/Kevin Peters compositions, “Sentimental” and “Want My Baby Back,” both of which have tongue in cheek, rise impressively in intensity and use her five-piece band and five dancers well. Not only the ears but the eyes get a treat.
Not everything comes off smoothly. The opening and closing song, Irving Berlin’s “Let’s Face the Music and Dance,” was painfully loud and lacked the emotional connection of many of the other songs. When Vlahos sings at a table stage left, the sightlines are such that much of the audience can’t see her.
The set by Craig Hurley adds zest, particularly the arm-waving palm trees.