Tracy Lynn Olivera has been performing in the DC area for many years now. You have seen her plenty of productions at Signature Theatre, Kennedy Center and was recently on Broadway with the 2009 revival of Ragtime. She is currently performing in The Sound of Music at Olney Theatre Center. If you get to Signature Theatre this week you can see another side of Miss Olivera – a wonderful cabaret singer.
Her range of songs is as she describes it an eclectic mix. Starting with Harold Arlen’s “Down with Love” and then jumping to the Jackson 5 hit “I Want You Back” the evening has a range of pop, showtunes, cabaret songs and even one expressly written for Olivera to audition with by the young and wonderful Adam Gwon.
Olivera is backed by a red hot 4-piece ensemble who between them have won a ton of Emmy Awards and were part of the late Eva Cassidy’s band. They are Lenny Williams (Piano/Arranger/Musical Director), Steven Walker (Guitars), Raice McLeod (Drums) and Chris Biondo (Bass).
Williams inventive arrangements of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “A Wonderful Guy” from South Pacific and Hall and Oates “Your Kiss Is On My List” bought fresh takes to these two well known songs. Turning “A Wonderful Guy” into a jazz swing ballad was a stroke of genius.
Olivera’s patter between songs was equally delightful enjoyable as her singing.
I was particularly moved by her relating her experiences while while using the George Benson classic “On Broadway” as a vocal setting.
The Joe Iconis cabaret song “Party Hat” and Goldrich and Heisler’s “Baltimore” highlight Olivera’s comedic side. Her timing is impeccable – and with the help of her husband Evan Casey – Party Hat is turned into a hilarious musical comedy turn.
On the tender side – the pairing of “Your Heart Is Full Of Love“ and “Someday at Christmas“ shows Olivera’s range of emotion that her evening expressed. One moment you can be laughing out loud and the next a tear might come to your eye. This is the sign of a great performer.
Tracy Lynn Olivera is a force to be reckoned with and her cabaret is a definite ‘Must See,’ so don’t miss it!
Running time: 70 minutes without an intermission.
Tracy Lynn Olivera’s cabaret plays through January 7, 2012, at Signature Theatre – 4200 Campbell Avenue, in Arlington, Virginia. For tickets, call the box office (703) 820-9771, or purchase them online.
Elliot Lanes’ ‘A Quick 5‘ with Tracy Lynn Olivera and Evan Casey.