Photo Credit: D. Sabella
Deborah Stone, with musical director Daryl Kojak, presented a charming program, Siren Song, A Celebration of All Things Beguiling, at Don’t Tell Mama, to an intimate yet enthusiastic crowd. Elegantly dressed in a rose sequined gown, Stone began with Indian Love Call (Friml, Stothart). And, with just the right amount of bling for the buck, she certainly looked the part of a siren.
Her program continued with some traditional, (and not so traditional), siren favorites, including I’ve Got My Eyes On You (Porter), Follow Me, (Lerner & Lowe), Bali Hai (Rodgers & Hammerstein), and of course, the Habanera (Bizet). Of particular note were her renditions of You’d Better Love Me While You May (Martin, Gray), and, an intriguing medley of I Concentrate On You/You Do Something To Me (Cole Porter), where her laid back vocals and endless charm worked wonders.
Ms. Stone has a lovely and resonant voice, and an amiable personality, which comes across nicely on stage. And, when she pulls back on the voice, the lyric comes forward with great effect. This lighter use of voice served her well in songs like With Every Breath I Take (Coleman), and would have served her equally well in Sooner or Later (Sondheim), and I’m a Stranger Here Myself (Weill, Nash), as well as several other songs throughout the evening. But much of the program seemed to stay within a rather rigid “safe zone” of both dynamics and presentation, which left me wondering what more Stone may have in her vocal/artistic grab-bag.
For sure, there were hints of additional colors available to her, when she seemed to relax into an easier vocal and interpretive style. And, I look forward to Stone’s next show, hopefully not as narrow in focus, so that we can all experience what may lie beneath the surface of this multi-faceted performer.