Photo Credit: unknown

Gerrilyn Sohn
Something Cool
Don’t Tell Mama
Sunday, July 9th @ 7:00 pm

Gerrilyn Sohn is someone to watch. I saw this show early in the run, the second show of her debut. As a debut show, and only the second time this young woman stepped on stage, my first impression is WOW!

Sohn is a classically trained singer who toured in theatrical productions here in the States and in Europe. When I read this before the lights went down and saw that she was opening with “Broadway Baby” (S. Sondheim) I expected a big, bawdy, Broadway rendition. What I got was a timid sound in her vocals and a bit of big eyed wonder, a nice example of reinventing a song and singing in the moment.

As each song progressed her confidence grew, and when she slowed down the Prologue to “Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” (T. Rice / A.L. Webber) so that I could hear every single, beautiful, word, and segued into the show’s theme, “Something Cool” (B. Barnes) there it was…that voice….the confidence, POW! On song #4, a medley of “Summertime/It Ain’t Necessarily So/I Loves You, Porgy” (I.  Gershwin / G. Gershwin) her classical roots showed us that this is a gal to watch…that this gal can sing! Her sheer beauty of tone gave me goosebumps!

Photo Credit: Sue Matsuki

Under the brilliant guidance of Director Gretchen Reinhagen and Music Director David Gaines, Sohn is in great hands. The voice is remarkable. The show structure and flow was great. The arrangements were fun and smart, and she looked like a million bucks. So, what was missing? Not much but, I want a little more…. I want more of her.

She was playful in the sexy songs, up to a certain point.  I would love to see her channel her inner vamp and own the lyric more, truly believe she is “all that and a bag of chips!” For example, both “Something Cool” and “Anyone Who Had a Heart” (H. David / B. Bacharach) can reveal much deeper layers, if the artist is willing to reveal that part of themselves. In “Something Cool” the protagonist a bar fly. She was once the “it,” girl, now shattered and pretending she’s still got it! It is a remarkable, lyric-driven story song that, in the hands of a great cabaret artist can be transcendent. Sohn is on her way, but needs to let go of her personal inhibitions and let us see more of her, more anger, more despair, more pain, more truth…more, more, more!

Sohn exhibits a demure sensibility, shy and poised. The authenticity of lyric connection in cabaret vs.  theatrical “acting” is her biggest challenge going forward. She almost got there on several occasions, and with so much else being in place, this is where she and her team need to work so that she reaches that next level of authenticity. SHE is definitely Something Cool to watch!