Don’t Tell Mama
343 W. 46th St
212-757-0788 (after 4:00PM)
February 16th @ 7:00 pm & April 18th @ 7:00 pm
The 2018 Bistro Award Winner for Best New York Debut, Katie McGrath explores what it takes to win the coveted Aunt-of-the-Year award, using pop, jazz and soul songs to tell her story and what a GREAT story-teller she is!
It’s rare that one goes to a show and is as excited to hear what is going to be said next as much as what will be sung next! Ms. McGrath’s stories are riveting, poignant and funny.
When was the last time you saw a gal walk into a room looking like a fashion model (Cheryl Tiegs in the day); then sing like an angel and deliver one-liners like a stand-up comic? She tells us of her family…”8 people, 1 bathroom, 3 towels!” Then she tells us how she and her sister would put the baby on the floor and get her to crawl to one of them, thus proving which of them was the favorite! Meet Katie McGrath!
There is something regal about McGrath. Not only the way she looks, but the elegance and grace with which she sings and speaks. She’s calm, articulate and sings with the same quiet, easy energy. However, in a few songs she let loose a bit more and I heard bigger colors in her voice that I would actually encourage her to tap into more because she’s got the notes. And, she and her MD, the marvelous Rick Jensen, sound great whenever they harmonize.
Her best moments come with the theme of the show like when she sang Come Rain or Come Shine (Arlen, Mercer) or (They Long to Be) Close to You (David, Bacharach) to these invisible imps we can all almost see in her eyes. Whenever she talks about her nieces and nephews and of the love and joy that they have brought into her life, she literally lights up. At the end of the show, she thanked her siblings for allowing her to “hold their treasures in her heart” and, trust me, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
Although McGrath didn’t provide a song list (maybe next time, yes?), and since the program consisted of mostly medium feels ballads, by the time she was saying her “thank yous,” I could not believe the show was almost over. She was that riveting.
Special mention should be made on the Direction of this show. The best compliment that I can give any Director is that, while I know that they are “all over the project”, I don’t really see them…I only see the singer. Lina Koutrakos, previously known as the “strong woman” director, has certainly always known how to craft the flow of a show, even when employing a slight directorial formula. Now, however, one can tell a “Lina Koutrakos show” by how connected the singer is to the lyric, how the patter feels like the singer’s words (which they are with tweaks by Koutrakos) and by how cleanly the show flows. There is no set “formula” here, only the singer shining in their own light to the best of their ability.
If you do not already know Ms. McGrath, I strongly urge you to go to see her show on April 18th.
(100% of Katie McGrath’s proceeds will benefit the New York Common Food Pantry.)