Maria Corsaro
LOVE – It’s Complicated
Don’t Tell Mama
Saturday, February 16th @ 5:00PM

Entering the room looking like a million bucks and attacking the stage as if she could not wait to get up there, Maria Corsaro began to tell us the age-old story of the ups and downs of love: being in love, falling out of love, falling back in love, puppy love (literally!) and love for love’s sake because – Love, It’s Complicated!

From the opening epic Love Medley to Corsaro’s heartfelt rendition of I Wish You Love (Beach/Trenet) which she sang to the audience, I did not ever feel like this gal didn’t want us to feel her joy at being on stage or her joy for singing for us. She is a very sincere singer.

Corsaro has this raspy, sexy, woman’s voice in her lower register and a more legit sound on top but it’s a voice filled with what feels like knowledge of the places she puts herself in emotionally (with help from director Kenneth Gartman, I’m sure.)

I especially liked her story about being a Midwife for 30 years because I could, again, feel her love for her job. When she brought that energy into her rendition of You’ve Got to be Taught (Rogers/Hammerstein), it felt so authentic and almost like an informed warning.

In a different way, her delivery of  Amanda Green’s hilarious Everytime a Friend Succeeds was delivered with a very different but equally clear point of view. I got it! This was even funnier coming right after her wonderful duet with her good friend Linda Kahn on River Deep, Mountain High (Barry/Greenwich)!

Her band led by Musical Director and Arranger John M. Cook, with Mark Wade on Bass and Steve Smyth on Trumpet, gave her the musical support she needed on some pretty jazzy charts. However, at times, she was not vocally “in the pocket” on tempo. Singing in tempo or double time feel when the band is playing double-time is tricky. Jazz waltzes can also be a challenge.

At first, I thought because this was her first solo show, she just needed to run it more. But, this was her 5th performance, which made me wonder if a few of the charts were a just little too much for her. I would expect that the arrangements would be a bit more “organic” to her after 5 shows. But, I am sure she’ll find the pocket with more time on stage and working more with a band. She’s got the chops!

Corsaro entertained us. It was a lovely night with great song choices and I look forward to seeing future shows.