Leslie Orofino presented an elegant evening of Cole Porter’s music and lyrics, in her aptly titled show, Cocktails with Cole, in the lovely and intimate room at Pangea!
With music direction by Daryl Kojak, and assisted eloquently by Leon “Boots” Maleson on Bass, Ms. Orofino regaled her audience with some of Cole Porter‘s most intoxicating tunes.
Beginning her program with It’s Delovely and Let’s Misbehave, it became immediately clear that Orofino was a genuine lyric communicator. And, while never pushing her voice past its natural ability, she inhabited each song to the fullest. (so many younger singers might take a lesson from this).
Orofino led us through the life of Cole Porter, in words and song, through his days in Paris, his burgeoning homosexuality, his inevitable marriage, a devastating accident that left both his legs crushed, his longings, depressions, triumphs, and of course the music that accompanied it all. And, with just the right amount of educational, yet entertaining pattern, Orofino made the evening one of enlightenment, which served to give the music a new relevance. (again, a lesson for younger artists.)
Orofino also demonstrated a lovely flair for comedy in songs like Give Him The Ooo La La, and Laziest Gal in Town. And this reviewer would love to see more of this comic freedom, as it also served to release many different colors of her voice.
Of particular note was Orofino‘s coupling of Easy To Love, and Let’s Do It, where her voice opened up in a new and exciting way. And, a haunting rendition of Everytime We Say Goodbye, which, distilled down to it’s essence, was a gem of the evening.
She encored with You’re The Top, which left her audience humming as they left the club. And, I’m sure more than one of them were thinking “Thank you Leslie, right back at ya.”