Sierra Rein encored her debut show “Running in Place” at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, September 22 (2pm) & 26 (9:30pm).
In all aspects of her performance, Sierra Rein commanded the stage at the Laurie Beechman Theatre. With a powerful voice, authentic presence, and impeccable style Ms. Rein, recently known for her contributions to the singing group Marquee Five, made it clear that she is a formidable solo artist. And, with exquisite direction by James Beaman, known for outstanding performances himself, it became clear that front and center is where Ms. Rein needs to be.
Entering in an elegant cobalt blue dress, with jewel encrusted straps, Rein’s powerful voice and refined delivery of Right Hand Man (Something Rotten – Karey & Wayne Kirkpatrick) set a confident tone for the evening. And a power-house version of Come–on–a–my–house, (Ross Bagdasarian & William Saroyan) showed her swing-ability, and musicality.
The entire evening was well sung and acted. Her patter was authentic yet succinct, adding to the evening without calling attention to itself. And she displayed a wide range of vocal color, and comic timing.
Of particular note was By Myself (A. Schwartz, H. Dietz), which rose above all expectations to a powerful stride. And Her title song Running in Place (Steel Pier – J. Kander, F. Ebb), which was a great use of lyric to tell her own unique story.
Other stand-out songs included Nothing Really Happened (C. Carnelia), in which Rein displayed not only a moving and poignant voice, but also a subtle yet effective use of staging (Thank you Mr. Beaman), and Baltimore (Z. Goldrich, M. Heisler), which, frankly, fit her like a glove.
Special attention must also be brought to Music Director Bill Zeffiro, whose arrangements were tailor-made for Rein and showed off her best qualities flawlessly. And, while most of Running in Place featured songs from the musical theater archive, Ms. Rein had me wanting to hear more, more standards, more love songs, even the phone book. Whether appearing with Marquee Five, or in her next solo outing, don’t miss this sophisticated performer.
Matt Scharglass – Bass
Rex Benincasa – Drums