Julie Reyburn mixes kids songs and sophistication at Metropolitan Room

By Lucy Komisar

Julie Reyburn at the Metropolitan Room, photo Lucy Komisar.

When Julie Reyburn sings, you think you are at a theater stage. Her rich soprano last night entranced an audience at her “Fate is Kind,” a show of mostly kids‘ songs for adults. I liked her charming take on Frank Loesser‘s “The Ugly Duckling.”

I was glad, as it turned out, that not all “kids‘ songs” are for kids, especially when they are “On the Steps of the Palace” from Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim. Reyburn is a tuneful theatrical Sondheim interpreter.

Her performance was happily accompanied by the jazzy piano of music director Mark Janus.

My favorites were sophisticated pieces like Sondheim‘s and the clever “Stars and The Moon” by Jason Robert Brown. A guy promises her, “I‘ll give you the stars and the moon. She muses, I thought I‘d rather have champagne.” And later, “I‘d rather have a yacht.”

She is strong and passionate in Brown‘s “I‘m Not Afraid of Anything”:   “He doesn‘t love me, he‘s afraid to trust me, he‘s afraid to hold me.”

I liked her ethereal take on Maury Yeston‘s “I Had a Dream About You”:   “We were together again.”

Reyburn’s voice is fine and elegant no matter what she sings, but I was glad when she got to the adult stuff! With a cocktail in her hand!

The show is part of the New York Cabaret’s Greatest Hits series produced by Stephen Hanks. Sixteen shows reprise critically praised performances of years past.

“Fate is Kind.” Performed by Julie Reyburn. Music director Mark Janus. Metropolitan Room, 34 East 22 Street, New York City. 212-206-0440. Sept. 14, 2015.

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