Sunday, November 11, 2007

Make Me A Song

photo: Carol Rosegg

Many of William Finn's most memorable songs are included in this 90 minute revue, and an able cast of four has been assembled to sing them (I especially liked Adam Heller, who never sounds a false note all evening, and Sally Wilfert, who has a pleasing creamy-smooth voice), but somehow the show adds up to less than the sum of its parts. The ante has been upped on this genre of show after the most recent Putting It Together revue of Sondheim songs and last season's Jacques Brel... at the Zipper, both of which found ways to use their respective composers' songbooks to suggest a narrative spine and to chart an emotional arc. Apart from an extended section of Falsettos numbers, the songs in this revue aren't sequenced in any meaningful way: it's simply a parade of numbers, marched out one after another. While the best of them are moving and effective ("Unlikely Lovers", which builds to four-part harmonizing, is very beautifully sung here) the show (which uses just a single piano to accompany the singers) feels at its least good like some cabaret room in the Catskills.

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