S’Wonderful: The Great American Songbook ★★★★ The Crazy Coqs, Brasserie Zédel | August 22 - 28, 2022

Paul Roberts' and Miranda Wilford's stroll through The Great American Songbook turns out to be a masterclass in interpreting these great old standards. We really appreciated that they let the melodies and lyrics speak for themselves and did not feel the need to add those unnecessary embellishments that singers often impose on these great classics with the notion of personalising them. Roberts' rendition of "It Had To Be You" and Miranda Wilford's "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" were unique, but they both respected the material. The same was true of all selections and the singers' genuine love for these well-wrought compositions shone through. They illuminated the work with heartfelt and beautifully crafted renditions that displayed solid vocal skills, excellent phrasing and good enunciation. We also really enjoyed their introductions to the songs. In a very short time, they did a fine job of sharing the biographies and some amusing anecdotes about Cole Porter, the Gershwins, Irving Berlin, Johnny Mercer, Jimmy Van Heusen, Rodgers and Hart, Oscar Hammerstein and so many more. It was great that they also noted the outstanding contributions of women like Dorothy Fields and Betty Comden. This show really is an excellent schooling in the music of a brilliant era, but there's just too much to be covered in one brief evening. We're hoping there'll soon be another opportunity to be tutored and entertained by this talented duo.

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Image © Brasserie Zédel

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