Kerry Ford presented Something Wonderful, her tribute to Stephen Sondheim and
Oscar Hammerstein II, at Dannys Skylight Room, a welcome return of this
West Coast performer. Slender and graceful as a ballerina, Ford brought a wistfulness
and an intensity to Sondheims songs, tying his music to the close association
Sondheim enjoyed with his mentor, lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II. With John Boswell
at the piano, she delivered the songs with a warm freshness, emphasizing their
natural staying power even away from the storyline. Ford called on her acting
chops throughout the show, not only in delving under the lyrics but in one segment
when she read the stage directions from "Green Grow the Lilacs" by Lynn
Riggs, before leading, with a sigh, into "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin",
jacking up the sweet optimism of the song. A dramatic segue was following the
languid obsession of "Bill" with the sharp rapidity of the maids
take on events in "The Miller's Son". Ford took of her own looks at
marriage with the sentimental tradition of "The Folks Who Live on the Hill"
followed "Marry Me a Little"s urban congestion. With a light,
clear soprano vocal tone, she often weaves notes together to spotlight the meaning,
and occasionally takes a familiar song down a side path; in this show, she brought
"Mr. Snow" into a more passionate space, and with "Vodka",
she bit the word shortly, rather than drawing it out in its usual drunken rendition.
Barbara Brussell was a special guest, bringing to the show her indelible rendition
of "I Have Dreamed" and a twist on "Buddys Blues", usually
sung by a man. Anne finished with "Move On" and "Being Alive"