What a voice! Storm Large has a vocal instrument that pairs the thunderclap power and clarity of Darlene Love with the bluesy grit of Janis Joplin. Her sensibility turns up what that voice can do with strong images of madness and gleeful violence running through everything she does. In her current cabaret act at Feinstein’s / 54 Below, she applies that instrument and sensiblity to a wide variety of material, from hard rock originals and covers to a pair of Cole Porter songs.
Large thoroughly reinvents Porter’s “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” teasing out the song’s dark stalkery side, with a highly dramatic “classic rock” arrangement that works surprisingly well. Also up for reinvention is Olivia Newton-John’s “Hopelessly Devoted” delivered with a whacky introduction that (almost) makes sense of the insane venomousness that she forceably injects into the soft rock nugget.
Her original songs are each and every one passionate, each in different ways. The show opener, “Call Me Crazy” kicks things off with rousing fury and joy. The title of the cheerfully bawdy “8 Miles Wide” refers to her vagina. On the other end of the scale is the ballad “Angels In Gas Stations” which conveys the sense of spirituality she acquired when caring for a dying woman who had been a second mother to her.
Storm Large delivers a show that bristles with exquisitely controlled wildness. Recommended.
For tickets, click here.
To learn about Jonathan Warman’s directing work, see jonathanwarman.com.