While she has always been an immensely talented singer, I feel like Dianna Agron’s current act at the Cafe Carlyle really finds her coming into her own. Agron applies her huskily golden yet liquid voice to some very “Carlyle” material, including Bobby Short’s “You Fascinate Me So” and Eartha Kitt’s “I Want To Be Evil”. When Agron goes after a song, she always acts the hell out of it, which makes her an exceptional interpreter and storyteller.
Folk rock, the meat of Agron’s first two shows at the Carlyle, is largely absent here, replaced by “songbook” and “soul,” both of which she excels at. She keeps breaking her own rules to put together a show that feels right; her baseline here is a show that is fun and pleasurable, and she has more than succeeded.
A couple of times she asked her band to take it back to the top. She seemed slightly embarrassed – Dianna I am here to tell you that one of the most gratifying experiences I have ever had in cabaret was when Keely Smith unashamedly said “no that wasn’t good, lets do it again.” Own your mistakes, and be proud of the artistry which compels you to be the best version of the song you are singing! No apologies!
That said, Agron is all-around more confident and in command, which lends her off-hand comments a raffish charm. No song was less than beautifully sung, and she performs best when a song brings out the actress in her – most notably “It’s Oh So Quiet” (orginated by Betty Hutton, and returned to fame in Björk’s cover version). Agron in every case gives us wonderfully sung renditions of dauntingly complex songs. Highly recommended.
For tickets, click here.
To learn about Jonathan Warman’s directing work, see jonathanwarman.com.