Swinging Sting is the Stuff of Loar

Posted: April 22, 2011 in Broadway, Cabaret, Culture, Entertainment, New York City, Nightlife, Performance, Theater, Theatre, Uncategorized

When Broadway personality Rosemary Loar first chose to descend upon cabaret in the late 1980s, it was clear that the two were a match made in heaven. At the time, she was appearing in the original Broadway cast of Chess, not long after brilliantly understudying actresses Maureen Anderman and Carol Androsky in the classic Kaufman and Hart comedy You Can’t Take It With You. And with her sleek black pageboy hairstyle, definitive presence and other-wordly vocal prowess, it was clear that the clubs had a new contender with which to reckon.

After years of consistently coming up swinging within the arena in a variety of shows (and somewhat reinventing her look), Loar may very well have topped herself with Sting! Stang! Stung! Rosemary Loar Swinging the Music of Sting, at the Metropolitan Room. The show has closed at the time of this writing (although crowds are fervently hoping for a return engagement), and since then she’s made her usual notable appearances around town, especially in the recent Art of Warr benefit at the Daryl Roth Theatre’s D-Lounge. In fact, this evening (4/22/11) at 7:30, she’ll be making an appearance at Don’t Tell Mama in a Songwriter’s Roundtable showcase alongside Meg Flather, Jennie Litt and others. But it is with her tribute to the pop mega-group The Police that Loar has truly reached a new plateau and, very possibly, paved the way for many other singers to begin exploring similar avenues to infuse cabaret with exciting material previously unexplored.

Supported musically by Vito Lesczak on percussion, Tom Hubbard on bass, and Frank Ponzio both on piano and flawless arrangements (additional arrangements were provided by the resplendent Daryl Kojak and the equally-marvelous John DiPinto besides the lady herself), Loar is, in a word, tantalizing.  “Brand New Day” marvelously sets the tone for the evening before she tears into “Englishman in New York” (completely with surprising scat section), and in the one portion where a composer other than Sting is employed, she mashes “Mad About You” with Noel Coward’s “Mad About the Boy.”

Whether the sophisticated audience immediately recognizes such songs as “Heavy Cloud No Rain,” “He’s Too Good For Me,” “Moon Over Bourbon Street,” “Tomorrow We’ll See,” and “Never Coming Home,” as opposed to such Top Ten compositions as “Message In a Bottle,” “Roxanne,” and a coupling of “Every Breath You Take” with “Set Them Free,” it is simply impossible not to thrill to what Loar brings to every single moment. And by the time she winds up the evening with a marvelous rendition of  “Fields of Gold,” those in the crowd previously unfamiliar with her work have been converted to fervent worshipers, while those already her stalwart fans are left to marvel at the fact that she managed to hit it out of the park yet again. In addition, Ted Stafford provides scrumptious technical direction at every turn.

A just world will always find Rosemary Loar continuing to delight the senses. Whether or not it’s in the cards for Sting! Stang! Stung! to return in the immediate future, it’s pointedly clear that any outing in which she chooses to engage will be savored by audiences like a rich dessert. And your humble writer, for one, will be first on line at the buffet.

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