If you have the wintertime blues (and who doesn’t by now!), then one surefire way to lift your spirits this week is to head over to Signature Theatre to hear the glorious Tracy Lynn Olivera sing a delightful selection of tunes as part of her release celebration for her new CD called Because. In this terrific cabaret, which launches Signature’s Winter Cabaret Series, Tracy belts out many selections from the CD as well as a number of requests she had received from participants in her fundraising efforts for the CD through the “Kickstarter” website.
For those that have not been fortunate yet to see Tracy perform, she has been a regular part of the Signature family for many years and has been featured in numerous productions there including Company, Brother Russia, The Boy Detective Fails, Merrily We Roll Along, and Allegro. In addition, she also has performed in numerous productions at many other Washington area theaters, including The Kennedy Center, Shakespeare Theatre Company, MetroStage, Ford’s Theatre, and Olney Theatre Center.
It has been an exciting year for Tracy. In addition to the CD release and this cabaret show, she lit of the stage as the hysterical Electra in Signature’s acclaimed production of Gypsy. But even more significantly, she is pregnant with her first child and she shares stories about this exciting development in her show.
Tracy is an accomplished cabaret performer who is completely at ease before an audience. She attains the perfect balance of friendly humorous storytelling and thrilling song, consistently combining both humor and pathos. Opening with standards “I’m Glad There is You’ and “You Mustn’t Kick It Around” from Pal Joey, “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful?” from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Tracy demonstrates her vocal prowess.
Turning to the requests she received from CD supporters, she shows a more fun side on “Lovesick Blues” by Patsy Cline, in which Tracy gets to prove her yodeling skills. Later she really shows off her comedic chops on another request, the recent Miley Cyrus hit “Wrecking Ball,” in which she hysterically parodies Cyrus’ affected vocals while doing great justice to the song’s catchy melody. She is accompanied on this song (and others) by strong backup vocals from two other Signature favorites, Carolyn Cole and Maria Egler. Tracy also performs a really fun countrified version of Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” (courtesy of singer, Sara Bareilles).
Tracy is accompanied by a fantastic group of musicians who are also featured on the CD. Musical Director Lenny Williams shines on the piano, Chris Biondo grooves on the bass while Raice McLeod does a fine job on the drums. Steven Walker successfully doubles as band guitarist as well as her duet partner on two numbers, “When I Grow Too Old to Dream” and on the CD’s title track, “Because,” and even throws in some fine ukulele playing for good measure. The cabaret show is further enhanced by fine lighting provided by Erin Pritchett and Sound Mixing from Chris Baines.
For the remainder of the performance, Tracy showcases musical theater classic ballads like “So in Love” from Kiss Me Kate and “So Many People” from Stephen Sondheim’s Saturday Night. The evening concluded with the rollicking “Cowboy Man” by Lyle Lovett and Tracy’s encore, the beautiful “On My Way to You” by Michele Legrand.
After such a wonderful performance, one can’t help but feel inspired to purchase the CD (I did so) and enjoy Tracy Lynn Olivera’s delightful vocals over and over. So get out of this cold weather and come hear the heartwarming sounds of one of the Washington area’s finest performers.
Running Time: Approximately one hour.
Tracy Lynn Olivera: CD Release Party plays through February 8, 2014 at Signature Theatre – 4200 Campbell Avenue in Arlington, VA. For tickets, call the box office at (703) 820-9771, or purchase them online.
Here’s information on the other performances in the Winter Cabaret Festival.
Tracy Lynn Olivera’s website.
Purchase Because and listen to song highlights here.