‘Signature Sisters’ at Signature Theatre

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Growing up during my early, early years, my parents use to grab a babysitter, dress up fancy, and scoot out with their friends to what they called, a cabaret. They always looked so gorgeous and seemed so ecstatic – I couldn’t wait for the moment that I could go to one too! To my dismay, when I became of age, there wasn’t a cabaret to be found and that left me bummed and feeling as if I missed out on something.

Sherri L.Edelen.

Sherri L.Edelen.

Well, thanks to Signature Theatre, I too, have now been able to experience a cabaret, and even after years of anticipation, I was not disappointed!

My fiancée and I entered our first cabaret to pure elegance – mini cocktails tables dressed with red linen tablecloths, black chic chairs, frosted candleholders with tealights flickering, and an ambience of intimacy.

Lighting Designer Zachary Dalton set the tone with soft neon pink hues of light peeking just slightly over the wall-to-wall black pipe and drape that darkened the room. Additionally, the white stage lighting showcased the singers and pianist perfectly.

Florrie Bagel.

Florrie Bagel.

A crowd favorite was the duet “What You Don’t Know About Women/I Must Have That Man.” With a room full of many couples, it was captivating to enjoy lyrics regarding the difference in genders and their expectations and motives. The sisters presented it with high energy and sass in such a way it called for smirks and giggles from both the entertainers as well as the audience members.

Mary Wells’ Motown favorite “My Guy,” which reclaimed popularity from the movie, Sister Act, had the crowd swaying and popping! The three sisters used the tune as an interactive piece by inviting the crowd to sing familiar parts. They even blended the song from the traditional slow crooning pace, to an upbeat spunky spice that brought a hearty applause.

An evening of diversity, the genre changed to Country Western as the trio rendered Deana Carter’s tune, “Strawberry Wine.” The song spoke of one’s first love and all that it embodies. The selection even included an acapella stanza that showed off their beautifully harmonious blend with the music re-joining just in time for a strong, dramatic last few notes.

As magical as the sisters gelled together, one of the evening’s special treats was to enjoy their individual styles in their solo pieces. Susan Derry’s gifted soprano range in “Comes Once in a Lifetime”; Sherri L. Edelen’s hearty belting of “Sunny Side of the Street”; and Florrie Bagel’s heartfelt mash up of the old school “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” eloquently intertwined with new school Adele’s “Someone Like You.” These ladies were a force to be reckon with!

Susan Derry.

Susan Derry.

Fourteen selections with the sisters Florrie Bagel, Susan Derry and Sherri L. Edelen sharing their strong, sultry voices mixed with witty, fun, yet informative commentary between each. Their chemistry was as well matched as their outfits and voices, and granted an evening of class and culture.

Music Director Marc Lilley, dressed in a black tux, accompanied the singers on piano, and even arranged numerous pieces as Music Director. The ladies made reference to him often, making it evident that they shared a mutual respect of one another and their musical gifts.

The four were talented, charismatic and wonderfully matched! I thank the Signature Sisters for the opportunity to enjoy this fabulous cabaret experience. We left there hand in hand, soothed and uplifted, and humming a tune or two… or maybe three.

Running Time: 70 minutes, with no intermission.

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Signature Sisters plays though Saturday, October 25, 2014 at Signature Theatre – 4200 Campbell Avenue, in Arlington VA. For tickets, call the box office at (703) 820-9771, or purchase them online.

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