Rebecca Spencer

Fair Warning

Upstair's at Vitello's
Studio City, CA
The unusual choice for an opener of “Speak Softly, Love” (Rota/Kusik) was delivered in a soft, haunting voice that created a dark mysterious mood, as she emerged from the dark into her light. Echoing that mood, Fortenberry punctuated his accompaniment with touches of Rachmanioff’s Prelude in C-Sharp Minor. This pairing of standards and contemporary songs with classical references continued effectively throughout the show. Fortenberry’s counterpoint melody of Aaron Copeland’s “Simple Gifts” nicely complemented Rebecca’s beautiful take on “The Girl Who Used to Be Me” (Hamlisch/the Bergmans) from Shirley Valentine. Some lighter fare, such as “Eat, Drink and Be Mary” (Keith Thompson) and her closer, “Home Sweet Heaven” (Martin/Gray) from High Spirits, served to add some variety to her repertoire.

The entertaining patter about her association with the songs and her musical theater career provided just the right personal touch to the evening. This was her L.A. solo cabaret debut, and a wonderful start it was.

Les Traub
Cabaret Scenes
August 15, 2014