Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Musical? Opera? Concert? Ballet?

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Musical? Opera? Concert? Ballet?

Article excerpt

Take your choice on what to call Song and Dance, which opened its two-week run at Lyric Theatre Tuesday night. However, be sure to call it a tour de force for Cindy Robinson who has the leading role in this Andrew Lloyd Webber production about Emma, an English milliner who seeks fame, romance and success in her career in New York City and Los Angeles.

In the process, she goes from a sweet innocence to a slick sophistication after love affairs with various men on each coast. Representing this emotional trip are lighthearted tunes and funny lyrics as well as heavy tunes and words of pathos. The audience enjoyed Cindy singing Capped Teeth and Caesar Salad. Throw in some interesting mixes of choreography by Lyric's assistant artistic director Nick Demos and Bryan Pitts.

Cindy can handle them all -- even wearing that distracting head microphone swooping over her face. She and John Williford, who plays the role of Emma's true love (until he leaves her), do a sensual, pulse-raising ballet, which loses something as he and she try to avoid hooking him on her microphone. Perhaps that mike system will be changed before the show concludes its run.

Cindy's voice handles all ranges -- soft and romantic, harsh and self-punishing -- of tunes, even though her sound was turned up so loud that at times her excellent voice was distorted. Such magnificent sound comes from such a tiny body. Amazing. No wonder she has been so successful on Broadway, in national tours of shows and at regional playhouses.

Her dad, John Robinson, who also was a marvelous Lyric performer years ago, must be very proud of her. Obviously, Cindy's husband is. He's Jim Alexander, producing artistic director of Lyric Theatre, who directed this production.

Demos and Pitts blended a mix of dance styles echoing jazz, ballet and modern dance and Lyric's talented ensemble of dancers met all challenges. Especially outstanding -- again -- was Enrique Brown and special praise should go to Bret Shuford, Erich Polley, Brad Barnes and James Greg. Among the outstanding female members of the ensemble are Sarah Minard, Jordan Ballard and Megan Anderson. …

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