When the power came to FST | Arts and entertainment

When the power came to FST |  Arts and entertainment

The FST cabaret stage has been dark for months. It is fitting that Carole J. Bufford is bringing the current back with her latest revue – “Vintage Pop!”. She is a strong singer and a real live wire. As is to be expected, it is a high voltage concert.

“Vintage Pop!” Follows the developments and revolutions in pop music from the Roaring Twenties to the Big Eighties. Bufford created the show and shares an arrangement loan with Ian Herman. She also sings the songs, with Isaac Mingus on bass and Jim Prosser on piano.

Bufford’s revue cleverly mixes up hymns and anecdotes. She also plays with genre expectations and flips a few old songs over so you can hear them in new ways. She notes, “The proof of a good song is that you can bend it and it still won’t break.”

Bufford starts Act I with “Everything old is new again” (1974) and sets the clock back to the beginning of the 20th century to prove how flexible the old songs can be. She dusts chestnuts like “Won’t you come home Bill Bailey?” (1902) and traces the path of the drunk from his origin.

Bufford also examines Sophie Tucker’s systematic appropriation of Afro-American music. (And recounts the incident where Tucker refused to be cursed by President Calvin Coolidge and his secret service entourage – and risked federal prison when she blocked his path, “Hey Cal! How about a handshake for you loyal taxpayers? “)

Funny facts follow. They find out that “Blue Moon” (1934) had several lyrical mutations before it entered its final stages. How associate producer Arthur Freed stood up to Louis B. Mayer to keep “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” on “The Wizard of Oz”. And also, how one of the most popular swing melodies of the Nazis – “Dei Mir Bist Du Schoen” (1932) by the Andrews Sisters – began as a Yiddish ballad. The Nazis banned the recording when they found out – and only made it more popular.

Act II begins with the vibrations of the sultry “Sway” (1953). Bufford then quotes Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s observation: “Oh, those kids and rock and roll – that just speeds up rhythm and blues. I’ve always been doing this. “To prove this point, she slows down Jerry Lee Lewis'” Whole Lotta Shakin ‘Goin’ On “(1955). (The result is pure R&B QED.) Bufford also straps out “C’est La Vie: You Can Never Say It” (1964) – and beautifully quotes the dance moves of Uma Thurman’s character as she appeared in Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction. (And while we focus on the Tarantino references, Bufford’s version of California Dreamin ‘(1965) seems to be influenced by José Feliciano’s cover.)

In your 1983 portrayal of Every Breath You Take, you find out that Sting composed his creepy stalker anthem on Ian Fleming’s desk in Goldeneye – the late writer’s estate on a Jamaican beach. (Bufford plays this number with an exaggerated Bond girl upswing.) It closes the set with the ode to self-examination and remorse of “Man in the Mirror” (1988) and the hope to see the world of “Man. Some changes will be made ”(1921).

In addition to making music, Bufford lights up the room in a range of period dresses of her choice. Pianist Prosser and bassist Mingus also have a chance to shine – Bufford is a generous performer and is never in the limelight. Props for lighting by Nick Jones, the set by Bruce Price and the sound design by Thomas Korp.

The result is an outstanding concert – not only technically excellent, but also from the heart. This shimmering show doesn’t make up for the wait. But it doesn’t disappoint. And that proves one last point …

The pandemic has bent, but not broken, the theater community. It’s great to see the electricity flowing again.

Joseph Hubbard

Joseph Hubbard is a seasoned journalist passionate about uncovering stories and reporting on events that shape our world. With a strong background in journalism, he has dedicated his career to providing accurate, unbiased, and insightful news coverage to the public.

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