Songs For Nobodies
Ann Pollack – St. Louis Eats and Drinks, January 26, 2020
Dazzling work from Debby Lennon, and lots of bang for the audiences buck in this little jewel from Max & Louie Productions
If there’s anyone around who doubts the level of our local talent, here’s – another – fine example. Debbie Lennon gives us a one-woman show, Songs for Nobodies, and pretty much knocks it out of the park.
The show’s premise is that five great women singers are shown via their encounters with ordinary women. The show was written by Joanna Murray-Smith. It’s a good look at the human side of idols, and a real workout for Lennon who plays all ten characters in settings that go all the way from Kansas City to a yacht on the Mediterranean.
Beatrice Ethel Appleton opens the show. She’s the powder room attendant at the Plaza Athenee Hotel in New York when Judy Garland arrives with her hem slightly ripped. And so we’re off, meeting along the way, an usher, a librarian, a cub reporter and a nanny, all in individual vignettes Those women lead us into Patsy Cline, Edith Piaf, Billie Holiday and Maria Callas. (It may affect the way you view photos of Aristotle Onassis for the foreseeable future, by the way.)
Lennon is remarkable, switching characters and accents. And she sounds fabulous. Nicholas Valdez, on piano, is the music director, with, on the night I was there, Blake Mickens on bass and Keith Bowman on percussion. They surely add to the fun. Dunsi Dai’s scenery, including some wonderful black and white photographs, set the mood well, as does Tony Anselmo’s lighting.
Dazzling work from Lennon, and lots of bang for the audience’s buck in this 90-minute, no-intermission little jewel from Max & Louie Productions that’s in the black box at the Kranzberg Arts Center.