Gussy Up The Bath House: Hot, Classy Ladies’ Songs

Been to The Echo Room? Whatcha waiting for?

At the Echo Room: Jonathan Garcia sweet talks Kristen Bond while Kateri Cale, Lorena Davey and Maranda Harrison sing back up.

Jonathan Garcia sweet talks Kristen Bond while Kateri Cale, Lorena Davey and Maranda Harrison sing back up. Photo by Pam Myers-Morgan

Poof! Echo Theatre’s movie idol gorgeous traditional jazz bandleader waves his magic wand. The Bath House Cultural Center black box space transforms into a hot, hopping 1930’s vintage supper club, The Echo Room, with live music, dancing, classy flirtation and adult beverages and light snacks provided by a genial  Proprietor,  Miss Babe Lowry ( an effusive Kateri Cale) and presided over at the bar by no nonsense, mysterious Edith “the Sylph” Langerfeld (an alluring Terri Ferguson). If you’re familiar with the limitations of the venue, you’ll take delight in the make-over, sitting at the elegant, curved bar center stage or at your cafe table quaffing a glass of champagne or ginger ale. Raise a toast to the ladies of Echo who dreamed up this charmed and dazzling transformation. The joint wears it well. Echo welcomes the pleasure of your company Thursday through Saturday nights through February 22.

Billed as The Echo Room presents “Her Song: A Revue of Early 20th Century Music by Women Songwriters”  (1900’s – 1940’s), the evening features eight smooth-toned crooners and era appropriate hoofing by the Danielle Georgiou Dance Group. Upstage right, the Matt Tolentino Quartet keeps everybody swingin’ and groovin’ to tunes by dames from days gone by, with occasional vocal solos by handsome Matt, himself.  Who knew that women songwriters penned so many great songs?  Thirty splendid tunes, some humorous, some sad, grace and sustain the celebratory mood. Songwriters include the prolific Dorothy Fields, Maria Grever, Dana Seusse, Alberta Hunter. The whole event ends much too soon.  Shelby-Alison Hibbs directs, blending the dance, music and frequent audience interaction with natural ease while maintaining the character and style of bygone eras. Regional artists  Annie Benjamin, Kateri Cale, Lorena Davey, Terri Ferguson and Shelby-Allison Hibbs hit on a winner when they dreamed this up and produced it. What a fun, unique way to cherish your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day….

Matt Tolentino Quartet

Matt Tolentino Quartet

Singers include: Malcolm Beaty, Annie Benjamin, Kristen Bond (a knockout!), Kateri Cale, Lorena Davey, Terri Ferguson, Jonathan Garcia and Maranda Harrison. The DGDG ensemble: Veena Naik, Jen Obeney, Gabriel King, and Stephen Raikes. The Matt Tolentino Quartet: Matt Tolentino (saxophone and banjo), Scott A. Eckert (piano), Rick Norman (upright bass) and Michael Plotkin (drums).

Set design by Terri Ferguson, colorful, sexy costumes by Ryan Matthieu Smith and always sophisticated musical direction by Scott A. Eckert.

 Echo Theatre’s The Echo Room presents “Her Song” runs through February 22, 2014.  TICKETS:   214-904-0500

 About the Matt Tolentino Quartet, seen often at Lakewood’s Balcony Club

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