Tim Schall

So Far

The Cabaret at Savor
St. Louis, MO
The Cabaret at Savor continued its St. Louis at Home for the Holidays series with a two-night feature of Tim Schall's So Far on Thursday and Friday, December 13th and 14th. The show was described as paying "...homage to the words of classic American songwriters such as George Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Richard Rodgers, Broadway icons Kander and Ebb, as well as contemporary songwriters."

The cabaret venue is a cozy upstairs room at the restaurant Savor, 4356 Lindell Blvd. in St. Louis' Central West End. The room has an Egyptian theme with slightly less than 20 tables, flocked walls, and heavy draperies. I found it definitely has its charms as an intimate setting in which artist and audience can appreciate each other's close company.

Schall, a well-known cabaret performer who makes his home in St. Louis, started his set off with Rogers and Hammerstein's "So Far," followed by a sprightly "They All Laughed," by George and Ira Gershwin. He definitely had fun with "Tale of the Oyster," by Cole Porter, and Kander and Ebb's "Ring Them Bells." His serious, soulful side was very evident in songs such as "All The Things You Are," by Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields, "Vincent," by Don McLean, "The Sweetest Sounds," by Richard Rodgers, and "Watching the Show," by Brad Ross and Joe Keenan. The most surprising song to me was one I'd never heard before, which was a reverse on the song "Nothing," from the musical A Chorus Line, in which an acting teacher intimidates Morales, a young student. Here, the song "Something," by Doug Merkel and Doug Bernstein, told the same story, but from the point of view of Morales' teacher, Murray Carp. Quite clever.

The 1 hour 15 minute performance (no intermission) included about a dozen additional songs, each one of which was a pleasure to hear and experience. The encore was an appropriate holiday selection, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," by composer Hugh Martin.

Throughout the night, although pitchy in a few spots, Tim proved he is a consummate cabaret performer. His voice is smooth and clear, he expertly feels his way around the lyrics, and is extremely personable and informative in his connecting dialog. Long and short of it is, he's a pro, and the audience was clearly appreciative of his talents.

Schall's long-time collaborator, Neal Richardson, accompanied on the room's baby grand. He was both attentive and supportive, following Schall expertly. Kudos must be tendered as well to Rick Harmon, on lights and sound. His command of the room's minimal lighting setup was subtle, deft, and attentive, supporting the singer and palpably enhancing the mood of several songs.

More information on Savor's Cabaret performances may be obtained by calling 314-531-0220, or accessing their website at cabaretatsavor.com.

Laura Kyro
Cabaret Scenes
December 13, 2007
www.cabaretscenes.org