A class act, the singer with the warm smile acknowledges that there’s a lot to live up to when you’re named Grace. No problem there. With finesse and respect for material, Grace Cosgrove elegantly elevates all she sings when she digs deep, and strikes gold when she lets go with big notes. More “dig” and more “big” will help with a show destined to grow from a tip-toe tendency in the first night’s first songs. After the opening, she opened up—and up came depths of feeling, dealing with dark despair (“Theme from Valley of the Dolls”) and charm (“Confession,” Schwartz/Dietz’s cutie). Creative consultant Marilyn Maye, trio arrangements by Musical Director/pianist Don Rebic, pages from Laura Nyro’s songbook (for which Grace has long had a special connection), a way with pensive, mature standards like “But Beautiful” dreamily explored and seeming lived-through—she has a lot going for her.
Traces of whimsy (Jessica Molaskey/John Pizzarelli’s “Adam & Eve”) and a down-to-earth perspective in patter wisely leaven ballad-heavy programming perhaps needing sequence-shuffling, too. Radiating intelligence and caring, the singer’s intensity of feeling and emotional involvement invites that same activity from thoughtful audience members. This is lovely, loving and lush.
Remaining performances are June 8 and 24, both at 7 pm.
April 29, 2012