(Stephen Holden’s article appeared in The New York Times, 4/21; via Pam Green.)
To understand how singing can be dancing, you need only see Chita Riveraperform Jacques Brel’s “Carousel.” This steadily accelerating merry-go-round song, about how time seems to speed up as we age, is a great cabaret showpiece in which the performer dramatizes an entire life cycle in a matter of minutes. As the pace quickens, the excitement builds. But the momentum never hesitates, and eventually the singer runs out of stamina.
Ms. Rivera sang “Carousel” in “An Evening of My Favorite Songs,” her Tuesday night debut at Café Carlyle, in a harsh, commanding voice, but she also danced it. Lifting her arms and fluttering her fingers, she transformed her body into a madly whirling carnival ride. Eagerness gave way to a triumphant sense of mastery that morphed into anxiety and eventually into panic and finally into defeat. All of us are finally left behind.