Hollywood Fringe 2019
Singer’s showcase comes up roses.
It takes a fair amount of chutzpah to call your show “Victoria Gordon Live at the Hollywood Fringe”, and the brazenness certainly piqued my interest. Who is Victoria Gordon? Should I have heard of her? It turns out that Ms Gordon is a young singer and actress who has put together her dream showcase, singing a bunch of show-songs that she loves.
A tight three-piece jazz combo are on-stage as the audience enter, setting the tone with selections from the Great American Songbook. After this appetizer, the main course arrives in a sequinned dress, singing “Here I am” from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.
Between songs she gives us some background, she’s an LA native and musical theatre nerd. She sings well and her song selections are interesting and varied, with a fair amount of deep cuts that will delight the aficianado (“A Trip to the Library” from She Loves Me is not exactly done to death) .
Her persona while talking to the audience has a whiff of fake-it-til-you-make-it, she addressed the seventeen people in front of her as if there were two thousand of us, but she has a charm and a tale to tell.
I found her strongest when she strayed into Shirley Bassey territory with “As Long As He Needs Me” and “I Am What I am”. These are big songs for a twenty-five year-old and she was equal to the task.
For sure, the show is not everyone’s cup of tea, I counted four walk-outs when people realized that the show-song/chat/show-song/chat format was unlikely to change but if this is your jam, then it might be your favorite offering in the fringe.
Sam Webster is the credited musical director (and drummer), with Adam Bravo on piano and Chelsea Stevens on stand-up bass providing excellent backing, though I would have been more impressed if they hadn’t needed the music in front of them. Ms Gordon is the credited writer, director and producer. As an exercise in putting your own show together, it is impressively ambitious and achieves its goals.