Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota presents:
Karen Akers, is polished and sophisticated. Since she’s always been a class act with first-rate tastes in music. “Akers Sings Porter: Anything Goes!”—presents one challenge that is obvious: How do you cut more than 1,000 songs down to a cabaret act and satisfy everyone at the same time? Best to plunge ahead and not worry. The dulcimer tones of her rich, crystal-clear contralto wrap themselves around even the most difficult Porter lyrics to deliver an eclectic set of songs that are thrilling to hear. She leaves no mood unexplored, although the emphasis is largely on the comedic patter of Porter “list” songs even seasoned performers twice Ms. Akers’ age are reluctant to try.
One of the funniest bits in the act is a section devoted not only to the familiar patter lyrics of the legendary “Let’s Do It” (“Birds do it, bees do it, even educated fleas do it,” etc.) but also a sampling of the additions of both Irving Berlin and Noel Coward, who were so besotted with the song they could not resist writing extra choruses. Delectable fun, to be sure.
Her wise, world-weary yet dreamy rendition of “You Don’t Know Paree” is a great example of Porter’s philosophy about the City of Light When her perfect enunciation, illustrated with a smile that hides a darker she makes you really feel she’s been there, walking the same streets as Cole Porter. There is a great deal more, but you get the picture. Karen Akers singing Cole Porter is an extremely elegant performance that sends you soaring on a very high plane indeed.