Once again Sally Darling is gracing the stage at Don’t Tell Mama with her wit, charm, and talent. In her new show, “Perspectives,” she uses humor to expose our human nature, the choices we make, and the way we look at life and then challenges us all to put ourselves into perspective. She summed it up best with this African proverb: “If you think you’re too small to make a difference, try spending a night with a mosquito.”
Sally has the unique ability to make you laugh and take an-depth look at yourself at the same time. She cleverly intertwines her music with witty text that gives it context and flavor that draws her audience into her web, teaching them life’s valuable lessons while entertaining them. It is one of her special gifts. She draws a crowd and this packed house at Mama’s was all in. You hardly noticed the plain backdrop behind her as her striking figure took command of the stage. Everyone was riveted as she made fun of herself and the faux pas that befall all of us in life. Not only did they hang on to her every word, they found themselves singing along when she invited them to join her in a rendition of “All You Need is Love” and “What the World Needs Now is Love.” Whatever your cares of the day were, you left them at the door when you came to see Sally perform and whatever problems were weighing you down, you came away with a fresh, new perspective.
She sang 17 songs in all, counting the encore. They were a collaborative effort with her musical director and piano accompanist, Matthew Martin Ward, who not only arranged them with her but also broke out in song intermittently, turning her beautiful solos into enchanting duets. There were a variety of numbers by such greats as Noel Coward, Cy Coleman, Leonard Cohen and Randy Newman. They were witty, romantic and well-written and Sally conveyed their message with her great stage presence, exceptional interpretative skills and that unforgettable powerhouse of a voice. In a particular moment of vulnerability when Sally revealed her naiveté during her high school years, she sang a very touching, “Willow Weep for Me” by Ann Ronell. It was so moving that you could picture the willow tree bending in the wind, weeping.
“Perspectives” is the latest in a series of meaningful, themed cabaret shows Sally is known for that touch the human spirit. Over the last two years, she has presented such cabaret performances as “Choices,” “The Way We Are,” and “Matters of the Heart.” Now she can add “Perspectives” to the list.
Sally lays out her heart and soul onto the stage and her chemistry with the talented composer and pianist, Matthew Martin Ward, is unmistakable. At the end of the show, she turned to him and said, “What would I do without you?” to which he replied, “Back at you.” He then leapt up from the piano and they embraced in a kiss which led them into their encore, “Here’s to Us.”
You had fun just watching them have fun. The show was truly delightful from start to finish, one of Sally’s best performances yet. If you missed the opening, there is one encore performance.
Sally Darling: “Perspectives” (July 27 and 31, 2015)
Don’t Tell Mama, 343 West 46th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues, in Manhattan
For tickets, call 212-757-0788 (after 4 PM daily) or visit http://www.donttellmamanyc.com/show
Running time: 60 minutes with no intermission