- CHARITY BENEFIT
Written by: Danielle Miceli
Locally known actress, producer, and singer, Tanya Moberly played to a packed house at Don’t Tell Mama on Friday, September 28th singing the hell out of Barbra Streisand’s 1971 album Barbra Joan Streisand. Moberly really drew in the audience with tales of her childhood at the start of the show. She conveyed that she decided to become a singer at 4 years-old after discovering her parents’ record player. One of the records they had when she was a child, was the iconic Streisand album. This eclectic album includes songs by Carole King, John Lennon, Burt Bacharach, and the team of Michel Legrand and Alan and Marilyn Bergman. This songstress told the audience that Streisand and the album are important to her because they were a “channel of songwriters” for her. She only first heard the Beatles and Carole King via Streisand.
This powerhouse performer decided to sing the entirety of the album without patter. This was a good choice because it respected the integrity of the album. She attempted to give the listeners in the audience an authentic taste of what it is like to listen to the actual Barbra Joan Streisand. The album did not have patter on it, so Moberly sung it straight through. One of the most noteworthy aspects of Moberly’s performance is that she sung each song with almost reckless abandon. A careful listener could tell that she had sung these songs as a kid to her doggie (a personal tidbit that she revealed early on). There was a strong sense of vocal freedom in her approach to each number – she did not hold back.
The evening started off with Carole King’s hit “Beautiful.” It was an intense and dynamic performance. Moberly displayed a certain ease hitting the high notes and belting out the lyrics. “Love,” by John Lennon, displayed a strong nasality in Moberly’s voice that was a little distracting. She seemed to have a slight difficulty with some of the high notes and, therefore, tried to compensate by squeezing the voice a bit. Her middle register on this song was much prettier. In “Where You Lead,” she really rocked out and managed the high notes well. She also used a “growl” vocal effect to the song’s advantage. Pianist Steven Ray Watkins joined her with sweet and lovely back-up vocals. “I Never Meant to Hurt You” was a heartfelt rendition where Moberly used her vocal and facial expressions to show a true understanding of the lyrics. It was one of the best performances of the evening – both earnest and demure in its presentation.
“One Less Bell to Answer” also employed Watkins’ lovely tenor on back-up vocals. Moberly had a powerful command of the high notes on this piece; and there was not as much nasality as there was on the earlier “Love.” “A House is Not a Home” was presented sensitively, yet conversationally, at first. She then built up an intensity that was possibly a little overdone — losing some of the subtlety of the lyrics. But, all in all, it was an effective performance. “Space Captain” was sung with an energy that showed her genuine and true enthusiasm for performing for an audience. Other songs presented were “Mother,” “The Summer Knows,” “I Mean to Shine” and “You’ve Got a Friend.”
Moberly closed the show with a fabulous encore that consisted of a medley of some of Streisand’s greatest and most well-known hits. She presented many of them with a comic spin that made the audience crave more of her comedic talents (which should most definitely be further harvested in her future shows). “Sam, You Made the Pants Too Long” was done with great humor and was one of the best presentations of the evening. Other songs in the tribute medley included “Second Hand Rose,” “My Man,” “Don’t Rain on My Parade” and “Happy Days Are Here Again.” Ms. Moberly is a true performer giving her all to every song, ditty, or showstopper she touches.