Jane Lynch & Kate Flannery, Two Lost Souls, at the Carlyle - New York City Article
Jane Lynch & Kate Flannery, Two Lost Souls, at the Carlyle Follow @nyccitiview
Jane Lynch & Kate Flannery, “Two Lost Souls”
The Café Carlyle
35 E 76th Street, (212) 744-1600
Through September 22
Decades ago, when I first chanced upon the Barry Sisters version of “Far From the Home I Love,” known to all as the single most bittersweet and melancholy number in the entire score to Fiddler on the Roof (Shanah Tova, you all!), now transformed it into a loud, uptempo swing number, I thought it had to be the most uproariously outrageous thing I had ever heard - on a par with, say, Mickey Katz doing “Schlemiel of Fortune.” Then, more recently, the duo of Jane Lynch and Kate Flannery used this Barry Sisters arrangement as the climax of their show at Feinstein’s, somehow making it even louder and funnier. Now, as if to top even that, this arrangement, now somehow even more brassy and irreverent - is the starting point for their new show, launching the Fall season at the Carlyle. Perhaps mindful that this was the Hewbrew holidays, this opening explodes like a hand grenade in a barrel of matzoh.
And yet that’s only the first number: everything that follows takes the general mood to an even higher level of excitement, in an overall style that seems to blur the boundaries between extremely original interpretations and overt satire, and in the process, simultaneously celebrates and parodies many other musical genres along the way. There’s more Kosher culture by these two gals with Irish-ish names in “Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen,” and in two numbers by “The Folksmen” from one of Lynch’s most memorable movie roles, A Mighty Wind (2003), they allude to the folk boom of the ‘50s. Ms. Flannery savages a traditional Christmas song that she swings as “Good King What’s-His-Face?” and even the bossa nova (“One Note Samba”) is now outsized and way over-the-top, both in 4/4 swingtime. A medley of 1960s love songs is sung with apparent sincerity, until Ms. Lynch deflates them by describing them as “kind of rapey.” This being the Carlyle, traditional show tunes also get the razz: “The Party’s Over,” “Shy” (belted by Ms. Flannery in a manner that makes Carol Burnett seem like Blossom Dearie) and the title number (from Damn Yankees).
It’s a whole 70 minutes of in-your-face eleven-o’clock numbers, suggesting a cabaret show, for lack of a better word, masterminded by Bob Clampett or Spike Jones, and I had to fight the urge to leap to my fight for a standing ovation at least once every 15 minutes or so.
For further information and reservations, click here.
Photo by David Andrako
Author: Will Friedwald
Will Friedwald writes about music and popular culture for THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, VANITY FAIR and PLAYBOY magazine and reviews current shows for THE CITIVIEW NEW YORK. He also is the author of nine books, including the award-winning A BIOGRAPHICAL GUIDE TO THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP SINGERS, SINATRA: THE SONG IS YOU, STARDUST MELODIES, TONY BENNETT: THE GOOD LIFE, LOONEY TUNES & MERRIE MELODIES, and JAZZ SINGING. He has written over 600 liner notes for compact discs, received ten Grammy nominations, and appears frequently on television and other documentaries. He is also a consultant and curator for Apple Music.
SINATRA: THE SONG IS YOU - NEW REVISED EDITION (Chicago Review Press, May 2018)