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Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
Music Reviews
United States
New York City
New York
New York, NY

Emily Lester Performs at Danny's Skylight Room Cabaret

by Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
January 16, 2003
New York, NY

About the Author:

Emily Lester Performs at Danny's Skylight Room Cabaret

346 West 46th Street, NYC

Music Review by Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
January 16, 2003

$12 cover / $10 Food & Drink Minimum
Reservations Required
(212) 265-8133
A MAG Swing / MAG Management Production
(212) 946-2085

Emily Lester, Vocalist Musicians - Richard Danley, Musical Director and Piano Bob Cunningham, Bass

Emily Lester, in a rare and very welcome NY appearance, at Danny's Skylight Room Cabaret, offered the sold-out Club a warm and vibrant performance. She was upbeat, demure, coy, engaging, and effervescent. With a clear, strong voice, Emily sang of her own life experiences and, in amusing and heartfelt asides to the audience, she carried us through her the growth and changes in her own inner life. She actually sang, from a child's perspective, with youthful intonations and sensitive and magical qualities, inherent in her lyrics and lyricism. In fact, Ms. Lester was a singer and dancer at Disneyworld for five years, where she once jumped through fire. She related humorous stories and theatrical jokes about Disney impersonations.

Ms. Lester has an amazing ability to add foreign and regional accents to her songs and stories, some of which were hilarious. She was equally comfortable as elderly, German Jewish and as young, Southern Belle. One song, "Too Many Weddings", described her perennial role as a bridesmaid, another was "Someday My Prince Will Come", sung with natural sincerity and depth. The Bassist provided soulful accompaniments to these sensitive lyrics, and the Pianist, who was introduced many times as a close friend and musical collaborator, was always right with her. Emily sang of broken hearts, love, and marriage, songs and ideas that may seem politically incorrect at night on West 46th Street, but which were received with adoration and accolades. Ms.Lester's husband, Steve Cahnmann, was actually sitting closeby, serving as Prince and friend.

Ms. Lester added depth to this performance with cartoon drawings and with a sweet Galway/Bolling styled concert on her flute. In "Look at Me, I'm Gorgeous", she sang about contestants for a trophy in a Southern Beauty Contest. Ms. Lester often showcased her Pianist and Bassist, by allowing them solos and active backup. One of her more melancholy songs, which rang true to some in the audience, were "Why Can't I Forget the Way He Said He Loved Me and the Way he Said Goodbye".

In "This Could Be the Start of Something Big", a current of energy was released that captivated the crowd. More soulful was Ms. Lester's A Cappella encore, "Soaring Like an Eagle". Ms. Lester expects another NY engagement soon, and it is recommended to make early reservations for that event. It is so unique, these days, to witness such a sincere and wholesome program in a Cabaret setting, which also adds spice and sassiness, to keep the audience engaged. See candid photos, below.

Emily Dramatizes

Emily Has Spirit

Emily Entertains

Emily and Bob Cunningham, Bass

Emily is Effervescent

Emily Plays her Flute

Upbeat and Strong

Carl Garrison, Manager; Ruth Cahnmann; Steve Cahnmann

Carl Garrison and Emily

Emily and Guest, Denise Hassman

Carl Garrison and Wife, Christine Tracey

Emily Thanks the Crowd

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