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Carried Away *****

By: Paulanne Simmons

On her Oct. 26 performance of Carried Away at Don’t Tell Mama, Amy Beth
Williams walked onto the stage singing the World War I marching song,
“Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit-Bag, and Smile, Smile, Smile.”
Certainly no one in the audience had an old kit bag, but Williams spent the
rest of the evening giving everyone reason to “smile, smile, smile.”

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This is not to say all the songs were cheerful. Save a few classically hilarious
numbers such as “Carried Away,” that cautionary note on excessive enthusiasm
from Bernstein/Camden and Green’s On the Town, and Irving Berlin’s
lament on life in the military, “Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning,” most
of the songs were somewhat melancholy. For those of us who think there’s
nothing better than getting caught up on a stream of emotion, this was a most
satisfying evening.

Williams has the powerful voice and precise delivery that are essential for tender songs that touch our heart.. This is as true for the international World War II
ballad, “Lily Marlene,” as it is for Frank Wildhorn’s “I Never Knew His Name”
from the 1998 musical, “The Civil War.”

Many of the songs in Carried Awayare about love. And where there is love
there is yearning: Legrand and Bergman’s “Windmills of Your Mind,” Jerry
Herman’s “And I Was Beautiful,” Legrand and Gimbal’s “I Will Wait for You,
”Styne and Cahn’s “Saturday Night Is the Loneliest Night of the Week.” Whoever
chose the songs, whether it was Williams, her director, Tanya Moberly or her
musical director, Daryl Kojak, certainly knew what he or she was doing
In a perfect match to the mood of the show, Williams is backed by bass (Ritt
Henn), violin (John Henry Williams) and piano (Kojak,). This trio produces a
gentle sound that supports the singer but never overwhelms. I was told other
shows will include an accordion, which seems totally appropriate considering
the number of french songs Williams sings. It is something to look forward to.

A 2012 Bistro Award Winner, 2014 Hanson Award Winner, member of the voice faculty
at Manhattan School of Music and adjunct professor in theater and music at
Wagner College, Williams, it is safe to say, is a singer’s singer. But you
don’t have to be a professional to get carried away with this night of
exquisite music.

 Carried Away will be performed Friday, Nov. 4, Tuesday, Nov. 15 and Friday, Nov. 18,
all 7pm, at Don’t Tell Mama, 343 West 46 Street, www.donttellmamanyc.com.