| Moberly performed every song, in order, from Barbra Joan Streisand, a successful album of post-Woodstock songs that were in the air during the early 1970s, and nailed them all. People of a certain age will have recalled them, although they most probably would now find them to be more acceptable. Given the age distribution of Moberly’s fans, the newer “standards” appeared to have plenty of universal appeal.This concert was no pale imitation of Streisand. Tanya Moberly has a style all her own. The voice is wide ranging, and she can be funny and bawdy, often at the same time. Her powerful voice easily projected to the back of the room and beyond. Consequently, the mic was too loud.By opening and closing the first half with Carole King – “Beautiful” and “You’ve Got a Friend” – it was hard to go wrong. John Lennon was represented by “Love” and “Mother,” and Laura Nyro through one of her best-known compositions, “I Never Meant to Hurt You.” Moberly followed Streisand’s approach in pairing “One Less Bell to Answer” with “A House Is Not a Home” (Burt Bacharach & Hal David), an inspired combination that works beautifully. She conveyed every ounce of vulnerability in the emotional lyrics, while Musical Director, Steven Ray Watkins, an exceptional musician and singer, blended perfectly with Moberly’s mood.
Besides lending his theater trained-voice to a gorgeous duet in “You’ve Got a Friend,” Watkins proved to be an outstanding foil in “Sam, You Made the Pants Too Long” (Lewis, Young, Whitehouse & Berle), a 1932 song which Streisand included in her recent Brooklyn concert. Together with a number of other hit songs from Streisand’s early career – “Second Hand Rose,” “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” “My Man” and especially the final number, “Happy Days Are Here Again” – Moberly demonstrated her versatility and that of her subject.
With boundless energy and talent to spare, Moberly is a force of nature! Whether or not she’s an actor who sings, or a singer who acts, Tanya Moberly possesses the most important attribute that every star performer must have – the courage to take risk.
November 14, 2012