The Jon Weber Show
Don’t Tell Mama, NYC, December 29, 2017
Reviewed by Bart Greenberg for Cabaret Scenes
In the last of her series of six shows over the last few months of 2017, each with a different accompanist and a different theme, Tanya Moberly joined forces with brilliant jazz pianist Jon Weber for a tribute to Harry Nilsson, the songs he wrote, the songs he sang, and the songs other people wrote about him. It was a raucous, joyous evening.
Moberly has a wide-ranging talent that can offer up a bawdy “Makin’ Whoopee” one moment and a delicate “What’ll I Do?” the next. Her great strength is her connection with the audience—she clearly enjoys the partnership of artist and audience that is the essence of cabaret.
Weber matched Moberly’s skill with his own, slyly inserting musical jokes (a quote from “We’re in the Money” in the aforementioned “Makin’ Whoopee”), providing backup vocals on several other numbers, and providing musical support of the singer’s at times eccentric phrasing.
Moberly clearly loves the subject of the show, offering up some marvelous versions of “1941,” “The Puppy Song,” and “Open Your Window” among others. Her delivery of “Joy” was a comic masterpiece. Other highlights included a tribute from Eric Idle (“Harry”), several Beatles songs (Lennon & McCartney and Nilsson shared a mutual admiration society), and two wonderful selections by Bill Martin (“Fairfax Rag” and “City Life”) that offered fascinating views of the world.
At the end of the evening, Moberly declared, “I love my life! I love what I do!” and it is easy to believe that she does.