I had seen Lorinda Lisitza do a few impressive numbers in other shows, so I was eager to see what she would do in a program of her own, which has been running at the Metropolitan Room (scheduled performances between May 8 and May 20, 2012). No doubt about it—this talented singer gives off sparks of originality. There is a solid mark of rebelliousness inherent in her work—Lorinda shedding the conventional and singing out in bursts of independence. She has the strong voice and the winsome acting talent for the approach she takes.
Lisitza gets right down to business with a defining song, the surging “Get Out of Here, Move on and Don’t Look Back,” a blistering cry for going out into the world as a sharp change from small-time, redneck confinement. She pours energy and passion into this entertaining statement, which demonstrates her comedic bent.
She later amplifies that humorous side with “Yolanda at the Bottom of the Stairs,” a delightfully sassy and gleeful celebration of vengeance taken at a rival. It’s a number glorying in nasty pleasure, and you feel that Lisitza means every bar of it.
Both these numbers, and all of the other selections in the show, are songs with the music written by her pianist Joe Iconis and lyrics by Robert Maddock. They fit Lisitza’s talent snugly. In addition to Iconis, her musicians are Matt Wigton on bass and Mike Pettry on guitar, mandolin and melodica. Lisitza also works with two backup singers, Liz Lark Brown and Tanya Holt, although as good as they are, in truth Lisitza is so strong she hardly needs any help.
Most of the numbers have a touch of the unusual. “Eddie Got a Color TV” muses on what happens when he did. “The Kind That Falls” surveys the fate of a failed, aspiring Hollywood star. With the amusing “Popular Opinion” Lisitza observes that the higher someone climbs, “the more you see of his ass.” “Camden County Penitentiary” is a lament of moody longing. And so on –Lisitza scanning the world through music.
The title of her encore song “Triumphant Baby!”—also the title of her show-- might symbolize Lisitza herself. At the Metropolitan Room, 34 West 22nd Street. Phone: 212-206-0440.