Cool Summer Evenings is the yin to Theatre Raleigh’s yang, Hot Summer Nights. These concerts, held over the course of several Saturdays during the summer, give local artists the opportunity to take the stage and showcase their talents. On Saturday, July 16th, Theatre Raleigh presented Cool Summer Evenings Georgia Stitt and Friends, featuring singer/composer Georgia Stitt and her guest singers Dan Callaway, Austenne Grey, and singer/emcee Lauren Kennedy.
After a warm introduction, Georgia Stitt took center stage in front of a grand piano. While she tickled the ivories, she shared stories of meeting her husband and falling in love. Then she sang songs from other poets and composers that she admires.
These were Broadway-style show tunes, and we could easily see them being performed as part of a bigger play or production. Stitt told the story behind each composition. For instance, “The Me of the Moment” touched on how one’s choices shape your future; and even when you are not where you thought you would be, you are perfect as you are right now.
“These Two” was about meeting your soulmate, and was written by Georgia Stitt for her now husband, who also happens to be a composer. “Perfect Summer” expressed the joy of being in the moment during a summer in Italy.
The storytelling was engaging, as was the piano. While Georgia Stitt has a lovely vibrato, she could stray off pitch on occasion. However, her warm persona and wonderful piano made up for any brief moments when she strayed off key.
As for her three guest singers, Austenne Grey’s soprano was superb and her timing right on the mark. Her take on “Almost Everything I Need” and “When I Am Dead” were spot-on.
Lauren Kennedy is a witty woman with an engaging smile and warm delivery. She and Georgia Stitt teased each other amicably throughout the evening.
Our favorite singer of the night, however, was Dan Callaway, a tenor whose effortless vocals guided the audience through each story. Callaway’s voice was balanced, full, and rich; and his style polished yet approachable. It was obvious that he had done this before.
In fact, all of the singers were consummate professionals, and the evening was thoroughly enjoyable despite the rain pouring outside. The only sad moment we had was when we were informed that this was the last show in the series, so we will have to await next year’s offerings.
Thank you, Theatre Raleigh. Keep up the great work!
COOL SUMMER EVENINGS: GEORGIA STITT AND FRIENDS (Theatre Raleigh, July 16 in the Kennedy Theatre in Raleigh, NC).
PRESENTER: http://www.theatreraleigh.com/, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Theatre-Raleigh/349124511834045, and https://twitter.com/TheatreRaleigh.
Georgia Stitt (New York City singer/songwriter): http://georgiastitt.com/ (official website), https://www.facebook.com/georgiastitt and https://www.facebook.com/GeorgiaStittMusic (Facebook pages), http://twitter.com/georgiastitt (Twitter page), and http://youtube.com/user/GeorgiaStittMusic/ (YouTube page).
[RUN HAS CONCLUDED.]
Pamela Vesper has been a Raleigh resident for more than 20 years. A local attorney for licensed professionals, when she’s not in court, Pam can be found watching or participating in local theater productions or enjoying the vibrant Raleigh music and craft beer scene. She also loves indie and foreign films and was an anchor on the local cable show, Movie Minutes. Pam has an opinion on just about everything; just ask her. Kurt Benrud is a graduate of Cary High School and N.C. State University, and he has taught English at both. He first became involved in local theater in 1980. He has served on the board of directors for both the Cary Players and the Cary Playwrights’ Forum. He is also a volunteer reader with Triangle Radio Reading Service. Click here to read their reviews for Triangle Review and Triangle Arts and Entertainment.