Oh Doris Dear, “MORE” is never enough for us!
“Doris Dear’s MORE Gurl Talk”
On the heels of her Telly Award-winning streaming series “Doris Dear’s Gurl Talk”, the show filled with stories, interviews with some of Broadways brightest, and totally fab cocktail recipes, Doris brings us a new theatrical concert-show filmed at The Triad Theater in NYC, “Doris Dear’s MORE Gurl Talk”
We’ve followed Doris Dear and her musical journey for several years now. From solo shows to holiday variety shows, Doris always brings us to a place of retro nostalgia with a twist. We’ve said it many times, we always leave a Doris Dear show with a smile on our face.
Doris’s Tender Stories
Doris has taken some of the best bits from her other shows and combined them with new material and music to create a unique theatrical experience. This show is fully scripted and has more stories of her parents Taffy and Duke. It has also added in some tender mentions of her sister Nancy who passed away suddenly just a few years ago. Doris has a way of catching us off guard in her shows. She has a habit of juxtaposing light-hearted readings from books and magazines with deep-seated family stories and this show is “chock a block” full of that (as Doris would say!).
The musical numbers in the show always come directly out of her stories, which is never an easy task. The stories are generally of another time in NYC combined with life with her family. From the touching version of “Somewhere That’s Green” to the oddly funny “Schrafft’s”, (Did anyone know there was a song about Schrafft’s?!) I always look forward to her singing. Doris has a voice that fills the room at full belt. However, it also caresses us when needed with a lighter tone such as with her heartfelt “You’re My World” or the touching “I’m Becoming My Mother”. Her final rendition of “I’ll Plant My Own Tree” must be heard. That last note is a killer and Doris doesn’t shy away from it and belts it for all its worth. I even found myself cheering by the end!
Life Lessons Served with a Cocktail
Doris’s shows are all about family and how growing up in a positive environment really sets us on a strong path in life. The show is about 75 minutes in length and has an intermission about three-quarters of the way through, which gave me time to refresh my cocktail, which by the way is a Doris Dear favorite, a Whiskey Sour (recipe taken from her own website!)
There comes a truly unexpected moment when she tells what is clearly an emotional story of her father Duke having an affair. It’s mixed beautifully and artfully within the song “I Can’t Be New”, written by the acclaimed singer-songwriter, Susan Werner. Doris promised us some deeper delving into her life, and here it is, served as only Doris can. This can’t be an easy story to tell I would suspect, but it’s respectful and sincere. The moment caught me off guard, but it ends up in a lesson of love. One of the great strengths of Doris is how she combines her retro-campy drag style with touching meaningful stories. She really brings us an entertaining musical journey of a show.
Doris’s Musical Counterparts
This is a solo show, but there’s a special appearance by the great all gal group “Those Girls”. They bring a special moment to Doris by saluting her sister Nancy in a fun way that could only happen during this Covid world… they actually call in! “Those Girls” have appeared before in a Doris Dear show and it was a nice surprise to hear them sing a fun version of “Chattanooga Choo Choo”. Their modern twist to older material is joyful and playful and is brought to the show through this new Covid virtual reality!
Doris has a new musical director, Blake Allen, who makes Doris shine even more brightly than in the past. The band is made up of Magda Kress on Bass, Rob Guilford on drums, and Michael Raposo on reeds. The sound is pitch-perfect, and Mr. Allen’s compositions enrich the show with a slightly nostalgic feel while still keeping it modern. The pairing seems fresh and new. I am hoping they stick together for more shows. Mr. Allen wrote the theme song to Doris’s series and apparently it’s a streaming hit album! Furthermore, direction by Lina Koutrakos is on point. Lina has been directing Doris for years now, and it obviously works well.
“America’s Perfect Housewife”
This is definitely a more theatrical show than what Doris Dear usually gives us. I hope she continues to create these new experiences and broadens what the idea of “cabaret” is. It’s a well-crafted “theatrical concert” that filled my heart with joy from start to finish. Doris Dear, you truly are “America’s Perfect Housewife”. We thank you for sweeping clean the dust and dirt from the past year and giving us a fresh start! I look forward to seeing Doris Dear in person at her Holiday show which is always a sold-out success in December at The Triad Theater. Please Doris Dear, keep giving us “MORE”!
“Doris Dear’s Gurl Talk” is streaming 2 seasons now on Broadway on Demand, and “Doris Dear’s More Gurl Talk” is a pay-per-view available through June 30th. The streaming service is available on Apple TV and Roku. Follow Doris Dear at dorisdear.com and IG @DorisDearNY.
For more on Doris Dear from Downtown, click here.