Encore Michigan

‘Sing Happy” at Theatre NOVA leaves you…very happy indeed

Review November 06, 2021 David Kiley

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – “Maybe This Time,” by John Kander and Fred Ebb is full of heart-felt hope, and any time you can hear Liz Jaffe sing it…buy a ticket!

Jaffe made that song her own when she played Sally Bowles in Cabaret at The Dio Dining + Entertainment theatre in Pinckney. Today and tomorrow, she sings it at Theatre NOVA in Sing Happy, a revue of Kander and Ebb music.

Theatre NOVA began the run last weekend, and continues it through tomorrow as a fundraiser for a matching grant from The National Endowment for the Arts.

Jaffe is not the only jewel in the cast of course. John DeMerrell, Justin Scott, K Edmonds, Roy Sexton, Kristin Clark and Diane Hill perform duets and trio songs and group pieces that illuminate the songwriting duo’s best work from Cabaret, Kiss of The Spider Woman, Chicago, New York New York, and other shows.

K Edmonds never disappoints, and her saucy rendition of “When You’re Good To Mama,” is a sassy, fun piece that counterpoints some of the more self-conscious songs like Roy Sexton’s “Mr Cellophane,” from Chicago. The group does a wonderful version of “Cell Block Tango” from Chicago that is normally done by the women in the show, but this mixed gender delivery works just fine and gives some fresh energy to it.

In a tender moment, Hill and her real-life daughter Kristin Clark do “The Apple Doesn’t Fall Very Far From The Tree.”

DeMerrell’s signature song in this show is “I Don’t Remember You,” a song we can all relate to, probably, about a relationship that has slipped over the edge of the horizon, not be recovered. Scott-Bays has a voice and delivery I’d like to see more of around Michigan. His “Sometimes A Day Goes By” is heart-felt and dear.

Just two more chances to see “Sing Happy” today and tomorrow. The Sunday show is sold out. It is 70-minutes without intermission. Vaccine cards or proof of clean COVID-test is required for admission. Socially distanced seating is provided. Masks must be worn during the performance.

It’s a lovely time out.

Week of 5/29/2023

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