On Monday, April 11, 2011, I attended Jim Caruso's "Broadway at Birdland" featuring Lisa Howard to celebrate the release her debut CD "Songs of Innocence and Experience: The Muisc of William Finn." (Lisa's Interview coming soon!)
From the moment Lisa took to the stage and started to sing the audience was entranced until the very end! Lisa did what any great performer does, she left audience wanting more, much, much more! You see, Lisa's voice is so golden and powerful that one could sit and listen to her for hours! Lisa can start a song off quietly and then slowly rise into one of the most beautiful belts I have ever heard or Lisa can start off with her powerful belt and keep it going throughout the whole song...that's just how skilled and talented Lisa Howard is.
Lisa made this very intimate evening even more special by having some special guests perform alongside her including her "25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" co-stars Derrick Baskin and Jessica Snow-Wilson as well as Tituss Burgess (who filled in at the last minute for Sebastian Arcelus). Derrick, Lisa, and Jessica all sang "The I Love You" song from "Spelling Bee," while Lisa and Derrick sang "I Don't Know Why I Love You" from Lisa's album and Tituss joined Lisa for "Song of Innocence and Expereince." Other shining moments came when Lisa sang a new arrangement of "Sailing" from "A New Brain" and "Infinite Joy" from "Elegies." Lisa had a very tender moment after she sang "Hold My Baby Back" as she told the audience this song always gets to her now that she a baby of her own.
What made the evening extra special was the fact that Willam Finn himself was in attendance and seemed delighted by Lisa's interpretation of his music. So if you are looking for an artist with a golden voice whom you can listen to for hours or a nice William Finn collection, then "Innocence and Experience: The Songs of William Finn" is one for your collection!