Erin Granfield most recently played the inimitable Louise in “Always…Patsy Cline” by Creative Cauldron during this past June and July. She is a Helen Hayes-nominated actor for “On Air,” which premiered at Creative Cauldron in 2019. Last Friday, those of us in attendance were lucky enough to be held in thrall by her voice, and by her musical co-conspirators, Refiye Tappan and Dakota Taylor.
What we all need now is more evenings like this – sitting in a park and listening to beautiful music.
Although I have seen her in the two shows mentioned above as well as “Nevermore,” her voice this past Friday was a complete revelation. From contralto to hitting a high-C with ease, Granfield has a voice that envelops and uplifts. Plus, she can hold a note for a very long time, and then stop on a dime or swoop into the next one. The vocal acrobatics were impressive.
They were also beautifully controlled. Granfield has a big voice. She can belt with the best of them, even through she is a classically trained singer. She’s not brassy; that instrument carries and she can modulate to a plaintive yearning whisper when the material calls for it.
The playlist for this original cabaret was selected by Granfield and orchestrated by keyboardist and music director, Refiye Tappan (she was also music director for “Always…Patsy Cline”). Percussion was deftly handled by Dakota Taylor. The songs were from the American standards playbook, musical theatre, country (including Patsy Cline) and some of Granfield’s favorites from other genres. The songs were also personal in that they traced, in music, the last 18 months of this pandemic for Granfield.
The highlight was “They Don’t Let You in the Opera (if You’re a Country Star),” by Dan Lipton and David Rossmer. Granfield just brought down the house with this number. It had everything — country, opera, pathos, striving, losing, getting back up and trying again, and winning that brass ring. It is also one of the funniest and earthiest songs I have ever heard. Let’s just say that childbirth can make one hit those high-Cs, hold them, and then hit them again.
This was a delicious evening. The rain held off, the three artists were fabulous, and the production was smooth. What we all need now is more evenings like this – sitting in a park and listening to beautiful music.
Running Time: The shows are approximately one hour and 15 minutes without intermission (with encore).
Creative Cauldron has more cabarets scheduled at Cherry Hill Park and Community Center in Falls Church. For more information, please click here.