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Hudson, New York
Local culture
11 June 2013 07:36PM
Enid Futterman-2

Faith Prince ended her Tony night show in the Helsinki-on-Broadway series on Sunday, with two encores, each a perfect example of one of her two faces, and voices: The Boy From …,” the hilarious parody of “The Girl From Ipanema” by Stephen Sondheim and Mary Rodgers, and “Bless Your Heart,” a beautifully quiet and touching song by composer Alex Rybeck and lyricist Ira Gasman.

I confess that I still prefer her true to type—those eyes that grow large on cue, that inherently comic voice and instinctively comic timing. I managed to miss Prince’s ultimate true-to-type song, “Adelaide’s Lament,” from Guys and Dolls, for which I could have shot myself. Thankfully I was there when she played Adelaide on Broadway in 1992, and deservedly won a Tony. But Prince also made “If I Were a Bell” her own, or maybe Adelaide’s, and it not only worked, it worked better.

It’s been said before me that she weaves the kind of musical fabric that makes true cabaret, not just a songlist, however sweet the songs. And though she doesn’t provide the history lesson and lore of an Andrea Marcovicci or Lauren Fox, she tells her own stories very well, especially the very funny tale of a slightly twisted summer stock tour with a happy-ever-after ending.

Prince met one of the boys in her band—Larry Lunetta, who plays a mean trumpet solo—on that stock tour, and married him. Whereupon they produced Henry, her guitarist. And the aforementioned Rybeck, who is also her musical director and makes the sweetest sounds on Helsinki’s very grand piano. All of which adds up to an extended and highly functional family affair.

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