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Simple Dreams – The Songs of Linda Ronstadt

Ron Lee Theatre Reviews

Conceived and performed by Angela Ayers

The Camelot Lounge, Marrickville

Reviewed by Ron Lee, CSP

It takes an extraordinary set of pipes and powerful stage presence to credibly pay tribute to one of the most talented, popular and respected performers of the past fifty years, a singer who excelled in folk, rock, pop, musical theatre and opera.

Angela Ayers, who is acknowledged as one of the most outstanding performers in Australian musical theatre, took on the challenge. She has performed to universal acclaim in West Side Story, The Rocky Horror Show, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Cabaret, A Chorus Line and Chicago, and was a stand-out in Guys and Dolls, even though she shared the stage with Nancye Hayes, Anthony Warlow and the great Ricky May.

Linda Ronstadt songs such as Blue Bayou, Poor Poor Pitiful Me, Different Drum, It’s So Easy, When Will I Be Loved?, It Doesn’t Matter Anymore, You’re No Good, Desperado and a dozen others are in this packed show in which we learn more about the life and career of Linda Ronstadt.

The last time I saw Angela Ayers perform live was in 1986 when she played Sarah in Guys and Dolls, and I wondered if she’s still in possession of that amazing voice. Long and extensive singing experience is often accompanied by earth-shaking vibrato, but Ayers’ is powerful and she hits every note with absolute certainty.

The musos are a very experienced quartet that plays with seemingly effortless skill. It makes a massive difference to a show when the main performer can rely on the band. I sometimes see singers turn around waiting for the band to come in, but micro-management is not needed here.

The support vocalist is Monique Morrell who performed a high energy version of Back in the USA. Ronstadt did it in the extremely compelling 1987 documentary film, Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll in which her guitarists were none other than Chuck Berry and Keith Richards.

It’s rare that I would go to see a show more than once, but I would experience Simple Dreams – The Songs of Linda Ronstadt again, such is the appeal of the music and the talent of Angela Ayers.


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