First She Takes Manhattan ** (The Courthouse until Friday, February 29, 2008)

February 26, 2008

Full marks to Jordan Roberts (singer) and Simon Koop (guitarist) for deciding to tackle the great master of poetic music, Leonard Cohen. (This is where I need to declare that I am a Leonard Cohen fan)

This show left me conflicted. On one hand, Jordan has a beautiful voice, which often threatens to break free. I look forward to hearing her in a few years when she has mastered it further.

However, the performance was derailed by choreography that had all the hallmarks of being devised in a bedroom mirror. There was a little hand movement or gesture to illustrate most lines of most songs. This was too much, almost sickly sweet. My suggestion, should this show be further developed, is to hire a director to give impartial, professional feedback on stage presence – the payoff would be substantial because the show does have a sound core.

Some of the phrasing used was intriguing and brave, and Jordan’s insights into her Leonard Cohen journey were engaging.

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