Molly Ringwald live - review
The Tuning Fork at Vector Arena
June 13, 2013
Has Molly Ringwald ever had any problems? She’s the sweet teen screen princess that grew up to be a sweet jazz singer. On stage at Vector Arena’s new intimate cabaret-style space, The Tuning Fork, she’s still very much the titian-haired darling of John Hughes 80s films. She’s gorgeous, and warm and chatty between her setlist of Broadway tunes and jazz classics. In selecting these songs she’s putting herself up against Billy Holliday, Nina Simone and Roberta Flack – voices dripping with pain and redemption. Ringwald’s delivery is clear as a bell and effortlessly controlled but lacks that emotion that tunnels a simmering jazz number into your soul. Surely there is some Hollywood-inflicted damage lingering somewhere that she could tap into?
For someone who has lived life in the spotlight Ringwald is surprisingly unaffected. She emerges from backstage wearing a slinky asymmetrical dress with matching scarlet lips and nails. After a tentative start, she hits her stride on ‘I Get Along Without You Very Well (Except Sometimes)’, the title track of her album. Ah, that album. She has it on stage and makes an irritating joke out of holding the CD up several times during the 1.5 hour show, smiling that famous toothy smile. Another highlight is ‘J’attendrai’. Post-teen stardom, Ringwald spend most of her 20s living in Paris and this smooth number perfectly shows off her command of French.
Ringwald is charming company and a bona fide musical talent but it’s inescapable that a proportion of the audience are there to see Molly Ringwald, screen sweetheart. She succumbs for the last number of the night, singing a cover of Simple Minds’ ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’. It doesn’t suit the style of the evening, doesn’t suit her voice and doesn’t sound very good. The crowd love it. After the show there is a long line of contented fans staying behind to get copies of the CD signed. All that shameless plugging worked.