WHEN THE DIVA COMES OUT IN SNEAKERS ...Byline: Marla Matzer Staff Writer
Armed with wit, a pretty, expressive voice and a terrifically talented accompanist, B.J. Ward captivated cap·ti·vate
tr.v. cap·ti·vat·ed, cap·ti·vat·ing, cap·ti·vates
1. To attract and hold by charm, beauty, or excellence. See Synonyms at charm.
2. Archaic To capture. a nearly full house Sunday with her ``Stand-Up stand·up or stand-up
1. Standing erect; upright: a standup collar.
2. Taken, done, or used while standing: a standup supper; a standup bar. Opera'' at West Hollywood's Tiffany Theaters. The 5 p.m. show was breezy and entertaining, even if it did get off to a slightly clunky start.
Ward takes the stage with no fanfare, wearing a dressy dress·y
adj. dress·i·er, dress·i·est
1. Showy or elegant in dress or appearance.
2. Smart; stylish.
dress suit and black sneakers sneakers
US, Canad, Austral & NZ canvas shoes with rubber soles
sneakers npl (US) → zapatos mpl de lona; zapatillas fpl . With her is accompanist Joseph Thalken. Ward could probably use more of a divalike entrance to get the show rolling. She seemed to rush and stammer stam·mer
A speech disorder characterized by hesitation and repetition of sounds, or by mispronunciation or transposition of certain consonants, especially l, r, and s.
To speak with a stammer. her way through the first few jokes before getting her footing.
Also, the jokes and arias in the first 15 minutes or so were familiar to those who have seen Ward here before or heard her album, ``Stand-Up Opera,'' recorded at Pasadena's Ambassador Auditorium Ambassador Auditorium is located on the Maranatha High School campus (the former campus of Ambassador College) in Pasadena, California, USA. It was built under the guidance of Herbert W. in 1995. The first jokes were also undermined by the rushed delivery. But by her introduction to her third aria - which humorously instructed the audience on the fine art of timing one's shout of ``Bravo!'' - Ward hit her stride and never lost it.
Between jokes, Ward performed some very famous arias, including ``Sempre libera'' from ``La Traviata'' and ``Seduidilla'' from ``Carmen Carmen
throws over lover for another. [Fr. Lit.: Carmen; Fr. Opera: Bizet, Carmen, Westerman, 189–190]
See : Faithlessness
the cards repeatedly spell her death. [Fr. .'' Her warmth and acting talent more than compensated for some minor shortcomings A shortcoming is a character flaw.
Shortcomings may also be:
In some ways, she was most effective on the two least-known works: ``To This We've Come'' from Gian Carlo Menotti's ``The Consul'' and ``Ain't It a Pretty Night!'' from Carlisle Floyd's ``Susannah.'' Singing both these songs in English, Ward was really able to make them meaningful to the audience.
Thalken, Ward's new accompanist, is a splendid addition. Not just a fine and sensitive player, he also has a nice voice and great comedic flair. He was an excellent straight man for Ward in a couple of instances, including singing a small bit from fictional Swiss opera that extolled the virtues of being neutral and wearing a nice watch.
The biggest treat of the evening, though, came about three quarters of the way through the briskly paced show when surprise guest Michael Smith - a native Angeleno with an impressive baritone voice - joined Ward on stage for ``Bess, You Is My Woman Now'' from Gershwin's ``Porgy porgy (pôr`gē), common name for members of the Sparidae, a family of small-mouthed fishes with strong teeth adapted for crushing their food of shellfish and crustaceans. and Bess.''
After their duet, Ward introduced him and told the audience they'd be ``hearing a lot'' from Smith. She's right - and her inclusion of Thalken and Smith in her program shows that, in addition to her own gifts, Ward is confident enough to share the stage with other talented musicians and has a keen eye for talent as well.
The show: ``Stand-Up Opera.''
Playing: Tiffany Theaters, 8532 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood.
The stars: B.J. Ward, accompanied by Joseph Thalken.
Behind the scenes: Directed by Gordon Hunt. Produced by Tammy Taylor.
Running time: About one hour, 30 minutes, not including intermission.
When: Thursdays through Sundays through Sept. 12.
Tickets: $25 to $30, available through the Tiffany box office, (310) 289-2999.
Our rating: Three stars.
PHOTO B.J. Ward puts a humorous spin on well-known arias in ``Stand-Up Opera,'' at the Tiffany Theaters through Sept. 12.