I met Hilary Ann Feldman at cabaret camp, and it was clear that she was a force to be reckoned with. I was bowled over with her dedication to her craft, her active research in both discovering new material and learning more about the history of songs she knows. So, it was an extra-special compliment when during the Perry-Mansfield student show, her introduction of me included the phrase “…if Google wore glasses…”
Hilary teaches and performs regularly in the Chicago area, has gotten new management and is working on expanding her performing in new areas, thus the gig at the Metropolitan Room.
She performed her most recent show, High Standards, her personal exploration of the notion of a “standard” song. This gave her range to cover music from Irving Berlin to contemporary writers. I was thrilled to finally see her version of The Girl in 14G which allowed her to demonstate her amazing chops as storyteller, operatic soprano and jazzer.
Hilary is one of the most casually competent performers I know. She makes incredibly difficult material look like a snap and manages to pack in a lot of substance in a straightforward, unintimidating style. (Although part of me wonders if she would get more credit as a performer if she didn’t make her work look quite as effortless.) The always-amazing Beckie Menzie served as music director for the show.