THEATER | DANCE | CLASSICAL MUSIC | OPERA | COMEDY

NORTH TEXAS PERFORMING ARTS NEWS

2019 FESTIVAL OF INDEPENDENT THEATRES

Jodi Crawford Wright

FIT Review: Songs My Mama Taught Me

Jodi Crawford Wright charms us with old tunes and sweet stories in her latest cabaret, Songs My Mama Taught Me. 



published Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Photo: Courtesy
Jodi Crawford Wright

Dallas — Popular Dallas singer and musical theatre performer Jodi Crawford Wright introduces her latest cabaret-style show, a charmer titled Songs My Mama Taught Me, at this year’s Festival of Independent Theatres.

Before Wright steps to the mike, her accompanist Scott Ayers, himself a sought-after pianist in theatre and concert venues throughout the Metroplex, warms up the stay-late FIT audience with some sharp piano-bar joy.

Wright enters in a nightclub-black dress and turns on a warm, friendly smile—doubtless something else learned from her mother. Reminiscing about early childhood, she talks about how her mother loved watching The Lawrence Welk Show with its melodic, old-fashioned music. She sings an evocative medley of familiar songs, including “Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Old Oak Tree,” “I Can’t Smile Without You,” and “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head.” 

Wright’s true, forthright soprano voice enfolds the familiar tunes and infuses emotion into lyrics that range in time from the late 1950s to the 1980s. She tells us that her mother taught the children all her favorite songs as they grew up, and sang them to sleep every night. 

Some of them were Girl Scouts, and so knew lots of camp songs drawn from folk music too. Wright sings “Put Your Little Foot,”  “Lavender Blue,” and “Mares Eat Oats and Does Eat Oats,” and confesses that like most of us Scouts, she never got the lyrics right until she was an adult and saw the words in print. Her mother put the children to bed at night with—you guessed it—“So Long, Farewell,” from The Sound of Music.

Wright embellishes her nostalgic serenade with funny, sweet stories about Mama, who gave advice freely and liked songs that encouraged an upbeat attitude. She had an inclination to see the good in all people, and the bright side to just about any catastrophe confronting her.

The singer credits her own essential optimism to her mother’s happy nature—which shone through in the songs she taught her. Little Jodi learned all the words to “Ac-CEN-Tchu-Ate the Positive” before she had to deal with the negatives of the wide world, safe in the happy domestic aura created by her parents and their musical leanings.

We get a stroll through Wright’s adolescence with a funny riff on the very minimal talk her mom gives her about menstruation. She’s terrified when she does get her period, and only barely recovers in time for the humiliation of a first bra fitting for a well-endowed young lady. Every woman in the audience laughed in sympathy at the memory.

Surprising is Wright’s revelation that Mama the Lawrence Welk fan also adored Willie Nelson, and played his tapes in the family’s big Chevy van on road trips. Wright brings deep, direct emotion to “Whiskey River” and “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain,” but I missed Willie’s gravelly tones on “Good Hearted Woman.”

Mama was full of old sayings and timeless aphorisms, and she lived by them too. My personal favorite was her smart observation that “Beauty often falls away, but ugly holds its own.” These words sum it up for me, as I think of what I once regarded as unsightly—like old, worn furniture and wrinkled faces—and now regard as glorious patina and beloved character.

Wright tells a few stories of her own experience with a teenage son in another era, and reminds us how each generation affects the next with a quiet, thoughtful rendition of Sondheim’s “Children Will Listen,” from Into the Woods

We’re sent on our happy way with the sing-along polka, “Good Night” that ended Welk’s weekly TV show.

Wright and Ayers deliver a good night, indeed. She’ll be back onstage this September with the Turtle Creek Chorale (she’s a favorite guest artist) at the Morton Meyerson Symphony Center .

 

 

» xxxx is performed:

  • 10 p.m. Friday, July 27
  • 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2

» The 21st annual Festival of Independent Theatres runs through Aug. 3, 2019 at The Bath House Cultural Center. For more information, visit www.festivalofindependenttheatres.org or call 1-800-617-6904.

To see a breakdown of the groups and shows, go here.

To see reviews and more coverage of FIT, see our special section here.

 

2019 FESTIVAL SCHEDULE

*denotes first appearance in the festival

 

 

FRIDAY JULY 19, 2019 (8 PM)

*Flexible Grey Theatre Company – Sky’s the Limit

*WingSpan Theatre Co. – Jo & Louisa

 

FRIDAY JULY 19, 2019 (10 PM)

CABARET

*Jodi Crawford Wright in Songs My Mama Taught Me

 

SATURDAY, JULY 20, 2019 (2 PM)

WingSpan Theatre, Co. – Jo & Louisa

The Very Good Dance Theatre – The 1st Annual Gay Show

 

SATURDAY, JULY 20, 2019 (5 PM)

Flexible Grey Theatre Company – Sky’s the Limit

Lily & Joan Theatre Company – Marilyn, Pursued by a Bear

 

SATURDAY, JULY 20, 2019 (8 PM)

*Audacity Theatre Lab – The Beast of Hyperborea

*Imprint Theatreworks – Dirty Dirty Night Squirrel

 

SATURDAY, JULY 20, 2019 (10 PM)

CABARET

Kathryn Taylor Rose in Nobody Knows What They’re Doing

 

SUNDAY, JULY 21, 2019 (2 PM)

Imprint Theatreworks – Dirty Dirty Night Squirrel

WingSpan Theatre, Co. – Jo & Louisa

 

SUNDAY, JULY 21, 2019 (5 PM)

Audacity Theatre Lab – The Beast of Hyperborea

Flexible Grey Theatre Company – Sky’s the Limit

 

THURSDAY, JULY 25, 2019 (8 PM)

Audacity Theatre Lab – The Beast of Hyperborea

Bootstraps Comedy Theater – Nerve

 

FRIDAY, JULY 26, 2019 (8 PM)

Flexible Grey Theatre Company – Sky’s the Limit

Leos Ensemble – small hours

 

FRIDAY JULY 26, 2019 (10 PM)

CABARET

Jodi Crawford Wright in Songs My Mama Taught Me

 

SATURDAY, JULY 27, 2019 (2 PM)

Leos Ensemble – small hours

Lily & Joan Theatre Company – Marilyn, Pursued by a Bear

 

SATURDAY, JULY 27, 2019 (5 PM)

Imprint Theatreworks – Dirty Dirty Night Squirrel

WingSpan Theatre, Co. – Jo & Louisa

 

SATURDAY, JULY 27, 2019 (8 PM)

The Very Good Dance Theatre – The 1st Annual Gay Show

Audacity Theatre Lab – The Beast of Hyperborea

 

SATURDAY, JULY 27, 2019 (10 PM)

CABARET

Kathryn Taylor Rose in Nobody Knows What They’re Doing

 

SUNDAY, JULY 28, 2019 (2 PM)

Flexible Grey Theatre Company – Sky’s the Limit

Audacity Theatre Lab – The Beast of Hyperborea

 

SUNDAY, JULY 28, 2019 (5 PM)

WingSpan Theatre, Co. – Jo & Louisa

Imprint Theatreworks – Dirty Dirty Night Squirrel

 

THURSDAY, AUGUST 1, 2019 (8 PM)

Bootstraps Comedy Theater – Nerve

The Very Good Dance Theatre – The 1st Annual Gay Show

 

FRIDAY, AUGUST 2, 2019 (8 PM)

Lily & Joan Theatre Company – Marilyn, Pursued by a Bear

Imprint Theatreworks – Dirty Dirty Night Squirrel

 

FRIDAY, AUGUST 2, 2019 (10 PM)

CABARET

Jodi Crawford Wright in Songs My Mama Taught Me

 

SATURDAY, AUGUST 3, 2019 (2 PM)

Imprint Theatreworks – Dirty Dirty Night Squirrel

Audacity Theatre Lab – The Beast of Hyperborea

 

SATURDAY, AUGUST 3, 2019 (5 PM)

Flexible Grey Theatre Company – Sky’s the Limit

Leos Ensemble – small hours

 

SATURDAY, AUGUST 3, 2019 (8 PM)

WingSpan Theatre, Co. – Jo & Louisa

Bootstraps Comedy Theater – Nerve

 Thanks For Reading




Dates, Prices, & Other Details

Comment on this Article

Share this article on Social Media
Click or Swipe to close
FIT Review: Songs My Mama Taught Me
Jodi Crawford Wright charms us with old tunes and sweet stories in her latest cabaret, Songs My Mama Taught Me. 
by Martha Heimberg

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Bruce Wood Dance Harvest Casa Manana Tuck Everlasting The Petite Palace Circus Single Black Female Circle Theatre The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe Ann Wild Party The Sleeping Beauty Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth Dallas Opera Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Stage West Melinda Massie Bruce Wood Dance Harvest Casa Manana Tuck Everlasting The Petite Palace Circus Single Black Female Circle Theatre The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe Ann Wild Party The Sleeping Beauty Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth Dallas Opera Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Stage West Melinda Massie Bruce Wood Dance Harvest Casa Manana Tuck Everlasting The Petite Palace Circus Single Black Female Circle Theatre The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe Ann Wild Party The Sleeping Beauty Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth Dallas Opera Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Stage West Melinda Massie Bruce Wood Dance Harvest Casa Manana Tuck Everlasting The Petite Palace Circus Single Black Female Circle Theatre The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe Ann Wild Party The Sleeping Beauty Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth Dallas Opera Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Stage West Melinda Massie Bruce Wood Dance Harvest Casa Manana Tuck Everlasting The Petite Palace Circus Single Black Female Circle Theatre The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe Ann Wild Party The Sleeping Beauty Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth Dallas Opera Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Stage West Melinda Massie Bruce Wood Dance Harvest Casa Manana Tuck Everlasting The Petite Palace Circus Single Black Female Circle Theatre The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe Ann Wild Party The Sleeping Beauty Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth Dallas Opera Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Stage West Melinda Massie Bruce Wood Dance Harvest Casa Manana Tuck Everlasting The Petite Palace Circus Single Black Female Circle Theatre The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe Ann Wild Party The Sleeping Beauty Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth Dallas Opera Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Stage West Melinda Massie Bruce Wood Dance Harvest Casa Manana Tuck Everlasting The Petite Palace Circus Single Black Female Circle Theatre The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe Ann Wild Party The Sleeping Beauty Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth Dallas Opera Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Stage West Melinda Massie Bruce Wood Dance Harvest Casa Manana Tuck Everlasting The Petite Palace Circus Single Black Female Circle Theatre The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe Ann Wild Party The Sleeping Beauty Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth Dallas Opera Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Stage West Melinda Massie Bruce Wood Dance Harvest Casa Manana Tuck Everlasting The Petite Palace Circus Single Black Female Circle Theatre The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe Ann Wild Party The Sleeping Beauty Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth Dallas Opera Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Stage West Melinda Massie Bruce Wood Dance Harvest Casa Manana Tuck Everlasting The Petite Palace Circus Single Black Female Circle Theatre The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe Ann Wild Party The Sleeping Beauty Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth Dallas Opera Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Stage West Melinda Massie Bruce Wood Dance Harvest Casa Manana Tuck Everlasting The Petite Palace Circus Single Black Female Circle Theatre The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe Ann Wild Party The Sleeping Beauty Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth Dallas Opera Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Stage West Melinda Massie Bruce Wood Dance Harvest Casa Manana Tuck Everlasting The Petite Palace Circus Single Black Female Circle Theatre The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe Ann Wild Party The Sleeping Beauty Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth Dallas Opera Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Stage West Melinda Massie Bruce Wood Dance Harvest Casa Manana Tuck Everlasting The Petite Palace Circus Single Black Female Circle Theatre The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe Ann Wild Party The Sleeping Beauty Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth Dallas Opera Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Stage West Melinda Massie Bruce Wood Dance Harvest Casa Manana Tuck Everlasting The Petite Palace Circus Single Black Female Circle Theatre The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe Ann Wild Party The Sleeping Beauty Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth Dallas Opera Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Stage West Melinda Massie Bruce Wood Dance Harvest Casa Manana Tuck Everlasting The Petite Palace Circus Single Black Female Circle Theatre The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe Ann Wild Party The Sleeping Beauty Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth Dallas Opera Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Stage West Melinda Massie Bruce Wood Dance Harvest Casa Manana Tuck Everlasting The Petite Palace Circus Single Black Female Circle Theatre The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe Ann Wild Party The Sleeping Beauty Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth Dallas Opera Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Stage West Melinda Massie Bruce Wood Dance Harvest Casa Manana Tuck Everlasting The Petite Palace Circus Single Black Female Circle Theatre The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe Ann Wild Party The Sleeping Beauty Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth Dallas Opera Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Stage West Melinda Massie Bruce Wood Dance Harvest Casa Manana Tuck Everlasting The Petite Palace Circus Single Black Female Circle Theatre The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe Ann Wild Party The Sleeping Beauty Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth Dallas Opera Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Stage West Melinda Massie Bruce Wood Dance Harvest Casa Manana Tuck Everlasting The Petite Palace Circus Single Black Female Circle Theatre The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe Ann Wild Party The Sleeping Beauty Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth Dallas Opera Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Stage West Melinda Massie
Click or Swipe to close
reviews
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
audiocasts
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
contests
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
crowdfunding
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
studio
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web



Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:


Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:


TheaterJones Section:


Category:
Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Search
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  



Your Name:
Your Email Adress:


please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :
Submit