Alice Ripley in 'Ripley Reflects'
Las Vegas enjoyed a rare treat this past weekend with the performances of Alice Ripley, legendary Broadway actress, at a new venue called The Space.
Patrons of both nights enjoyed "Ripley Reflects," an intimate opportunity for her to share personal stories about her family and long-spanning career, as well as many of the signature songs she's performed throughout the years.
The venue, a wonderfully intimate black box cabaret, offered impeccable sound to accentuate Ripley's powerful vocals. Pin drop silence was offered throughout the performance, something that doesn't often happen with otherwise distracted patrons of a noisy city.
I noted several New York accents from the patrons as I was waiting for the performance, indicating that they enjoyed her many performances on Broadway as I also have in years past. In short, this evening was nothing short of musical magic, and those in the know were smart enough to show up and experience it.
Ripley had a fun and friendly vibe throughout the show, poking fun at herself at times as well as the business she's enjoyed for many years at this point. When it came to singing, she was all business, offering songs from many of the musicals she's appeared in, including "Side Show," "Les Miserables," "Sunset Boulevard" and "Next To Normal."
There were plenty of highlights, including the hits "On My Own," "Send In The Clowns," and "Carrie." Calling her shots perhaps, she was also forthright with her wishes to play Mama Rose in "Gypsy" by singing the classic tune "Everything's Coming Up Roses."
She was at her most personal and intimate when singing her own songs. "I like to include my original songs to let you know who I am. Otherwise, I'm just a character," she said, using an earnest tone. This was on full display with her song "Rosa," as tears were streaming down her cheeks while singing it. Vulnerable but unquestionably strong at the same time, her powerful performance moved the appreciative audience time and time again. An immediate standing ovation greeted her at the end of the set.
Throughout the performance, Ripley mentioned how much she loved the venue as well as the audiences for both evenings. She even mentioned that she would be open to a residency should the opportunity arise. The audience erupted with approval at the possibility.
Whether that happens or not doesn't matter currently. A handful of theater patrons got to witness the magic. Tony Award winner Alice Ripley chose to reflect in Las Vegas, and we were lucky enough to be invited to experience it.
Alice Ripley performed at The Space, 3460 Cavaretta Court in Las Vegas, Nevada. For more information, contact www.thespacelv.com. For more information on Alice Ripley, contact www.aliceripley.com.