Regional Reviews: San Francisco/North Bay
Brooke Michael Smith appeared at Feinstein's at the Hotel Nikko on June 22. This extremely talented artist has vibrant and resilient vocal cords and she is a composer, too.
Brooke hails from Saint Louis, Missouri, where at age of 8 she started singing and writing music. At the turn of the millennium she picked up songwriting again and singing harmonies with two prominent San Francisco bands. Brooke appeared at the 2014/2015 St. Louis Cabaret Conference and had the pleasure of working with Faith Prince and Christine Ebersole. Faith Prince was interested in her and she directed her performance at Feinstein's. Brooke is a regular performer at Society Cabaret and Martuni's piano bar, and has been named San Francisco's Best New Cabaret Artist for 2016.
In her show The Girl I Meant to Be, Brooke sang a wide-ranging collection of 18 songs, from musical theatre melodies to pop to her original indie-folks songs. She also told personal stories of her growing up to the present.
The artist started her performance with "Colored Lights" from Kander and Ebb's The Rink and segued into "The Girl I Meant to Be" from Secret Garden. She gloriously belted out "Journey to the Past" from the new musical Anastasia. She had pitch perfect resonance singing her own compositions, "Next-door Boy," "Crooked," and "You Are Not Alone." She was heartfelt singing "How to Return Home" and exquisite singing Sara Bareilles' "Let the Rain" and "She Used to Be Mine." Brooke did a humorous reading of Nikko Benson's "I Could Be Jewish for You."
Brooke shared the stage with Amee Miles on "What Is This Feeling" from Wicked, and both were harmoniously energizing. She also shared the stage with husband Dan Smith on the witty "I Love You Lullaby" from "The Maya Rudolph Show."
Bottom Line: The Girl I Meant to Be was a wonderful, well-crafted show featuring the amazing singing voice of Brooke Michael Smith and marvelously directed by Faith Prince.
Brooke Michael Smith appeared one night only, June 22, 2017, in The Girl I Meant to Be at Feinstein's in the Hotel Nikko San Francisco. See their upcoming line-up at www.feinsteinssf.com.