By: Paulanne Simmons
September 25, 2023: Lila Day’s More of the Same at Pangea is her second cabaret show. Once again Kristine Zbornik directs, this time with Daryl Kojak at the piano providing musical direction. The stories have not changed much. But if this was more of the same, those in the audience who didn’t see the first show probably regretted what they missed.
Day is equally at home with pop songs and Broadway ballads. She knows how to pull at your heartstrings and tickle your funny bone. She can be coy and honest, disillusioned and hopeful. Most of all she can really make a song her own.
Day weaves together Broadway’s iconic showstoppers, such as “What Did I Have that I don’t Have” from On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, “Make Someone Happy” from Do Re Mi,” and a medley of songs from Gypsy, with pop hits like Leiber and Stoller’s “Is that All There Is?” and makes them part of her own life story.
Having lived in the same New York apartment for nineteen years, and been at the same job for thirteen, her story is more about soul searching than adventure. What does it mean to be a woman she asks in Ron Miller and Kenneth Hirsch’s searing ballad, “I’ve Never Been to Me.” Why do we choose the people we do she questions in “I’m a Fool to Want You.” How do we deal with pain she wonders in “And So it Goes.”
Day also knows how to celebrate the joys of life. With the help of Paul Simon’s “The 59th Street Bridge Song” and Kander and Ebb’s “First You Dream,” she lets us know that life is, after all, a gift.
Remarkably, considering her stage presence and excellent voice modulation, Day has only been on the cabaret scene for a few years. We can only believe, in the words of Carolyn Leigh. the best is yet to come.
More of the Same at Pangea, 178 2nd Ave., Sept. 23.