Respect: A Musical Journey of Women – Review by Bonnie Goldberg

We’ve come a long way, baby if you can believe the message Vanderbilt professor Dorothy Marcic is proclaiming loudly and clearly in her stand up and take no prisoners presentation “Respect A Musical Journey of Women.” With spirit and vitality, Ct Cabaret in Berlin will be celebrating women, in the home, the workplace and socially, especially as they relate to the men in their lives, weekends until Saturday, November 9th.

In her research, Marcic discovered how accurately the Top 40 tunes on the Hit Parade paralleled the stories of women’s lives from the 1900’s to the year 2000. From a position of co-dependency where men were necessary, even if they were abusive cads, changed over the century. Females slowly but surely gained their voice and stood up for their rights as the decades progressed.

A quartet of female firebrands-Maria Soaft, Emily Gray, Erin Liddell and Erica Whitfield-tell their collective tales in music with snippets to full versions of sixty songs. From “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man of Mine” to the Depression era tunes of “I Wanna Be Loved By You” and “Ain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do,” the mood changes to the accommodating “Que Sera Sera” and “As Long As He Needs Me.” The message is still “Stand By Your Man” and “It Must Be Him” but the anger is starting to bubble to the surface.

The need for empowerment is growing and the music reflects the change. As Rosa Parks embodies the Civil Rights Movement, women gain their feet and are willing and able to use “These Boots…For Walkin.’ “ Songs like “You Don’t Own Me” give strength to battered women and equal rights take their rightful place at the negotiating table. Women like Michelle Obama provide encouragement to the cause.

Soon the powerful foursome is belting out “The Eye of the Tiger,” “I Am Woman,” and “I Will Survive” as a testament to power, strength and sense of self. Kris McMurray directs this resounding tribute to womanhood and the evolution of the gender.

For tickets ($35), call the CT Cabaret, 31 Webster Square Road, Berlin at 860-829-1248 or online at Performances are Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m., with doors opening at 7:15 p.m. Remember to bring goodies to share at your table or plan to buy dessert at the concession stand onsite.

We are women, come hear us roar. Yeah for girl power and women power! Move over, Prince Charming and make room for the independent ladies.