Molly Ringwald gets mixed review for jazz singing gig at Dakota


Music critic Jon Bream took a novel -- make that, scripted -- approach to review actress-turned-jazz singer Molly Ringwald's "shaky" debut appearance at the Dakota Jazz Club Tuesday night in Minneapolis.

In his review for the Star Tribune, Bream said Ringwald -- the star of such '80s teen angst classics as "The Breakfast Club" and "Pretty in Pink" -- "should have enlisted someone like her late, great director John Hughes to give her some sage advice on how to do this jazz singer thing between acting gigs."

Bream used bits of Ringwald's dialogue from the show and then channeled the response through Hughes to break down the 45-year-old performer's Dakota show, where she sang songs from her new CD "Except Sometimes."

As "Hughes," Bream said the show got off to an "awkward start" when Ringwald said, "Usually we're the Molly Ringwald Quartet. But tonight’s it's the Molly Ringwald Trio" -- but failed to explain why the group was its missing its alto saxophonist, a vital part of her new release.

As for her performance, the critic-turned-Hughes said her performance of "I'll Take Romance" suggest Ringwald "knew the lyrics but "didn't know the feelings of the lyrics. With singing songs, it’s not just about rehearsing the tunes, it’s about living the songs and experiencing those feelings when you deliver the tunes."

He did, however, praise Ringwald's interpretation of legendary singer Billie Holiday's "Don't Explain," saying there "was pain in the pauses" in her phrasing" and called it a "penetrating song" that "went deep."

"Loved the way you kept repeating 'don't explain' in a pained voice at the end," Bream (Hughes) said. "This suggests your potential as a jazz singer."

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