by Bob Rich
In her production Life, Death & Duran Duran, Ms. Sam Shaber takes us on a wistful, humorous journey, filled with stories and songs about her childhood dreams, her loved ones and her fond memories of the iconic rock group Duran Duran.
She speaks of a friend named Hallie, who thought life was always a wonderful surprise. She recalls when someone said her sweater was cool enough to belong to Duran Duran’s bass player John Taylor, which implied that she herself was as cool as John Taylor. She also describes moments of loss, when loved ones departed.
Sam is a passionate storyteller and a gifted songwriter. What keeps us engaged is the sincere emotion she imbues everything with. The staging is effective. In the background, at house left, slides are projected onto a big screen, showing memories of dear people from her past. At house right, we see a dangling curtain of glittering silver material, onto which blue, gold and purple lights shine in a luminous alternating sequence.
After the performance, Sam told me that her show is about having gratitude for loved ones, and finding joy in sadness. Her perspective is life-affirming.