Carol Swarbrick Dries in Port Townsend, Washington

Picture This! Reviews Carol Swarbrick Dries

Star Shines Over Small Town

From Jerome Kern’s tunes from Showboat or the standard ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’…

By Rebecca Redshaw


carolswarbrickdriesIt’s not unusual for ticket prices to be in the three digits for a Broadway show. So, what can you expect when you go to a fundraising concert for a community symphony that usually performs free of charge?

If you were in Port Townsend, Washington on Sunday afternoon June 5th, you were treated to a singer/actor with Broadway credits raising the bar of musical excellence for the hometown folks.

Carol Swarbrick Dries is a veteran of numerous Broadway shows as well as television and movies. Her recent and future projects are as diversified as her latest starring role in the dramatization of Look Homeward, Angel on the East Coast to her upcoming spin as Dolly Levi in the Hello, Dolly on the West Coast.

But when conductor Dewey Ehling approached Carol to appear as the guest artist with the Port Townsend Community Orchestra, she didn’t hesitate.

“I accepted immediately. This is the first time I sang with an orchestra that wasn’t in the pit. The audience level of sophistication surprised me. People everywhere, in the big cities, on the coasts, or in the neighborhood theatre, deserve one’s best effort and, I hope, topnotch entertainment.”

The orchestra’s programming offered traditional light-classical crowd pleasers, marches by Sousa and a waltz by Strauss, but the musicians played at a higher level when the lithe soprano graced the stage.

Comfortable singing Jerome Kern’s tunes from Showboat or the standard Someone to Watch Over Me by George and Ira Gershwin, Carol truly hit her stride in an array of Stephen Sondheim tunes.

Having starred in the tribute show Side by Side by Sondheim on Broadway, Carol owned the sold-out hall with her charismatic interpretations of Broadway Baby and Getting Married Today.

“I revere Stephen Sondheim. There are so many facets to his songs, a singer can always find new levels and I love singing his work.”

Her interpretation of Send in the Clowns left nary a dry eye in the house, including the violin section.

Live performances lend an air of excitement that cannot be matched by the spit and polish of slick, taped productions. If Carol Swarbrick Dries is singing or acting or both on a stage near you, get your ticket early. You won’t be disappointed.