Cynthia’s press reviews

Narration | Cabaret

Diablo Mesa

by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

Cynthia Farrell is the perfect narrator for this action-packed audiobook featuring homicide, government conspiracy, and maybe UFOs. She delivers both male and female voices with aplomb and adds the appropriate urgency when protagonists Nora Kelly and FBI Special Agent Corrie Swanson land in trouble, which occurs fairly frequently. The plot may stretch credulity for some listeners. Lucas Tappan, a really, really rich guy, hires Nora, an archaeologist, and her brother to excavate a site in Roswell, New Mexico, where a UFO supposedly crashed in 1947. The dig uncovers two corpses. Adventure, peril, and romance follow. Farrell keeps the plot as real as possible, and thoroughly engaging. Strap yourself in and enjoy the ride. G.S. © AudioFile 2022, Portland, Maine [Published: JANUARY 2022]


by Hayden Herrera

Listeners will be moved by this poignant memoir of a painful, chaotic childhood, superbly narrated by Cynthia Farrell. Sounding like she wrote the words herself, Farrell conveys Herrera’s evocative depictions of her and her sister Blair’s frequent changes in living situations and schools. They were uprooted from Cape Cod to go to Boston, then to New York, Mexico, and other locales, where they were often left with relatives or paid help for extended periods. Herrera’s parents are self-described “upper bohemians”–born to wealth and privilege and dedicated to lives of adventure, romance, and artistic expression. With a wistful intonation and an unhurried pace, Farrell expresses what Herrera chooses to leave unsaid or understated, illuminating the lasting impact that parental neglect has had on Herrera. M.J. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2021, Portland, Maine [Published: AUGUST 2021]


by James Lawrence Powell

A diverse group of bi- and trilingual voice talents brings a global and journalistic feel to the interview-style chapters that suggest that dikes breaking in Holland and nuclear disasters in China are just around the corner. In the afterword, the author, a geochemist, assures the listener that, although these predictions are presented in a fictional setting, the science and the possibilities are well researched and deadly serious. Relentless indeed. B.P. © AudioFile 2021, Portland, Maine [Published: FEBRUARY 2021]


by Breena Bard

Sound effects and a full cast lift this graphic novel off the page to create an immersive audio experience. While vacationing at her family’s lake house, 13-year-old Gabby, a bookworm, decides to write a mystery story about the old, empty house nearby that is at the center of a celebrity disappearance. When her rebellious neighbor, Paige, pushes Gabby to trespass on the property to hunt for clues, Gabby has to decide how far she is willing to go to uncover a story. Cassandra Morris voices Gabby with youthful innocence that makes her good-girl trepidation all the more believable. Narrator Tara Sands provides the perfect counterpoint with Paige’s tone of jaded cynicism. Other narrators are equally distinct as the various family members and neighbors. S.C. © AudioFile 2021, Portland, Maine [Published: APRIL 2021]


by Phil Klay

MacLeod Andrews, Cynthia Farrell, Henry Leyva, and Anthony Rey each narrate a unique point of view in a novel that focuses on modern warfare, mostly in Colombia. The first-person perspectives feel like eavesdropping in a confessional. The narrators pull from a deep well of emotion as no character in this audiobook remains unscathed by the horrors of war. While each narrator brings his or her character to life, it is Farrell who shines as she portrays the lone female character, whose story begins in Afghanistan and ends in Colombia, with a few stops along the way. Farrell slips in and out of accents and changes genders so fluidly that one can imagine her narrating the entire book. This audiobook is not for the faint of heart, but fans of historical fiction will love it. A.R.F. © AudioFile 2020, Portland, Maine [Published: NOVEMBER 2020] 

Have you seen me?

by Kate White

In this audiobook, listeners join finance journalist Ally Linden as she arrives at her Manhattan office, surprising herself and her former boss because she has not worked there for five years. It quickly becomes apparent that something is very wrong and that Ally has lost part of her memory and is experiencing a dissociative fugue state. Narrator Cynthia Farrell helps build the atmosphere with her accomplished characterization of Ally, highlighting both her strength and confusion as she tries to piece together what has happened to her. This suspenseful thriller is told from Ally’s viewpoint in the present tense, and Farrell’s spot-on pacing helps to ramp up the tension, keeping listeners on the edge of their seats to the end. K.J.P. © AudioFile 2020, Portland, Maine [Published: JUNE 2020]


by Megan Kate Nelson

Cynthia Farrell gives a solid narration of this fascinating and well-written account of the American Civil War in the West. While the main action of the Civil War took place between Richmond and Washington, there was a war west of the Mississippi, and this work looks at the war far west of that–in what is now New Mexico and Arizona. Through the lives of nine people who were in the midst of this drama, we see how the Confederate, Federal, and Native American antagonists interacted and had many divergent, and similar, goals. Farrell’s alto voice is pleasant, and her enunciation good. While her tone is mostly expressive, she occasionally comes across as flat and disengaged. Still, this fascinating account of a relatively unknown theater in the War Between the States is time well spent. M.T.F. © AudioFile 2020, Portland, Maine [Published: MAY 2020]


by Megan Kate Nelson

Cynthia Farrell’s crisp voice suits this history of Yellowstone National Park. Whether carefully pronouncing the Sioux and other Native American languages or telling the many engaging stories of the early 1870s, she narrates with intelligence, a careful cadence, and an actor’s dramatic style. The history is told through three central figures: the financier Jay Cooke, who endeavored to bring the railroad within 50 miles of the proposed park; geologist Ferdinand Hayes, whose 1871 expedition led directly to the 1872 legislation that created the park; and the courageous Sitting Bull, who led his Lakota people in resisting the incursions on their historic lands. The early 1870s, with Reconstruction taking place in the South and Manifest Destiny overtaking the West, provide historian Nelson a vivid backdrop for this audiobook. A.D.M. © AudioFile 2022, Portland, Maine [Published: MARCH 2022]


by Anna North

Cynthia Farrell portrays Ada, a midwife who is unable to conceive in a postapocalyptic America that equates barrenness with witchcraft, in this novel take on the Wild West. Cast out by her husband’s family when she doesn’t become pregnant, Ada’s only hope is to be taken in by an unusual band of robbers led by the Kid, who hopes to create a safe haven for women. Farrell’s narration reflects the novel’s themes, the importance of reproduction and women’s rights, as presented by the characters. In particular, Farrell articulates Ada’s dialogue in strong, clear tones that give the protagonist authority. Her delivery also mirrors the other characters–from Cassie’s high pitch to the Kid’s raspy gender-ambiguous voice. E.J.F. © AudioFile 2021, Portland, Maine [Published: APRIL 2021]


by Matthew Farrell

Narrator Cynthia Farrell has her work cut out for her with the number of characters that drive this complex plot. While Farrell masterfully performs male and female characters, her choice of a deeper voice for Investigator Susan Adler makes it challenging to differentiate her from the male characters. The story is about the mysterious disappearance of an Alzheimer’s sufferer named James Darville, who played a role in the murder of several children decades ago. Interspersed between the scenes of the investigation and the actions of the kidnappers are transcripts read by James himself during his moments of clarity. The twists and turns will have listeners continually questioning whom to believe. E.Q. © AudioFile 2020, Portland, Maine [Published: AUGUST 2020]


by Ellen Carol DuBois

Narrator Cynthia Farrell’s pace and energy engage listeners with this riveting history of the women’s suffrage movement from the mid-nineteenth to the early twentieth century. DuBois’s accomplished writing and Farrell’s magnetic performance capture the accelerating momentum of this national cause as women began leaving the domestic sphere to enter the workforce in increasing numbers. Farrell carries listeners through the movement’s evolution from the formation of suffrage associations through affiliations with trade unions and temperance societies to political protests, labor strikes, arrests, and participation in national and state political parties. The grit, determination, sacrifice, and struggle of leaders such as Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Stone, Alice Paul, and Carrie Chapman Catt come through in Farrell’s narration, as does the dynamic spirit of the movement itself. M.J.
© AudioFile 2020, Portland, Maine [Published: MARCH 2020]

What My Mother and I Don't Talk About

by Michele Filgate

In this audiobook unflinching essayists peel back layers of long-held pain in their lives. Writer/editor Michele Filgate narrates the introduction in a tone of earnestness that pulls the listener in as she reflects on her life-changing essay about being abused by her stepfather, along with the universal expectations of motherhood. Fajer Al-Kaisi, Roger Casey, Janina Edwards, Emily Ellet, Cynthia Farrell, Soneela Nankani, and David Sadzin are the talented narrators who bring us the rest of the essays, which take a searing look at mothers of all types in a range of styles suited to each essay. The more deft performances in this collection also illuminate the subtle role of fathers in filtering or overshadowing a child’s experience of their mother. Listeners will laugh, wince, and maybe cry.

M.R. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine [Published: SEPTEMBER 2019]

She was like that

by Kate Walbert

Four narrators, Cassandra Campbell, Samantha Desz, Cynthia Farrell, and Devon Sorvari, are the perfect ensemble to instill emotion in 12 stories told from women’s perspectives. Characters vary in age, race, sexuality, and status but are connected by a sense of searching. Their agitation is illuminated in defining moments. Sometimes emotions are loud–such as the fear of a mother who loses her child at M&M World. Sometimes they are stated outright as when two mothers talk about their anxiety journals in short back-and-forth commentary in which social unease is masked by words slurred by wine. Other times what is left unsaid, like unrequited love, comes through in well-timed pauses. Each narrator speaks at a good pace in a distinctive tone that lets the author’s imagery shine.

A.L.C. © AudioFile 2020, Portland, Maine [Published: MARCH 2020]

The Secrets We Kept

by Lara Prescott

This ensemble performance of Laura Prescott’s novel, told from multiple points of view, reimagines from a female perspective one of the great Cold War coups–the smuggling into the West and publication in 1958 of Boris Pasternak’s DR. ZHIVAGO. In Washington, the narrators include “The Typists” at CIA headquarters, a young Russian-speaking agent, and a glamorous senior agent suspected of homosexuality. In Russia, the voice is Olga’s, Zhivago’s Lara, whose sufferings parallel and illuminate the fate of each character in the story. The novel’s interacting themes and parallels are wonderfully captured by the accomplished cast, who render these voices with such spirit and comprehension. One caution: The author doesn’t identify the narrator of new chapters; it helps to repeat the first quarter minute or so.

D.A.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine [Published: OCTOBER 2019]

Queen of Bones

by Teresa Dovalpage

Narrator Cynthia Farrell’s mellifluous and confident rendering of Cuban speech patterns alternating with perfectly colloquial American ones gives the listener a delicious sense of having been transplanted to Havana, a treat you couldn’t get from the page alone. In Dovalpage’s atmospheric tale, Juan Chiong returns home 20 years after barely surviving his escape to Florida on a raft. He misses his old flame, Elsa, and has no idea that his best friend, Victor, is now Victoria, host of a prominent drag club. This is not the Cuba that Juan left behind. His prosperous American wife, Sharon, has at the last minute decided to come along precisely because she senses Juan doesn’t want her to. Bad idea. Farrell’s performance is atmospheric and assured, a delightful listen.

B.G. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2020, Portland, Maine [Published: JANUARY 2020]

the Unhoneymooners

by Christina Lauren

Using a wry, minimally inflected tone, narrator Cynthia Farrell ensures that listeners enjoy the tongue-in-cheek humor in this romance. Amy Torres, veteran contest winner, and Dane Thomas get married, using all her prizes. But it’s a disastrous wedding–everyone except Amy’s sister, Olive, and Dane’s brother, Ethan, gets violently sick. And Olive and Ethan don’t like each other, so going on their siblings’ honeymoon proves to be a challenge. Farrell’s matter-of-fact delivery of narrative contrasts with her dialogue–she fully captures Olive’s sharp, snappy tone and Ethan’s laid-back yet snarky comebacks. Farrell emotes throughout the oil-and-water relationship, adding humor and joy to the second half of the story. Deacon Lee narrates the epilogue in a deep, velvety voice to wrap up this rom-com. 

M.B.K. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine [Published: JULY 2019] source

This is how you lose the time war

by Amal El-Mohtar, Max Gladstone

Emily Woo Zeller and Cynthia Farrell’s dual narrations emphasize the divergent personalities of two time-traveling protagonists. Coolly portrayed by Farrell, Red sneers as she sees Blue, her foe, across a burning field. Red realizes that her attempt to alter the future was foiled by Blue, an agent of the opposition in an ongoing war that moves through time. Then, Red receives a letter from Blue–read in a taunting tone by Zeller–and the agents begin a cryptic correspondence as they sabotage each other’s missions. The two narrators deliver the rich and lyrical letters with increasing passion as each agent falls in love with her enemy. We hear their pain as they must choose between betraying each other–or their agencies. Listen, then listen again to unravel this intricate story, beautifully narrated.

E.E.C. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine [Published: JULY 2019] Source

The Cuban Comedy

by Pablo Medina

Narrator Cynthia Farrell becomes young Elena of Piedra Negra, Cuba. The aspiring poet from the country dreams of something other than making the firewater that is her family’s business. Farrell captures the dreamy possibilities of the postrevolutionary period, which is contrasted with the ugly reality of everyone spying on their neighbors. Farrell deftly handles the occasional Spanish words peppered throughout the story, giving the listening experience a musical quality. Fans of world literature will sink into this listening experience as Elena transforms from a country girl to a poet in the city.

M.R. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine [Published: JULY 2019] Source


by Anna Quindlen

Narrator Cynthia Farrell makes this charming look at grandparenting a treat for everyone, especially new grandparents (and parents) everywhere. Channeled by Farrell, former NEW YORK TIMES columnist and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Anna Quindlen plops listeners unceremoniously and often hilariously into her earliest days in grandma mode. From the moment she looks into her first grandson’s eyes, she knows that, should it ever become necessary, she will fight dragons for him. She investigates her perfectly normal yet painful feelings of being displaced, no longer a leading character but a supporting player in her children’s lives. She reminds us that “Nana judgment must be employed judiciously, and exercised carefully.” Farrell delivers Quindlen’s gentle wisdom and worldly wit to perfection, proving herself an expert tour guide through NANAVILLE.

S.J.H. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine [Published: JUNE 2019] Source

The Mueller Report

by The Washington Post

Listening to this comprehensive report is a riveting and fascinating experience, and is made even more interesting by the talented narrators who present it. What’s more, the report is mostly written in a literate, conversational style that allows them to deliver it as a book as opposed to a dry government account. Alternating sections of the report, the narrators have individual strengths–from Gibson Frazier’s clear, accessible voice to Jayme Mattler’s urgent, spirited approach and Prentice Onayemi’s deep pitch and expressive tone. They all uncover the nuances of the report, are able to emphasize key ideas, and pause effectively to allow listeners to digest the information.

R.I.G. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine [Published: JUNE 2019] Source

Weight of Feathers

by Anna Marie Mclemore

Narrators Kirby Heyborne and Cynthia Farrell enhance the beauty of the language in this story. In the two decades since the accident that killed a member of each family, the Palomas and Corbeaus have clashed bitterly as they compete for the biggest audiences. The Hispanic Palomas strive to mesmerize their audiences with beguiling mermaids swimming in lakes and rivers, while the French Corbeaus seek to amaze with their fairies walking the tallest treetops. The narrators depict the meeting and subsequent relationship between Lace Paloma and Cluck Corbeau, flavoring their performances with authentic accents and a tempered pace that matches the magical realism of this star-crossed tale. The dual reading reflects the emotional struggles both teens experience as they fight their feelings, and their families, to stay together.

J.M. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine [Published: APRIL 2016] Source

Such a Perfect Wife

by Kate White

Listening to this comprehensive report is a riveting and fascinating experience, and is made even more interesting by the talented narrators who present it. What’s more, the report is mostly written in a literate, conversational style that allows them to deliver it as a book as opposed to a dry government account. Alternating sections of the report, the narrators have individual strengths–from Gibson Frazier’s clear, accessible voice to Jayme Mattler’s urgent, spirited approach and Prentice Onayemi’s deep pitch and expressive tone. They all uncover the nuances of the report, are able to emphasize key ideas, and pause effectively to allow listeners to digest the information.

R.I.G. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine [Published: JUNE 2019] Source

Shoot like a Girl

by Mary Jennings Hegar

Refusing to give up in the face of military sexism, MJ—author Mary Jennings Hegar—becomes an Air National Guard helicopter pilot, serving three tours in Afghanistan and receiving a Purple Heart for heroism. Despite her accomplishments, however, she continues to encounter gender prejudice when she returns to the U.S. Narrator Cynthia Farrell’s almost masculine timbre captures Hegar’s innate toughness without losing sight of her pride in being a woman. Slight changes in accent and inflection serve to differentiate the many male characters, sympathetic and otherwise, who surround the young pilot. Farrell lends immediacy and humanity to an inspiring wartime memoir.

C.M.A. © AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine [Published: SEPTEMBER 2017] Source


by Kathleen Kent

This entry in contemporary crime fiction by a historical novelist may remind listeners of the Sara Paretsky series: good writing, sexual polemics, clear adversaries. Brooklyn cop Betty Rhyzyk and her girlfriend relocate to Dallas, Texas, where Betty battles with culture shock and a series of complex cases. Narrator Cynthia Farrell is an asset, handling the Texas accents well, particularly that of a hyper-religious, grandma-like cult leader. Farrell enunciates the latter trait in this character–making her tone one of tolerant, sweet reason as she actually dispenses a mix of doctrinal idiocies and scary maternal advice. Both Kent and Farrell make it clear that the Betty is a strong, complex–and sometimes implacable–woman. In her situation, she has to so be.

D.R.W. © AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine [Published: MAY 2017] Source

What Motivates Getting Things Done

by Mary Lamia

Dear Michele Cobb (of MMB Media/VP Audiofile Magazine) ,

Yesterday I discovered that my book, What Motivates Getting Things Done: Procrastination, Emotion, and Success, is on Audible. I was quite apprehensive as I downloaded the audiobook. Although I am a psychologist and professor, I also hosted a talk show on Radio Disney stations for nine years and there I became familiar with the world of voice acting. Adding to my trepidation during the download was a recent disappointing experience with my publisher who inadvertently ran out of books 3 weeks following the release, with none available until mid-September (Amazon had to cancel pending orders). Clearly, I needed some activation of joy that seemed to be as unavailable as my book.

Cynthia Farrell’s voice not only brought my book to life, but gave me profound pleasure. Her narration was exceptional and her prosodic excellence is unmatched. As someone who has researched emotions and understands how they are conveyed in vocal rhythms and tones, I have firm conviction that Cynthia Farrell will garner the interest and attention of those who listen to the book. As an example, I later handed the headset to my husband, simply asking him to listen “for a minute” to the narration. He ended up in an easy chair with a smile on his face, asking for more time when I wanted it back. Clearly, Cynthia Farrell’s cadence and intonation are mesmerizing. Moreover, in the book are two brief sentences in Italian. Since my parents spoke to each other in Italian throughout my childhood, the narration of those words was important to me; specifically, the flow and pattern of sounds. I skipped to those sentences in the last chapter and again listened with a critical ear. I felt at home. Yet in listening to that chapter I also noticed an important subtlety: Through her voice Cynthia Farrell captured how the last chapter of the book is significantly more personal than the rest.

Thus, I want to express my wholehearted appreciation to Audible for choosing Cynthia Farrell as the narrator for my book. If I eventually find the energy to write a sixth book, I would love to have Cynthia Farrell be my voice.

Mary Lamia

Mary C. Lamia, Ph.D.


For Real 2.0

by Joel Benjamin | April 14, 2014

Cynthia Farrell took the stage at the Metropolitan Room on April 10th with the determined tread of a tough cookie, her sharp features emphasized by a pixie hairdo, but when she opened her mouth to sing she revealed vulnerability and pathos. Her successful professional career, which includes dubbing a voice for an immensely popular foul-mouthed video game character, was nearly undermined by a deteriorating marriage which began, like most, as a true romance.

Stephen Schwartz’s “Chanson” evoked her contentment in everyday pleasures while “100 Years” (Five for Fighting) went even further in its suggestion of life’s wonders at every age. Both songs were sung in a soft but deep voice, savoring every emotion. She used her tenderly rendered “Loving You” (Sondheim) and “I Have a Love” (Bernstein/Sondheim) to express her almost blind dedication to her soon to be ex, the latter sounding more weary than passionate. She visited her Latino side in Roman Rojas’ “Oscuridad” and mentioned some very poor advice her mother gave her which brought Ms. Farrell’s marriage only closer to dissolution.

Her “Both Sides Now” (Joni Mitchell) was slow and, for once, had deep personal resonance while her interpretation of Sondheim’s “Move On,” though superficially upbeat, was acted with just a touch of desperation. Michel Legrand’s “Piece of Sky,” the title character in Streisand’s Yentl’s anthem, was stripped of overwrought emotions with which it’s usually performed and given a small-scale intensity that registered like a lasar beam in the confines of this small cabaret room.

Her yearnings came through loud and clear in Sondheim’s “Being Alive.” But, it was a sweet, lovely “Blackbird” (Paul McCartney) that ended the program on a quiet note.

The arrangements by her music director/accompanist Fran Minarik were sophisticated, often creating exciting tension between the vocal and piano lines. His versions of these well-known songs were always fresh.

Read the full review here

For Real

by Stephen Sorokoff "A Voice to be Heard"

Usually the thick velvet curtains that separate the bar area from the performance room of the Metropolitan Room prevent you from hearing a vocalist. Not so with Cynthia Farrell. Her thick velvet dexterous and powerful voice resounded gloriously in all corners of this famed 22nd street bastion for singers.  The title of her show says a lot, “For Real” and Cynthia is definitely the real deal. The intensity and earnestness she brings to her performance can at times be quite mesmerizing.  Check her out, you’ll be treated to a “real” voice singing some of those Broadway “real’ songs.

Source: Times Square Chronicles | Article no longer available

A Piece on Cynthia Farrell

by Mark Dundas Wood | June 29, 2013

With her smooth, controlled, powerful voice, her deep concentration, and her diligent attention to enunciation and phrasing, Cynthia Farrell, now making her cabaret debut at Don’t Tell Mama, is a talent to keep a sharp eye on. The emotional intensity she can bring to a song, along with the way she pronounces certain words while singing, call to mind the spell-weaving early work of Jane Olivor. At one point in the evening, Farrell notes that she’s “half Mexican.” But there’s something in the way she sings certain phrases that sounds Irish (something her surname would support). Whatever her heritage, she’s a singer with presence.

The highlight of the set is a moving, flawlessly executed medley of Stephen Sondheim’s “Loving You” and Leonard Bernstein and Sondheim’s “I Have a Love.” Every note of the medley is full-bodied, assured, and lovely. Together, the pair of songs becomes a confession of romantic obsession and a coming to terms with that obsession. Farrell smiles at moments at the hopelessness of her overpowering devotion, but it’s a wise smile—and therefore a slightly sad one.

Farrell’s program has an autobiographical slant. She and writer-director James Horvath have created a story arc about finding love, starting a family, having it all fall apart, and then rebounding through a program of self-reflection and inner-strength building. It’s a familiar tack, of course, to build an act around one’s personal journey. It’s not what I would have recommended for a debut show, but for the most part, Farrell makes it work—although the narrative thread gets lost during parts of the program. The most interesting use of a song in service of her personal tale is the repurposing of Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg’s “Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead” as a celebration of the exorcism of the witch-like part of her personality that emerged following the collapse of her marriage This song is the lightest fare of the evening—and the jazz-inflected arrangement gives Farrell a chance to do some sprightly scat singing. On the night I saw her, “Ding-Dong!” was a crowd pleaser.

Not all of the selections are as effective. I believe this is due in part to some of the arrangements by musical director and pianist Fran Minarik, which tend to be heavy on dissonance and a kind of edgy, experimental quality that sometimes proves distracting. For instance, the opening number, Bernstein and Sondheim’s “Something’s Coming,” is outfitted with a kind of avant-garde boogie-woogie underpinning that doesn’t serve the singer at all. Here I felt Farrell was swimming upstream against the current of Minarik’s playing.

But—like the Sondheim/Bernstein medley—other selections, such as the trembling-with-emotion “100 Years” (John Ondrasik), are delivered in a graceful, resonant voice. Farrell gets to show off her talent for belting on two forceful numbers that close the program: Sondheim’s “Being Alive” and Michel Legrand and Marilyn and Alan Bergman’s “A Piece of Sky.” I would have advised her to pick one of these and discard the other in favor of something less bombastic. She does return to a quieter mode for her encore, Lennon and McCartney’s “Blackbird.” There are some moments of phrasing in that number that suggest that Farrell would do well to add some blues-oriented selections in future shows. I’d also like to hear what she can do with something in a swinging, lilting key—perhaps some up-tempo Gershwin or Berlin. As with her inclusion of “Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead,” such additions might offset the dramatic selections, thereby making them seem even stronger and more poignant.