When Diana Lynn comes to the Talent Factory stage this Friday, May 31, it will be just like “Yesterday Once More.”
For those who loved the ’70s singing sensation Karen Carpenter, and for those who’d like to know more about her, this show is your chance to hear the story and the songs made famous by The Carpenters.
Diana Lynn and her husband Keith Allynn — he will play Richard Carpenter, who was his sister’s accompanist, backup singer and partner in music — will perform at Nevada’s Talent Factory on Friday with a show that starts at 7 p.m.
Lynn grew up in a family of performers; she’s been performing since she was very young. She’s been doing her Karen Carpenter tribute show, “Carpenters Once More,” for the past five years. “People always said, ‘You sound just like Karen.’ Her vocal range is just like mine,” Lynn said.
Karen Carpenter’s voice was “contralto,” the lowest female voice type. Lynn said it was Karen’s brother, Richard, who knew how to bring that range to her vocals. “If there had been no Richard, there’d have been no Karen, and vice versa,” Lynn said.
The Carpenter’s story, full of ups and downs, and their abilities — being among the first acts to create their own background music and tracks — will be told in Lynn’s show.
“They (The Carpenters) really began in 1969, when they got their first really big break,” she said. “And unfortunately, she (Karen) passed away in 1983… They didn’t have a really long period of time (performing), but what they did was amazing.”
The Carpenters’ music is very emotional, Lynn described. “It cuts every emotion … Sometimes you’re going to cry, some of it’s corny and you’re going to laugh,” she said.
“Looking back, in retrospect, not only was it great music, but the songs really captured Karen’s life,” she said, noting that many of the songs depict the emotions of a young woman who wanted a full life, complete with her own children, but didn’t get it.
Some of the songs that Lynn and Allynn will bring to the stage will include “Top of the World,” “Close To You,” and some of Lynn’s favorites, “Maybe It’s You,” and “I Need to be In Love,” a song that really speaks to Lynn because it’s “so Karen. It’s her story in one song.”
During November and December, Lynn said she performs a holiday Carpenters’ show called “Carpenters Christmas Once More,” which she loves doing. Some of their Christmas music is so entrenched in the holidays that “you may not even realize you’re listening to it as you walk through a store.”
Friday’s show at the Talent Factory will be Lynn’s second appearance in Nevada, and she’s excited to be coming back. She and her husband have had their own theater in Branson, Mo., where they do shows. About older theaters, she said, “we really love the history; we love the style. In new theaters, you lose something … but these (old theaters) are always so intimate… It’s like you’re sitting in your own home with your friends and family.”
Coming to Iowa is also “coming home” for Lynn, who is originally from Iowa. She was born in Clinton and raised in Atkins, a little town outside of Cedar Rapids. “I love coming home to Iowa,” she said, and they’ve played in a number of places in the state.
Lynn said she and her husband will actually stay an extra day in Nevada, because her husband’s show, “A Neil Diamond Tribute,” will happen on Saturday night, June 1, at the Talent Factory, starting at 7 p.m.
“This is his 12th year of doing Neil Diamond,” Lynn said. “He’s leading right now as America’s number-one Neil Diamond (artist). He looks and sounds just like him.”
Lynn hopes that the locals will come out and listen to the Carpenters and Diamond shows. “Buy both nights, you will not regret it, I will promise you that,” she said.
For those who’ve been to Branson, Lynn also shared that Branson’s only female comedian, Debi Diamond, will be making a special appearance during the Carpenters show. Many people love to see this comedian, she said.
Her last thoughts on her tribute to Karen Carpenter were, “It’s a production, not a concert.” She said those attending will hear the story of The Carpenters in true Branson fashion, with videos and comedy and songs. “We’ll make you laugh, make you cry and leave you knowing something about the Carpenters that you didn’t know before.”