Lauren Fox will perform tonight in Port Angeles.

Lauren Fox will perform tonight in Port Angeles.

Lauren Fox reunites Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen tunes in Port Angeles concert tonight

By Diane Urbani de la Paz

For Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Joni Mitchell and the late Leonard Cohen had a love affair, short and fierce.

They also had a flock of memorable songs, songs that made — still make — a generation of music lovers swoon.

Lauren Fox, a New York City actress and singer, creates both a conversation and a concert in “Love, Lust, Fear and Freedom: The Songs of Leonard Cohen &Joni Mitchell,” coming to the Port Angeles High School Performing Arts Center, 304 E. Park Ave., tonight.

Tickets to “Love, Lust, Fear and Freedom” range from the $15 “budget” price to $25 for general admission and $35 for premium seats. For children 14 and younger, tickets are $10.

Tickets will be available at the door. Also, tickets outlets are at Port Book and News in Port Angeles and The Joyful Noise Music Center in Sequim, and the Juan de Fuca Foundation website,

Fox and her band will take the stage at 7 p.m., intent on casting a spell with their set of 16 pieces.

Nine are Mitchell’s songs and seven are Cohen’s because, as any fan knows, his are longer than your average pop ditty.

Fox has been touring with “Love, Lust, Fear and Freedom” for several years, playing venues from the Metropolitan Room in Manhattan to college campuses. This is her first trip anywhere near the North Olympic Peninsula.

“I come entirely from a place of ‘This is the music I love.’ These are two artists I admire so much,” she said in a phone interview from New York City.

Fox gets “giddy,” she admits, when she sings Mitchell’s “All I Want.” And when she does Cohen’s “I’m Your Man,” it is “a very provocative moment.”

Fox seeks not to copy either artist but to imbue their music with her own passion, of which there’s plenty, as she portrays the pair in a smoldering “she said, he said” interplay.

“I’ve been told,” she added, “that I make it incredibly intimate,” yet “I can’t tell you how that happens … it’s not calculated.”

But let’s face it: Audiences under a certain age might not know songs such as Mitchell’s “Cactus Tree” or Cohen’s “Bird on a Wire.” At one college show, students told her afterward that wow, they were going right home to download these songs from iTunes.

Fox herself is a bit young to have first-hand knowledge of Mitchell and Cohen’s early days on the music scene. And this performer is very much a New Yorker. On the inside, she said, she’s all “hippie chick,” vibrating with “Woodstock” and “Hallelujah.”

“[The songs] are fascinating stories about any human being,” Fox said, because “these are arguably two of the greatest songwriters of our time,” artists who wield a powerful influence over their music-making descendants.

Jon Bon Jovi came to one of her shows a few years ago. Fox didn’t know he was in the audience. Then, after the curtain went down, he came backstage to find her.

“He said, ‘I just want to thank you. I’m going home now, and I’m never going to write another song,’ ” so humbled was this rock star.

Dan Maguire, the director of the Juan de Fuca Foundation for the Arts, booked Fox for a season concert, sight unseen.

He read a number of rave reviews of her show, such as the one by New York Times critic Stephen Holden. He wrote that “Ms. Fox’s rendition of Mr. Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ was the deepest and most dramatically revealing of any I’ve heard.”

Maguire, for his part, called the subject matter — Mitchell and Cohen’s affair — “irresistible.”

“Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen are, of course, two of our most treasured artists.

“[They are] almost unparalleled in the way their stature as singer-songwriters continues to grow.”

The way their paths crossed in a romance, he said, makes an intriguing footnote in two extraordinary careers.

Maguire thought Port Angeles music lovers might be interested in what Fox could do with the story — along with “getting to hear all those brilliant Joni and Leonard songs.”

More about the foundation and its Juan de Fuca Festival of the Arts on Memorial Day weekend can be had by calling the office at 360-457-5411.


Diane Urbani de la Paz is a freelance writer and photographer living in Port Angeles.

More in Entertainment

Brian Hoffman of Port Angeles, left, assists his children, from left, Clayton Hoffman, 6, Lacey Hoffman, 8, and Rhett Hoffman, 3, during a knot-tying workshop at the Port Angeles Yacht Club, one of numerous venues for Saturday’s Day of Play. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Day of Play

Children’s music singer Sarah Schwiethale of Port Angeles, front, along with helper… Continue reading

Jan and Mike Berman of from Port Ludlow dance to the band Marmalade during the first Concert on the Dock on Thursday at Pope Marine Park in Port Townsend. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News)
Dancing to the music

Jan and Mike Berman of from Port Ludlow dance to the band… Continue reading

Curley Taylor, frontman for Louisiana-based Curley Taylor and Zydeco Trouble, right, performs with bandmate Matthey Roberts on rubboard during Wednesday night’s Concert on the Pier at Port Angeles City Pier. The free weekly music series, hosted by the Juan de Fuca Foundation and sponsored by Strait View Credit Union, D.A. Davidson & Co., 102.1 FM The Strait and the Peninsula Daily News, continues at 6 p.m. Wednesday with rock and dance band The Nasty Habits. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Concert series

Curley Taylor, frontman for Louisiana-based Curley Taylor and Zydeco Trouble, right, performs… Continue reading

“Blue Lightning” is one of the artworks by Shirley Scheier, who will give a free artist talk on Thursday at Northwind Art’s Jeanette Best Gallery in Port Townsend. (Shirley Scheier)
Art conversation Thursday in Port Townsend

“Below the Equator,” “Low Tide” and “Sweet Slumber” are… Continue reading

Weekly free outdoor concerts presented across Peninsula

Free outdoor summer concerts will continue on the North Olympic Peninsula next… Continue reading

Sekiu Fun Days, Day of Play set this weekend

The annual Day of Play, plus plays and Sekiu Fun Days will… Continue reading

The cast of "The Curate Shakespeare As You Like It" is, from left, Dawn Alexander,  Wesley Vollmer, Tara Dupont, Donna Behrens, Ben Heintz, Zack Wiedenhoeft and Marissa Wilson LaJambe. The comedy arrives Friday at the Port Angeles Community Playhouse. Diane Urbani de la Paz/For Peninsula Daily News
Shakespearean ‘escape from reality’ to open Friday

Performances at Port Angeles Community Playhouse through July

Music on the Strait introduces children’s tickets

Music on the Strait, Port Angeles’ homegrown chamber music… Continue reading

Paulette Hill, a jewelry artist, wire wrapping a Botswana agate cabochon.
Artisan market to include demonstrations Saturday

Local artisans will demonstrate how they create their works from… Continue reading

‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ gets second chance

Rock opera opens Friday, with nine performances to follow

Sturtz, a Colorado-based acoustic quartet, will perform at the Palindrome on Saturday.
Colorado-based quartet to perform at Palindrome

Sturtz will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the… Continue reading

Port Angeles Community Players to conduct auditions

The Port Angeles Community Players will conduct auditions for… Continue reading