There’s Deacon. Oh, he’s more handsome in person. Look at those dimples.
There’s Scarlett. She’s barefoot. She’s got a wreath of flowers in her hair. And look at all that hair. It cascades down to her waist.
Wait a minute. That wasn’t really Deacon onstage Wednesday night at Northrop Auditorium in Minneapolis; it was Charles “Chip” Esten who plays Deacon on ABC’s prime-time soap opera “Nashville” about country music. And Scarlett was really Clare Bowen.
In one of those life-imitates-art moments, some of the cast of “Nashville” has taken to the road to perform songs from the show, covers and a few originals. Are they actors who sing or singers who act?
Here’s a look at how the “Nashville” cast did in its two-hour, revue-style concert at the sold-out auditorium full of mostly women, some of whom screamed like they were seeing a boy band. We rate the performances — in order of appearance — on a scale of 1 to 4 cowboy hats.
Chris Carmack (Will on “Nashville”). He’s got dimples that won’t quit — and neither will his hair, which kept falling in his face. Dude, either cut it or join a boy band. His voice was pleasant but too soft. His songs “Being Alone” and “I’m on It” sounded like Matchbox Twenty tunes without forceful enough vocals. Moreover, he forgot the lyrics on one number because he said they’re so wordy. Rating: 2 hats
Aubrey Peeples (Layla). She gets the award for weirdest outfit — a long plaid flannel nightshirt (or was it a dress?) over patterned black hose, black undergarments and Doc Marten boots. What was she thinking? Her version of the soul classic “Do Right Woman” was both glorious (nice southern soul, like Dusty Springfield with gusto) and gawd awful (her screechy screaming). Rating: 2 hats.
Jonathan Jackson (Avery). Not advertised to appear, he seemed to have the most genuine music-star stage presence. Looking like a cross between a clear-eyed Johnny Depp and a young Joe Cocker, Jackson rocked on “On a Rail,” crooned on the piano ballad “How You Learn To Live Alone” and transformed himself into U2’s Bono on Bob Dylan’s spiritualized “Love Rescue Me.” Rating: 3 hats.
Clare Bowen (Scarlett). This Aussie sprite had the face of a Broadway star and the stage manner of a hippie chick dancing joyously in a muddy field at a rock festival. She showed a gorgeous voice (with changing accents) on the Irish-folk march “Drum” and the dramatic ballad “Black Roses.” Rating: 3½ hats.
Lennon and Maisy Stella (Maddie, Daphne). Lennon, 15, looked like Lindsay Lohan with tight jeans, tall heels and a T-shirt emblazoned with “Sad Songs.” She had a husky but fresh sounding voice, complemented perfectly by the harmonies of her sister, Maisy, 11. The too-cute Maisy had the best stage presence of the entire cast, singing with her eyes closed, using emotive but not overdone gestures. She was darling — even when she sang with the entire cast at the end. Loved the a cappella sisterly duet on “Faithful Heights.” This act has so much potential. Rating: 4 hats
Chip Esten (Deacon). He’s the star, and he tried too hard to act like a star. Although he was too hammy and his voice was not distinctive, he had some top-notch songs — the Tim McGraw-like ballad “I Know How to Love You Now” and “He Ain’t Me,” a Toby Keith-like lyric set to a Chuck Berry-evoking tune. Rating: 2½ hats
Fans of the TV show got a big thrill, especially when the “Nashville” stars stuck around to sign autographs afterward — just like real Nashville stars do.