Photo by Don Kellogg

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Best Is Yet To Come: The Music of Cy Coleman

OK, so we won't call this theatre, exactly.  It's one of those delicious treats that visits a stage every now and again - a musical review, an homage to a great one, a thoroughly entertaining evening that involves a little toe tapping, finger snapping, head bobbing, and a whole lotta feelin' good.  Ironically, the last show I saw at Theatre A at 59E59 was also a great musical pastiche of another genre - In Transit.  I think everyone would recognize at least one, if not two or more musical numbers that Cy Coleman penned.  They've been performed by the best - Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Barbra Streisand, Shirley Bassey, Steve & Eddie, Perry Como, Dione Warwick, Lena Horne, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Liza, just to name a few!  Maybe these few will ring some bells - The Best is Yet to Come, Witchraft, Big Spender, and If My Friends Could See Me Now.

Director, David Zippel, along with musical director, conductor, pianist, and performer extraordinaire, Billy Stritch, has compiled an intelligent, thoughtful, and melodious arc through Cy Coleman's best works.  Of course, all that would be an academic exercise were it not for the classy, elegant band led by Stritch along with the other 5 uber-enthusiastic and talented performers of all ages that all held court on the supper-club styled stage.

Lillias White blew the roof off the joint with her stylized and sultry vocals in The Oldest Profession and Don't Ask a Lady.  Sally Mayes convinced us all that Nobody Does it Like Me. Rachel York ushered out Spring with a little Come Summer and The Doodling Song.  Billy Stritch, himself, captured our attention with It amazes Me and Some Kind of Music while Howard McGillin charmed us with You Fascinate Me So and With Every Breath I Take.  Of course, I was completely charmed and mesmerized by just about every move David Burnham made - but I figure that everyone else at least enjoyed his rendition of Witchcraft and I've Got Your Number.  I could say more but that would just be shameless flirting (who me?).

So get your fingers, toes and head all synchronized and pop over to 59E59 Theaters and put your tochas in a seat and enjoy an evening or afternoon of sheer musical entertainment.  There is no way you could leave this theater without a smile on your face. Cy Coleman was one of the greats and this production showcases the best-of-the-best performing his best.