Music again. This time a jazz singer almost no one has ever heard of, yet he’s really good, and almost idolized in Europe, where he performed throughout most of his career. He’s such an individual in his vocal style that he’d turn off anyone not a jazz fan. He does a lot of upbeat stuff, with crazy extemp scat, but I think he’s at his best with slow love ballads. Just listen to what he does with “The Dream.”
And then there’s Kurt Elling, who must have been a Mark Murphy fan in his youth. Listen to what he does with “Nature Boy.” And if you’re so inclined, you might go to YouTube and check out the duet with Al Jarreau on the old Dave Brubeck track, “Take Five.” I can’t understand how two voices can do so many musical tricks and still know where they’re going.
Last night we saw Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard at the Arizona Broadway Theatre, and as with all of Webber’s scores, there weren’t many songs one would be humming afterwards. Only two were recognizable to me, “With One Look” in Act I, and the truly haunting “As If We Never Said Goodbye” in Act Two. Although this doesn’t come even close to being my favorite musical, it was impressive for the voices, the costuming, and the set design. First, the voices. Cassandra Klaphake, one of the founders of ABT, has a huge voice that she used in the lead role of Norma Desmond, the aging silent screen star who unsuccessfully attempted a movie comeback with her bad screenplay about Salome. The other lead, Joe Gillis, played by Peter Carrier, was excellent, as were the rest of the cast, nearly all of whom had solo bits and pieces of some of the numbers. And the costuming. I’m always amazed at the number of costumes they have to create for each show. The most impressive aspect of the sets was Norma Desmond’s plush living room, with sweeping staircase. We came away from the show once again impressed with the quality of this local dinner theatre only twenty minutes away.