BWW Reviews: Kritzerland Presents a Classy Evening of Alan Jay Lerner
On Sunday July 1 at Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal Kritzerland presented its monthly salute to a composer, July's being renowned lyricist/librettist Alan Jay Lerner. If you remember, My Fair Lady with lyrics by Lerner and music by Frederic Loewe, was one of the most popular musicals in the world and its original cast album sold more copies internationally than any other musical show for over a year. Then there were the flops such as Lolita My Love, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Carmelina and Dance a Little Closer. Kritzerland likes to present some of the more beautiful songs that would otherwise be forgotten because their fate was to be part of a turkey. With wonderful Shelley Markham as musical director, Bruce Kimmel assumed his monthly position at the pulpit with great singing guests Kim Huber, Jane Noseworthy, Chelsea Emma Franko - winner of this year's LA's Next Great Stage Star 2012, Gordon Goodman, Dennis Kyle and special guest Andrea Marcovicci.
Highlights of the evening included from the hit shows: Camelot's "If Ever I Would Leave You" sung beautifully by Goodman, Lady's "On the Street Where You Live" along with "Almost Like Being in Love" from Brigadoon sung liltingly by Kyle, Lady's "Wouldn't It Be Loverly" sung with flair by Franko, a lovely "I Could Have Danced All Night" by Noseworthy, On a Clear Day's strong "Come Back to Me" by Goodman, and the unforgettable "What Did I Have That I Don't Have" sung vibrantly by Huber. And the lesser known material: Marcovicci scored with a comedy number from Love Life called "Mr. Right" originally sung by Nanette Fabray, the gorgeous "Too Late Now" from Royal Wedding given added dimension by Huber's resounding vocal instrument, Noseworthy's pretty rendition of "Take Care of This House" -my personal favorite - from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. There was a delicious comic duet of "I Remember It Well" from Gigi, sung with panache by Kimmel and Markham and an audience sing.a.long with MFL's "Get Me to the Church On Time".
This was a terrific evening of nostalgia for admirers of Alan Jay Lerner, who had such a variety of professional partnerships, that included, Loewe, his most successful, then also with Leonard Bernstein, Andre Previn, Charles Strouse, Burton Lane and Kurt Weill among many other composers. Next month on August 5, Kritzerland salutes the late great Broadway singer Laurie Beechman whose riveting solo voice stands right out on "N.Y.C." on Annie's original cast album and who also had memorable roles in Cats and other Andrew Lloyd Webber shows. As a matter of fact, there's a Broadway theatre named after this gal who struggled with cancer and died much too young.
Dennis Kyle, Chelsea Emma Franko, Kim Huber