BWW Reviews: Kritzerland Salutes Burt Bacharach
Who was one of the most prolific singers of romantic pop in the 60s/70s/80s? And who created the little gems she sang? If you answered Dionne Warwick and Burt Bacharach, you win today's prize. Well, ...on Sunday, August 5 Bruce Kimmel's Kritzerland paid tribute to the musical genius that is Burt Bacharach - most songs with lyrics by Hal David - @ Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal. With a splendid group of singers that included Kim Huber, Danny Gurwin, Dennis Kyle, Jane Noseworthy, Daisy Eagan and Lisa Livesay...and Mr. Kimmel as congenial host, the evening was the 24th Kritzerland show, and most definitely one of its finest.
The beauty of these evenings is that lesser known songs and the favorite hits receive equal attention. Highlights included from Promises, Promises: "Half as Big as Life" and "She Likes Basketball" both sung with a super dynamic rush by stellar performer Danny Gurwin, "Knowing When to Leave" the first of Promises 's nightly showstoppers sung by incredibly talented Kim Huber and the second "Whoever You Are, I Love You" lovingly rendered by Tony Award winner Daisy Eagan. Huber also knocked "A House Is Not a Home" and "Alfie" right out of the park. Gurwin again shook things up with a rollicking "What's New Pussycat?" Jane Noseworthy soared with "One Less Bell to Answer" and an eclectic medley from the movie Lost Horizon, which Kimmel labeled a failing 'disaster'. Dennis Kyle vibrantly presented a medley of film hits, including: "Liberty Valance", "The Blob", "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head" from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and the infectious title song from Arthur. Newcomer to Kritzerland Lisa Livesay offered Warwick's big hit "Trains and Boats and Planes" and an amazing finale which encompassed about a dozen songs "A Bacharach Love Story".
Kimmel stepped wonderfully up to the plate in a rare singing appearance - he's good! - in duet with Noseworthy with a lovely "I'll Never Fall in Love Again". On the funny side, Kimmel talked excessively about the 1973 filmed musical turkey Lost Horizon and how it was not Burt Bacharach/Hal David's fault. How can you produce a musical with non-singers like Liv Ullman, Peter Finch, Michael York and Olivia Hussey? If that were not enough, it also contained a choreographer's nightmare, a wildly obscene Fertility Dance. And what about What's New Pussycat? Kimmel's Jewish uncle accompanied him to the film and was so shocked by its so-called filth, he didn't speak to his young nephew for months afterwards. There's also fun-filled trivia, like how The Five Blobs and Bernie Nee are connected. Remember The Blob? See what you're missing? Go to a Kritzerland show!
Tom Griep served melodically at the piano in his third consecutive Kritzerland show. After the finale, we joined in with "What the World Needs Now", showing as always what a great evening of merriment and music may be had by all!
Next up on September 8, Saturday, breaking its monthly Sunday mode: Kritzerland's second anniversary with Potpourri: Songs That Got Away, with special guests Jason Graae, Lea Thompson and Joan Ryan, with others TBA. You won't want to miss this one, so make early reservations as these shows are sell-outs!
Don hails from Holyoke, Massachusetts and holds two Masters Degrees from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in Education and Bilingual Studies. Don is a teacher of foreign language and ESL.
Don is a member of the prestigious Road Theatre Company in NoHo and is in his fifth year with BWW, currently serving as Senior Editor of the Los Angeles Page.
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