BWW Reviews: Kritzerland at Sterling's Upstairs at The Federal Salutes Songwriter Dorothy Fields
In honor of his lifelong friend and mentor, the late Rosemary Clooney - one of music's most prolific recording stars and distinguished headliners - Mr. Sterling not only founded and dedicated the club to her memory, but fulfilled a promise between them to keep the music of Broadway and the Great American Songbook alive and singing in a supper club somewhere for future generations to enjoy.
And speaking of training future generations, Kritzerland producer and host Bruce Kimmel works directly with young musical theater students at Los Angeles City College where he just produced a critically-acclaimed production of "Li'l Abner" in which cast members included students and adults. And singers as young as 14 are always featured in his Kritzerland shows.
The 46th Kritzerland show on Sunday, June 1 featured one of the most influential female lyricists of all time, the great Dorothy Fields. In a time when Tin Pan Alley was almost exclusively a male-dominated club, Dorothy Fields rose to the top, first writing hit after hit with Jimmy McHugh, and later becoming one of the first female lyricists on Broadway and in film, working with such composers as Jerome Kern, Sigmund Romberg, Albert Hague, Arthur Schwartz and finally Cy Coleman, and working on such classic films and shows as the Astaire/Rogers Swing Time, Roberta, Up in Central Park, By the Beautiful Sea, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Redhead, Sweet Charity and Seesaw. Fields created some of the cleverest and most beautiful lyrics ever written, and was a master of the craft who forged the way for so many other talented female lyricists. There was no one like Dorothy Fields.
There were many well known and a few unknown Fields songs in the show, all delivered with great gusto by a wonderful cast of performers. Bruce Kimmel introduced each of the songs by sharing interesting details about when it was written, in what film or play the song appeared, as well as many personal details about Dorothy Fields life.
NOBODY DOES IT LIKE ME -THE SONGS OF DOROTHY FIELDS on SUNDAY, JUNE 1, 2014 - 7:00 PM - Music Director: Lloyd Cooper. Produced by Bruce Kimmel with Co-Producer Adryan Russ. See the photos below for a complete listing of the songs in the order performed.
Next month's Kritzerland show on Sunday, July 6 will feature the music from great Off-Broadway shows. These monthly supper club shows are always jam-packed so I recommend making early reservations by calling 818 754-8700. Your phone reservation will be confirmed.Doors open for dinner starting at 5:30pm, with the show starting at 7pm. Dinner selections include a variety of appetizers with main courses including Sterling's famous Federal Burger, Grilled Chicken, Beef Stroganoff, or Salmon. And of course there is a full bar for your spiritual pleasure!
Cover charge $15 + $10 food minimum + $4 facility charge - Yes! You can eat dinner and see the show for only $29 at Sterling's at The Federal, 5303 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91601. The Federal Bar is adjacent to the El Portal Theatre. The North Hollywood Stations for the Metrolink Red Line and Orange Line are directly across the street, north of Chandler on Lankershim.
Parking is available - entrance for Federal lot is on Weddington Street (directly behind the building) at $3.50. There is also available street parking.
For information about Sterling's Upstairs at The Federal: http://www.msapr.net/Sterling-s-at-The-Federal.html
Photos by Shari Barrett
"I'm in the Mood for Love" / "I Can't Give You Anything But Love" by Kim Huber
"I Feel a Song Coming On" / "On the Sunny Side of the Street" by Zachary Ford
"Pink Taffeta Sample Size 10" by Tara Browne
"Nobody Does It Like Me" by Sami Straitman
"The Way You Look Tonight" by Robert Yacko
A 4.2 earthquake shook the room, but not Cynthia Ferrer during "He Had Refinement"
"You Couldn't Be Cuter" by Zachary Ford
"Where Am I Going?" by the evening's special guest star Kerry O'Malley
"Pick Yourself Up" by the show's producer and host Bruce Kimmel
"Exactly Like You" by Sarah Straitman
"A Fine Romance" by Kim Huber
"Too Many Tomorrows" by Zachary Ford
"I Won't Dance" / "Never Gonna Dance" by Robert Yacko
"Make the Man Love Me" by Kim Huber
"I'm Way Ahead" / "Seesaw" by Cynthia Ferrer
"If They Could See Me Now" by Jenna Lea Rosen