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Review: AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS is a Modern Day USO Show at The Green Room 42

America's Sweethearts Pay Tribute to Girl Groups

Review: AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS is a Modern Day USO Show at The Green Room 42

At the height of the war, if you had a night out in NYC, it went something like this. All the Eager Beavers had a brainchild to sweep up your best dame and drop a few nickels at the Automat where all the hep cats were cooking with gas. Then if you were feeling off the cob, you might snap your cap and hotfoot it over to Roseland to cut a rug and wear out a pair of stompers going fishing among the Khaki-wacky set. No floy floy about it.

If any of that made sense, then AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS at The Green Room 42 is the show for you. They are a girl group that pays tribute to the girl groups of the 40s, 50s, and 60s with an emphasis on tight harmonies and wholesome energy. They are clearly modeled on the Andrews Sisters, but they are not impersonators. It's more like they use Patty, Maxene, and LaVerne as a jumping-off point to celebrate all the famous sister acts. In many ways, it's like experiencing a USO show without the pesky inconvenience of having to go to war. In fact, each of the women has members of her family who have served in the military, and so their show had a ring of authenticity to it.

AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS is a bit of an organization. The group consists of eleven women but only three perform at any one performance. Tonight's trio consisted of group founder Carly Kincannon, Amanda LaVergne (Annie, The People in the Picture, ) and Kristen Michelle (Once Upon a Mattress.) Their show is a bundle of joy that makes you want to tap your toes and dance in the aisles. Their energy is infectious. They even managed a costume change going from modified WACS uniforms to slinky burgundy sequin gowns.

They avoided any sentimental ballads and kept to the uptempo numbers for the most part. In addition to the Andrews Sisters classics "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy," "In the Mood," and "Rum Boogie Woogie," they breezed through a rotogravure full of hit tunes like " Straighten Up and Fly Right," Lullaby of Broadway," "Good Mornin''," Java Jive," "Why Do Fools Fall in Love?" "It's My Party," and "The Shoop Shoop Song."

Each of the women also took a solo turn to vary the pace. Kristen Michelle gave us a Judy Garland-worthy "Zing Went the Strings of My Heart." Amanda LaVergne belted out a great rendition of Cole Porter's "Too Darn Hot." And Carly Kincannon gave us a steamy "Fever," using the mic stand in ways that might not be entirely kid-friendly. All three of the Sweethearts have pipes. They can belt to the rafters. But they also are skillful enough to blend perfectly with each other. They may not be actual sisters, but their rapport onstage is completely familial.

They are backed up by an excellent trio of men led by musical director Chris Bonner. I would have loved to have seen a little more interplay between the women and the band, but in the end, this is a show about female empowerment, with women front and center. It is a delight for lovers of girl groups, for lovers of the 1940s, for lovers of Americana, and lovers of music everywhere.

For more information on America's Sweethearts, go to americas-sweethearts.com. To find more greats acts at the Green Room 42 or to make a reservation at the adjacent terrace restaurant The Green Fig, go to greenfignyc.com


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From This Author - Ricky Pope

Ricky Pope is a very busy actor/musical director/vocal coach who has toured the country with the national tours of ANNIE, ALL SHOOK UP AND TITANIC. He has worked in regional theatres in 49 states in... (read more about this author)


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