BWW Reviews: Sheena Easton, Scott Coulter and THE SPY WHO LOVED ME at SF Symphony

BWW Reviews: Sheena Easton, Scott Coulter and THE SPY WHO LOVED ME at SF Symphony

Singer Scott Coulter joked that those sitting in the Terrace sections had the "view to kill" at Thursday's San Francisco Symphony concert, but truly all who attended enjoyed a "killer" evening of action-packed, sensual scores and vocals.

Coulter joined Sheena Easton for "The Spy Who Loved Me," a program of favorites ranging from "Mission Impossible" to "Get Smart" to "James Bond." Easton, of course, has a claim to fame as the only singer for a James Bond theme to actually appear in the corresponding film. She closed the night with her trademark song, "For Your Eyes Only," but brought the house down in other numbers that included an incredible rendition of the more recent "Skyfall." Although Easton seemed to try a bit too hard during the concert's first half and was restless in her movements, she brought a sultry sexiness to the second half's Bond songs, her clear forte. Easton's soulful vibrato has a similar sound to other great performers like Liza Minnelli, and as the night concluded, it was Easton's astounding presentation that earned a standing ovation with many a "Bravo" heard.

Coulter, too, sported a technically flawless voice, reaching surprising high notes. His cabaret background showed in his performance style, which included a few interesting mannerisms. But both he and Easton knew how to play to the audience with personality, particularly when discussing their music between songs. The two differ in vocal styles, however, and had trouble blending for one of their duets.

Conductor Edwin Outwater
Conductor Edwin Outwater

Conductor Edwin Outwater, director of Summer Concerts at the San Francisco Symphony, led the program with charismatic enthusiasm, a fantastic performer, himself. More than one symphony member joined the audience in a clear love for spy material. Huge smiles abounded. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, the Symphony cut the second half if its planned instrumental music, leaving out "Austin Powers" and "Charlie's Angels." But the concert still included a good variety of lesser-known themes and a great deal of James Bond music - not to mention the two James Bond cars parked outside Davies Symphony Hall. Highlights included songs from "The Pink Panther," "The Thomas Crown Affair," "Dick Tracy," "Chess" and more.

"The Spy Who Loved Me" was a one-night only concert, but the Symphony's summer lineup still includes the upcoming Beatles "Classical Mystery Tour" this weekend and LeAnn Rimes next month. Next season's film series will also feature "The Nightmare Before Christmas," "It's a Wonderful Life," "Vertigo" and "E.T." BroadwayWorld readers may also be interested in Christmas concerts with Brian Stokes Mitchell and Jodi Benson. Find a detailed schedule and ticket information at http://www.sfsymphony.org/.

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