BWW Review: Singer/comedienne DIANE VINCENT Uproarious at Sterling's
On Monday October 5, zany comedienne/singer Diane Vincent brought her act: Diane and Lucy & Betty: A One Woman Show to an SRO room at Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal. The best way to describe Vincent is off.the.wall, wound up tightly like a coil that will spring loose at any second. Watch out! She has a nonstop patter that is infectious, that keeps her fans rolling in the aisles and begging for more. In this show she also showed a lovely way with a ballad, proving that she can bring the volume down several decibels when she should...to great effect.
This year Vincent is celebrating her 20th year as a Lucy impersonator at Universal Studios. She opened the show as Lucy Ricardo, racing through the audience to the stage. She defined the supposed star of the evening as a mere talent of regional theater and proceeded to do her shctick, singing "Sweet Sue", telling her fab musical director/husband Same Kriger "Pick any old key and I'll find you!" She then brought up partner Don Lucas, her "Go to" Ricky Ricardo. Lucas is a big talent who performed "I'm On My Way to Cuba" coupled with "Lady in Red" while Lucy changed into Diane Vincent. When she returned, she was bound and gagged - a hilarious effect. Everyone remembers Lucy Ricardo's jealousy of Ricky's dance partners and how she would do anything to get onstage. Vincent and Lucas then did Burton and Lane's delightful "How Could You Believe Me". Once alone, Vincent essayed a fun "Say a Prayer for Me Tonight", "My Night to Howl" and an absolutely hilarious "It Must Be Him" as she awaited a supposed phone call from friend/night club performer Jason Graae, who had promised to call her to wish her luck.
After this, Vincent launched into one big hoot of an audition that she did in 2006, where she impersonated Katharine Hepburn, Julie Andrews, Carol Channing, Ethel Merman and even Beaver Cleaver to the strains of "It's Hard Out Here for Pimp". She lost the audition, claiming the casting director was too young and didn't understand a thing she did. "Know your audience!" A tremendously funny bit! She then tapped to "Tea for Two" and "The Menopause Rag", followed by the screamingly funny "I'm Tired" a la Marlene performed in Blazing Saddles by Madeline Kahn. She brought the house down and rightfully so!
Another highlight of the 75-minute evening was her inclusion of three Betty Hutton songs: "Murder He Says", "Arthur Murray" and the wordy "Hamlet". Vincent created a show a couple of years back in tribute to Hutton called Nuttin' But Hutton, which is still waiting in the wings to tour.
My very favorite moments came with the ballad "Wish You Were Here" an ode to her dad and her finale "Where Is Love?" from Oliver that she first performed at age 12, her first song ever onstage. She really let her guard down here, singing these two ballads with a lovely, unforgettably sweet & gentle delivery.
Diane Vincent has it all. She is an exceedingly gifted comedienne and really knows her way around a song. Don't miss her whenever and wherever she does a show!