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BWW Reviews: Valerie Perri Makes Cabaret Debut with David Burnham in TOGETHER AGAIN FOR THE FIRST TIME

Actors/singers David Burnham and Valerie Perri were critically acclaimed costars of Musical Theatre West's (MTW) Sunset Boulevard last season, but they have never sung together in cabaret until now. Together Again For the First Time premiered at Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal on Sunday September 21, and with the opening number "It's a Grand Night for Broadway" to the strains of "Its a Grand Night for Singing", no finer words could appraise the evening. Accompanied on the piano and at various points in song by superior musical director Mark Vogel the trio knocked it out of the park.

Burnham is no stranger to cabaret and his charm and ease with an audience is guaranteed. Telling anecdotes about growing up on a farm in California and first singing for the pigs, he told a sweet story about his mom, now deceased, who encouraged him to do what made him happy. His association with Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber included performing Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat as a replacement for Donny Osmond on tour, as well as Joe Gillis in Sunset Boulevard. He is a magnificent singer and brings the house down on just about every song he sings.

His solo highlights of the evening included:"Bring Him Home" from Les Mis in honor of his older brother who will be home soon from the war overseas, and as a preview of his involvement in a 6-month engagement in Vegas of a brand new revue, he did a sparkling medley of "Luck Be a Lady", "Razzle Dazzle" from Chicago and "What Kind of Fool Am I?" He also scored with "I'll Be Seeing You", in tribute to his mom. Very endearing!

Perri grew up in Pennsylvania and auditioned for Hal Prince in New York for the coveted role in the first national tour of Evita, which she got and essayed for many years. So, her career, like Burnham's also began and has thrived with Webber, so-to- speak. She has a gorgeous voice and is a consummate artist, so being side by side with Burnham is a natural.

Perri's solo highlights included: "Buenos Aires"/"Don't Cry For Me Argentina" from Evita, a stirring "Cabaret", "With One Look" from Sunset Boulevard in tandem with "Memory", which she claims could just as easily have been a solo for Norma Desmond in that show as opposed to Cats. She's right; if surely fits and would still most probably have been a hit song. Also on tap were a fab combo of "People" and "Don't Rain On My Parade" from Funny Girl in tribute to Barbra Streisand.

Together Burnham and Perri knocked the socks off of "Anything Goes", "Just in Love", a fantastic "Suddenly Seymour" from Little Shop of Horrors, a great juke box medley of songs which have made it to Broadway like :"Unchained Melody" from Ghost, Carol King's "I Feel the Earth Move" from Beautiful, "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You" from Jersey Boys, as well as "My Girl", "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and "When I Fall in Love". Vogel joined in on many of the songs, making it a melodious trio. There was also a terrific "Happy Days"/"Get Happy", a wonderful medley from Hair as finale followed by "Somewhere" as encore.

Yes, indeed, it was a grand night of Broadway and these two singers David Burnham and Valerie Perri delivered one of the very best shows of the season at the Federal. Mark Vogel has a splendid voice as well and his fine musical accompaniment lent the 85-minute show one more notch of sheer bliss. Bravo! Brava!



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From This Author Don Grigware