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April 28, 2010

THE CALLAWAY'S - ABSOLUTELY MAGNIFICENT!

LEE HARTGRAVE REVIEWS 
 

THE CALLAWAY’S -- HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN

THEY SING TOGETHER -- THEY SOMETIMES SING ALONE --ONE WRITES SONGS -- AND ONE IS A TONY NOMINEE

There is something for everyone is the fast moving Cabaret show at the Rrazz Room. The Sisters sing Berlin, Porter, Comden and Green, Coleman, Sondheim and Leosser. And that is just the beginning.

With a song written by sister Ann Hampton Callaway, they both sing together “Here Come the Callaway’s.” And like it or not they make a huge statement. They now own the stage at the Rrazz. Throughout the show Ann and Liz jostle with each other for stool space. And they jest with each other on songs like “Friendship” by Cole Porter. The song is meant to be a little bitchy, and it is – but I would like to see them really sink their teeth into each other. I mean Girls – really let go and have it out. With words that is.

The entire evening is total fun. They joke back and forth between songs.  Ånn: “What are you doing?’ Liz: “Just showing everyone my new solo C.D.” Ann: “It’s not really as big as my Emmy – or your husband.” A little double meaning here?  I have one little suggestion. I would drop the “Over The Rainbow”. Sure Ann gives it her all – but that is Judy’s song, and hundreds have tried to reinvent the song to make it their own. It just doesn’t work. The song is burnt into people’s minds as Judy’s.

After singing a Harold Arlen song  - Ann sez – “Nobody does weather like Årlen.”  Again showing the ongoing humor.

Just about the middle of the show – it really becomes electric. With Stephen Schwartz’s “Loathing” – “A Boy Like That” (West Side Story) Bernstein/Sondheim – “I Know Him So Well” (Rice, Ulvaeus, Andersson). All Just Fantastic! Loved every moment of it!

“Our time” by Stephen Sondheim sung by the Sisters takes on a new glow. Liz sings a sensational version of “Meadow Lark” from the musical “The Baker’s Wife”.  Funny, I have seen that musical a couple of times. And I didn’t remember it being in the show. If it sounded as good as Liz’s version – I’m sure I would have remembered it.

This is a good time show. It’s Sorority girls gone wild – jiving to a big-band hit parade of songs from the Great American Song Book.

And here is that Big Band: Alex Rybeck – piano and musical direction. Daniel Fabricant, bass. Vince Lateano, drums --and Dan Foster, direction.  “Great sounds by a terrific band!”

See this show…and like the song -- “I Still Believe” – you will still believe that music is the BEST thing in the world.  www.therrazzroom.com.   Through May 2, 2010.

(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook and Hosted and produced a long-running Arts Segment on PBS KQED)))

FOLLOW LEE: www.beyondchron.org.

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