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June 13, 2012

BEN VEREEN -- DAMNED IRRESITABLE




Ben Vereen on opening nite. Courtesy Photo

BEN VEREEN – DAMNED 
IRRESISTABLE!
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BEN VEREEN IS AMAZINGLY ATHLETIC.

He dances around the stage like he’s a teenager. No one but Vereen can illuminate the Rrazz Room with the thrilling treasures from yesteryear. His clear strong voice takes us on an unforgettable musical journey. To say that he is vibrantly alive goes beyond that. His devilishly clever personality brings out the thrill of discovery of songs from famous shows like “Hair, Pippin and Wicked. From Pippin is “We’ve got Magic to do”. And Magic he does!

Who could forget Vereen in Hair? His strong voice is still the most marvelous of singers as he touches our soul with “Age of Aquarius from ‘Hair’. Vereen just made our summer! My fave is “I don’t know why I Love Him” from ‘Jesus Christ Superstar”. But as Vereen sez: “What Do I Know? – I’m just a Legendary Star. And that brought out more merriment from the audience. They loved it. And who wouldn’t? 

How did Vereen get started on his brilliant career? Well, the way he describes it – a columnist from the SF Chronicle (The Great John Wasserman) got him going. He pushed Vereen into the spotlight. That Spotlight is still glowing over him. Bob Fosse also had much to do with Vereen’s Career. “He smoked Camel Cigarettes” – Vereen revealed. Of course in those days – almost everyone smoked constantly.

Here’s a very funny moment. Vereen looks around at the audience and asks? – “Has anyone ever heard of a Record Player? A Cassette? Or- a -Telegram? – “Heck – I saved all of my Telegrams.” The audience was just bent over with laughter.

From Broadway’s ‘Wicked’ - Vereen treats us to a marvelous version of “Fighting Gravity”. That song is usually sung by the female lead in ‘Wicked’ but Vereen gives it a new gloss, with his fireworks vocal range. “And that’s what I’m doing San Francisco – Fighting gravity!” - he sez. Yep! It is a beguiling evening.

AT THE RRAZZ ROOM THRU JUNE 17

RATING: FOUR GLASSES OF CHAMPGAGNE!!! (highest rating) –trademarked-


                                                          

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