Lillias White with Billy Stritch

| June 5, 2015

Lillias White with Billy Stritch

Venetian Room, San Francisco, CA, May 31, 2015

Reviewed by Steve Murray for Cabaret Scenes

Lillias-White-Cabaret-Scenes-Magazine_212Just a few bars into her medley of “Something’s Coming” (Stephen Sondheim/Leonard Bernstein) and “It’s Today” (Jerry Herman), Lillias White kicked off her heels and got comfy. It would be that kind of night for this highly effervescent and personable star. She works a song like the actor she is, adding extra elements to each. Her hilarious take on “The Oldest Profession” (Ira Gasman/Cy Coleman) from The Life, the role for which she won the Tony, is a Broadway classic. A not-so supportive music teacher prompts White to sing Bob Merrill and Jule Styne’s “Don’t Rain on My Parade, and she delivers the sassy defiance that spurred her early career. She smartly pairs that with “Come Down from That Tree” (Lynn Ahrens/Stephen Flaherty), which was cut from Once on This Island. The song speaks of gentle nurturing and encouragement, which White received along her path.

You can’t do any better than accompaniment by the one and only Billy Stritch. In an homage to Cy Coleman, together they sing Coleman and Carolyn Leigh’s “Little Me,” then Billy solos on a lovely “It Amazes Me.” White returns with the jazzy “He Was Cool” from Like Jazz (Coleman/Alan and Marilyn Bergman). From jazz to the blues, White sinks her teeth into Big Maybelle’s early feminist hit “I’m Getting Along Alright” (Bobby Sharp/Charles Singleton) and brings the house down. Similarly, she uses her big belting vocals on “If He Walked Into My Life” (Herman), a huge hit for another big belter, Eydie Gormé/

White is a powerhouse force of nature. Being paired with friend Billy Stritch makes the evening even sweeter.

This season closing show for 11 year-old non-profit Bay Area Cabaret was a feather in the hat for producer Marilyn Levinson.

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Category: Cabaret Reviews, Regional, San Francisco, San Francisco Cabaret Reviews

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