Lucie Arnaz: An Intimate Evening with Lucie Arnaz

| September 21, 2016

Lucie Arnaz

An Intimate Evening with Lucie Arnaz

Feinstein’s at the Nikko, San Francisco, CA, September 16, 2016

Reviewed by Steve Murray for Cabaret Scenes

licie-arnaz-cabaret-scenes-magazine_212Sometimes it’s fun to stop being a reviewer and just be a fan, and I am a huge fan of Lucie Arnaz. She’s a consummate performer, born to a magical lineage (Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz) and the associated advantages of rubbing elbows with Hollywood and musical legends. Arnaz is a dynamo, using her solid acting chops to add multiple dimensions to each number in a show she said “showed the arc of romance.”

Indeed, she did show all aspects of relationships with her smart song choices. “Fools Rush In” (Johnny Mercer/Rube Bloom) is hopeful and naïve, while her original breakup song written with Madeline Stone, “The View from Here,” is a straight-up revenge. Arnaz is extremely funny, evidenced by the in-between-song banter about dating gay men and playing Daisy Mae in Li’l Abner, as well as great impressions of Charo and Dolly Parton duetting on “To All the Boys,” a smart retort to the 1985 Julio Iglesias/Willie Nelson pairing on “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before.”

Arnaz’s voice is strong, with pitch-perfect clarity and emotion. She works magic on a beautiful Billy Stritch arrangement of Cole Porter’s “It’s All Right with me” and Johnny Mercer’s “Something’s Gotta Give.” David Freidman’s “Listen to My Heart” was poignant and heartfelt, a feature of Arnaz’s sheer professionalism and style.

She was seamlessly supported by accompanist and longtime friend Ron Abel, who even provides the rousing closer “Until Now” and the lovely ballad “Slow Dancing” (Abel/Chuck Steffan). Together, they made “Blame It on the Bossa Nova” (Cynthia Weil/Barry Mann), a tribute to Arnaz’s 37-year romance with husband Larry Luckinbill, a comic gem.

There are few performers as totally satisfying as Lucie Arnaz. In the very intimate setting of Feinstein’s, she makes you feel like she’s doing it all just for you. She’s conquered almost every aspect of entertaining and I doubt there’s anything she cannot do well.

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

Comments (2)

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  1. Teresa says:

    Miss you ? in movies ?

  2. Jimmy Short says:

    What a wonderful & honest review! My partner & I drove over from Sacramento to attend the opening night performance of “An Intimate Evening With Lucie Arnaz”. We are big fans of Feinstein’s at the Nikko, having seen a number of shows there over the years. I am an even bigger fan of Lucie’s, and had been waiting months for her to bring the show to the city. It was my 60th birthday present from my sweetie of 20+ years, and he arranged for us to have a front row table. Lucie was simply stunning. Her sense of humor, her honesty, the love of her husband (Larry Luckinbill, who was in the audience) and her children (daughter Kate had traveled from Seattle to be there for her mom’s opening nght as well). We were laughing one moment, shedding tears the next… her song choices, along with her musical director, Ron Abel, were just perfect. Feinstein’s always has their guest performers meet with the audience members afterwards, and it was a true honor to meet Lucie. We had met briefly backstage once when she toured “Pippin” in SF, but this was so much more intimate. One of my best birthday gifts ever! So hoping Feinstein’s has her return in 2017… definitely a show not to be missed!

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