Linda Lavin: My First Farewell Concert

| March 29, 2017

Linda Lavin

My First Farewell Concert

Crest Theatre, Delray Beach, FL, March 27, 2017

Reviewed by Jeffrey Bruce for Cabaret Scenes

Linda Lavin
Photo: Bill Westmoreland

Linda Lavin had her work cut out for her last night as she performed her terrific, ultra-professional show in front of a capacity house of the most unresponsive audience I have ever encountered. In spite of their lack of appreciation, Lavin showed why she is a pro: she never “pushed,” and was charming as well as extremely funny. She has a quick wit that I found disarming and delightful.

A musical comedy performer for over half a century, Lavin took us on an autobiographical journey from her early childhood in Portland, Maine, through her Off-Broadway experience (The Mad Show), Broadway (It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Superman), and television (nine years as “Alice”). As someone who saw her in both The Mad Show and Superman, I was hoping she would do her signature songs from both: “The Boy from…” and “You’ve Got Possibilities,” respectively. She did them as though it was 50 years ago, sounding as fresh and playful as she was “back then.”

She had one of the best backup quartets I have heard in a while: her husband, Steve Bakunas on drums; Billy Stritch on piano; Ron Affif on guitar; and Tom Hubbard on bass. From the childhood longing of “Look to the Rainbow” to the sexy bossa nova “Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars” (“Corcovado”), Lavin’s vocal versatility was impressive, as was her terrific sense of humor.

A cabaret act that harkened back to the era of The Grand Finale and the Copacabana, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience to be in the presence of a wonderful “old pro.” If only the audience could have appreciated her as much as she deserved to be.

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Category: Cabaret Reviews, Florida, Florida Cabaret Reviews, Regional

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