Magic Moments: Remembering Hal David

| June 16, 2017

Magic Moments:
An Evening Performance and Conversation
Remembering Hal David

92nd Street Y, NYC, June 12, 2017

Reviewed by Ron Forman for Cabaret Scenes

Dionne Warwick

Driving  to the 92nd Street Y, my wife asked me what we were going to see. I answered, “We are going to a tribute to Hal David.” “Who is he?,” she asked. “You don’t know his name, but you know his songs: ‘Magic Moments,’ ‘Alfie,’ and ‘Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head.’” Ironically, when David’s widow, Eunice David, was interviewed by A.J. Hammer in this tribute program, she mentioned that when she met David, she thought his name was Hal Davis and at that time she had assumed all of the above-mentioned number and dozens of other well-known songs were written solely by Burt Bacharach.

The program opened with Hammer interviewing Eunice David. She told stories about Hal’s early life, his experiences in the Army, and his early days as a songwriter. Parts of recordings of many of his hits were played, with photos of the recording artist displayed, including his first hit written with Don Rodney: Vic Damone’s “Four Winds and Seven Seas.” Hit recordings written with Bacharach included Perry Como’s “Magic Moments,”  and Herb Alpert’s “This Guy’s in Love with You.”  (Alpert convinced David to change the original lyrics’ gender from “girl” to “guy.”)

Liz Callaway performed five Bacharach/David songs wonderfully, opening with originally planned for Karen Mason, who had to drop out, due to illness: “The Look of Love” and a powerful “A House Is Not a Home.” Callaway recounted her experiences meeting David before performing a medley of two selections from the score of Promises, Promises—its title song and “Knowing When to Leave”—and a very effective “99 Miles from L.A.” A video of Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias performing “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before” was followed by a video of David and Albert Hammond (composer) performing the song even better than the hit version. The evening ended with the introduction of the singer most associated with David and Bacharach, Dionne Warwick (pictured), who closed the show by telling the story behind, and then singing, “What the World Needs Now Is Love,” with the audience joining in.

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Category: Cabaret Reviews, New York City, New York City Cabaret Reviews, Regional

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