Gregory Moore & Simon Mulligan: Vegas ’55

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Gregory Moore and Simon Mulligan

Vegas, ’55

Metropolitan Room, NYC, June 22, 2017

Reviewed by Ron Forman for Cabaret Scenes

Simon Mulligan (L) &
Gregory Moore

In the summer of 1955, what might have seemed the unlikeliest pairing occurred: Noël Coward and Las Vegas. Although both Maurice Chevalier and Edith Piaf had bombed in Vegas, Coward was a smash in his one and only stay there. For his opening at the Desert Inn Casino, Frank Sinatra had a private jet fly in Judy Garland, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, among other celebrities, on a blisteringly hot summer night.

Gregory Moore and Simon Mulligan wonderfully brought back the excitement of that era in Vegas and that opening night in their show Vegas, ’55. Moore captures the essence of Coward with his amazing diction and marvelously Coward-ish facial expressions. He also has the ability to switch gears and nicely perform numbers associated with Sinatra and Garland.

Moore’s comments were interesting, informative, and amusing. Mulligan’s piano work was always remarkable.

The overture was a dazzling “You” with Mulligan on piano. Moore opened with two songs associated with Sinatra and Las Vegas: “Luck Be a Lady” and a swinging “I’m Gonna Live ‘Till I Die.” He followed with two of Coward’s classics, “A Bar on the Piccola Marina” and “Nina,” performed impeccably in the Coward manner, Moore appropriately rolling his Rs as Coward did. Mulligan, remembering that piano virtuoso Carmen Cavallaro appeared in Vegas at the same time as Coward, performed “Brazil” in the Cavallaro manor. As Judy Garland was in the opening night audience, Moore sang “Gotta Have Me Go with You” from A Star Is Born.

After mentioning that Coward wrote the song at age 29, Moore again gave us the essence of Coward with “World Weary.” The closing number, of course, was “Mad Dogs and Englishman,” followed by a delicious encore of “(Don’t Put Your Daughter on the Stage) Mrs. Worthington.”

Ron Forman

Ron Forman has been a Mathematics Professor at Kingsborough Community College for 45 years. In that time, he has managed to branch out in many different areas. From 1977 to 1994 he was co-owner of Comics Unlimited, the third largest comic book distribution company in the USA. In 1999,after a lifetime of secretly wanting to do a radio program, he began his weekly Sweet Sounds program on WKRB 90.3 FM, dedicated to keeping the music of the Great American Songbook alive and accessible. This introduced him to the world of cabaret, which led to his position as a reviewer for Cabaret Scenes.