Ann Hampton Callaway: The Streisand Songbook

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Ann Hampton Callaway

The Streisand Songbook

Lynn University, Boca Raton, FL, February 18, 2018

Reviewed by Jeffrey Bruce for Cabaret Scenes

Ann Hampton Callaway
Photo: Stephen Sorokoff

Is there anything she can’t do? Ann Hampton Callaway performed her idol’s songbook for a sold-out audience in what I can only call a “love fest.”

Looking terrific in her Anjelica Huston bob and lovely dress, Callaway has self-deprecating humor (“contrary to popular belief, I am NOT the daughter of Cab Calloway and Lionel Hampton”) that allows her to poke good-natured fun at the “swells” in the Boca audience. She’s a funny lady.

But, we were there to hear her sing and that she did.

Covering key songs in “the life of Barbra,” from  her opening “Starting Here, Starting Now” to “A Sleepin’ Bee” to her encore combo of “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever” and “Happy Days Are Here Again,” one could only marvel at how Callaway gave each song her spin.

Many of those which we have heard ad nauseam (could I really hear “People” one mo’ time?) sounded new, clear as a bell, and different, thanks to her amazing vocal ability.

She has a unique voice: part Callaway and part Morgana King. When she throws “Morganas” in on such as “Down with Love,” one can only marvel at her unusual  phrasing.

There are lots of surprises when she sings — all of them welcome.

One can forget how many hits Streisand had, and the AHC evening only showed the contribution she made to the world of music.

In the fast-paced 90 minutes we heard, among others, “Cry Me a River,” “The Way We Were,” a jazzed-up “Evergreen,” and “Don’t Rain on My Parade.

” The highlight was a thrilling medley of the aforementioned “People” and “Being Alive.”

Her blazing trio consisted of Bill Mays (MD; piano), Julie Jacobs (drums), and Paul Shewchuk  (bass).

Jeffrey Bruce

Originally from Fresh Meadows, Queens, Jeffrey has been in nine national tours, including How to Succeed… (Finch), Camelot (Mordred) and Peter Pan (Hook). He has also had the pleasure to play leads in the entire Neil Simon catalogue. On television, he was the permanent guest host, for 21 years, on the #1 local talk show in the country Kelly & Company on WXYZ-TV, Detroit. He teaches a weekly Master Class in Drama in Boca Raton, Florida. His theater reviews are on Writing for Cabaret Scenes has enabled him to educate the public as to the superb cabaret resources that South Florida has to offer.