Celebrating Frank, Dean and Sammy

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Celebrating Frank, Dean, and Sammy

Appel Room, NYC, March 28, 2018

Reviewed by Marilyn Lester for Cabaret Scenes

Clint Holmes

The show must go on, so with Michael Feinstein “under the weather,” Clint Holmes (pictured), who’d been booked as one of his guests, took over hosting duties with Feinstein’s notes in hand. The droll charmer certainly made up for the loss and proceeded to deliver an absolutely satisfying show. The tone was set up front with piano man Tedd Firth leading a big band on a swinging arrangement of “It’s Now or Never.

” The group played tight, with outstanding solo turns by trombonist Art Baron. Then it was over to Holmes, a versatile singer with comedy up his sleeve. Pointing out the quintessentially Manhattan view from the Appel Room, he launched into a “what else?” jazz arrangement of “Chicago (That Toddlin’ Town)” complete with perfect scat.

Guest singer Jarrod Spector stepped out of his Broadway mode into a jazzy Vegas swing of “That Old Black Magic” and, with Holmes, drove home the special arrangement of “Me and My Shadow” written for Sinatra and Davis.

To make up for the Feinstein absence, two more of his Songbook Academy protégés—Nick Ziobro and Vuyo Sotashe—were added to the scheduled Finn Sagal. Sagal, all of 17 years of age, has a mature voice reminiscent of Dick Haymes. He already has a confident presence and, with more performance experience, he’ll be a knockout.

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Ziobro has gained a lot of polish (perhaps too much) in his several years on the road.

His snappy “Too Close for Comfort” was delivered in the Vegas lounge style, but was noteworthy for his excellent timing and phrasing. From South Africa, Sotashe shows a great deal of potential, but was far from flash with an exceedingly drawn-out version of “Body and Soul.

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” The full-cast play-out of a joyous “For Once in My Life” culminated a show that did the ailing Feinstein proud.

Marilyn Lester

Marilyn Lester left journalism and commercial writing behind nearly two decades ago to write plays. That branch in the road led to screenwriting, script-doctoring, dramaturgy and producing for the stage. Marilyn has also co-authored, as well as edited, books. It seemed the only world of words she hadn’t conquered was criticism, an opportunity that presented itself via Theater Pizzazz. Marilyn has since sought to widen her scope in this form of writing she especially relishes. Marilyn is a member of the Authors Guild, Dramatists Guild, Women in the Arts and Media and The League of Professional Theater Women.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Carl Hymans

    Great review by Marilyn Lester. Clint Holmes is an underrated entertainer and it’s good to see him getting the recognition he deserves

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