Tennie Leonard: I Love Being Here with You

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Tennie Leonard

I Love Being Here with You

Don’t Tell Mama, NYC, April 17, 2019

Reviewed by Peter Haas for Cabaret Scenes

Tennie Leonard
Photo: Kristin Hoebermann

For a warm and charming cabaret show, performed by a pro who clearly enjoys making music—and who communicates that spirit over the footlights to her audience—you can’t beat the delightful Tennie Leonard. In a fast-moving program, scrapping unnecessary patter and concentrating on her songs, she romped through a program of classic numbers created by a who’s who of composers and lyricists.

With Ian Herman providing strong support at the piano, Leonard offered a hit parade of songs spanning decades. Old-timers—still sounding as fresh as today—included Harry Warren and Mack Gordon’s “The More I See You,” Rodgers and Hart’s “Glad to Be Unhappy,” and Harold Arlen and Dorothy Fields’ “Today I Love Everybody.” Folk songs were represented with a sweet variation of “Scarlet Ribbons,” and Leonard also honored Kander and Ebb (with the humorous “Arthur in the Afternoon”); Maltby and Shire (“Patterns” and “What If We Had Loved Like That?”); Stephen Sondheim (“I Never Do Anything Twice”), and Rube Bloom and Johnny Mercer (“Day In, Day Out”). Andrew Lloyd Webber was also present through a humorous parody of his “Memory” with lyrics by Pam Peterson, while New York’s Julie Gold was on hand musically with Leonard’s lovely rendition of “The Journey.

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” The finale was Peggy Lee and William Schluger’s “I Love Being Here with You”—a sentiment that the audience enthusiastically shared, judging by its applause and cheers.

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A reprise of Leonard’s show is scheduled for the afternoon of May 5 at Don’t Tell Mama.

Peter Haas

Writer, editor, lyricist and banjo plunker, Peter Haas has been contributing features and performance reviews for Cabaret Scenes since the magazine’s infancy. As a young folk-singer, he co-starred on Channel 13’s first children’s series, Once Upon a Day; wrote scripts, lyrics and performed on Pickwick Records’ children’s albums, and co-starred on the folk album, All Day Singing. In a corporate career, Peter managed editorial functions for CBS Records and McGraw-Hill, and today writes for a stable of business magazines. An ASCAP Award-winning lyricist, his work has been performed at Carnegie Hall, Feinstein’s, Metropolitan Room and other fine saloons.