Clint Holmes: Between the Moon and New York City—The Songs of Peter Allen

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Clint Holmes

Between the Moon and New York City—The Songs of Peter Allen

54 Below, NYC, September 28, 2022

Reviewed by Ron Forman

Clint Holmes

Clint Holmes is a truly amazing performer. At age 76 he brings enough energy to brighten any room in which he performs. The still exceptionally good-looking Holmes has a big bold voice, and his kinetic motion on stage makes it virtually impossible to take your eyes off him. He has not lost any of the dynamism that he had when I first saw him as a headliner on the Las Vegas strip more than 20 years ago.
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His patter between songs is always amusing and often laugh-out-loud funny. This tribute to Peter Allen at 54 Below, directed by Will Nunziata, was 75 minutes of non-stop, fast-paced entertainment.
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Holmes was joined on stage by vocalist Nikki Renee Daniels and Holmes’ wife, Kelly Clinton Holmes. He was backed by a quartet of Michael Orland (music director and pianist), Kenny Gioffrey (reeds), Aaron Romero (bass), and Jakubu Griffin (drums) that really rocked.

Holmes burst on stage with a powerfully dynamic medley of “The Lives of Me” (Peter Allen) and “Not the Boy Next Door” (Allen/Dean Pitchford). He had the audience clap alongto his very kinetic “Bi-Coastal” (Allen/David Foster/Tom Keane). He displayed his ability to perform a ballad by starting “Don’t Cry Out Loud” (Allen/Carol Bayer Sager) in a whisper and then building to a big climax. He got a big laugh by saying, “I will do a medley of my hit song” before reprising his 1972, 2.5 million-selling record “Playground in My Mind” (Paul Vance/Lee Pockriss). He then amusingly told how Peter Allen made a lot of money with commercials in Australia singing “The More I See You” (Harry Warren/Mack Gordon) which he followed with his own swinging performance of the song. Holmes told how Allen came up with the phrase “between the moon and New York City” while flying into NYC and then performed a medley of “Arthur’s Theme (The Best That You Can Do) (Burt Bacharach/Carol Bayer Sager/Christopher Cross/Allen),” “I Honestly Love You” (Allen/Jeff Barry) and “I’d Rather Leave While I’m in Love” (Allen/Sager).”

Holmes was joined on stage by Daniels whose beautiful sound worked wonderfully with Holmes’ for their very dramatic and romantic duet of “You and Me” (Allen/Sager). Kelly Clinton Holmes, dressed in a bright red sequined dress, danced across the stage with her husband for a very lively “I Go to Rio (Allen/Adrienne Anderson). Before Holmes performed his autobiographical song “1944,” he described how his mother (Audrey Holmes, a white British Opera singer) and his father (Edward Louis Holmes, a black American jazz singer) met and fell in love during World War II. He also told how Allen, sitting in an audience next to some loud, rude patrons, was led to his write “Quiet Please, There’s a Lady on Stage” (Allen/Sager). He then had the audience clap whenever that phrase came up during the performance of the song. His closing number was appropriately a medley of “The Lives of Me” (Allen) and “Once Before I Go” (Allen/Pitchford). His encore had the audience singing alongto “Everything Old is New Again” (Allen/Sager).

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.