Critic At Large... Ruta Lee
A great variety of artists and groups appear… from Arias to Zanies, in this open air venue (free to the public).
We had the pleasure of attending Corky Hale’s totally delightful “Salute to two of
The show was very loose and lots of fun…. Much like sitting around the living room with wonderful artists performing and adlibbing through mishaps, like the ongoing “search for a key”. It was a great joy to see and hear “pretty perky Peggy King” who opened the show with "Chattanooga Choo Choo" and later treated us to “Makin Whoopee,” including some updated lyrics by Arthur Hamilton (Cry Me a River, He Needs Me, etc) who took a bow from the audience.
The still perky and pretty Ms. King tickled us with her story of once, rather nervously, singing “Friendly Star” (a Judy Garland signature) to Judy Garland in the front row of Mocombo. Like Judy, our entire audience (600) fell under her spell when she performed it last Saturday.
We would have enjoyed more personal stories about and from all the performers, songs, and writers, as no programs or information were available to guests.
Handsome personable, light, baritone Byron Motley (did a super job! We loved “My Buddy”) was a great addition to all the ladies performing. Those ladies included Sally Kellerman (who knew what a great chanteuse she is?) and the sassy, multi-talented Jennifer Leigh Warren (“Man I Love Belongs to Someone Else,” and what a range she displayed on “The More I See You”). Jerry Sherrell who hosts The Great American Songbook on Sunday evenings 1260 on your AM dial was there to sing but also to talk about S.O.S. (Society of Singers) a wonderful organization honoring Gladys Knight with the 16th ELLA Award on September 10, 2007 at Beverly Hilton (for more info go to singers.org). Donald Kahn – also a grandson of songwriter Gus Kahn - was in the audience enjoying the salute.
A great time was had by all thanks to Corky Hale and her selection of wonderful performers and musicians. We all enjoyed the adlibbing and special lyrics, although more care should be taken with uninvited political statements that would have the writers of these songs turning over in their graves.
We know the
Mark your calendars for Saturday nights in July and August 2008. You’ll be glad you took part in this Summer Valentine for
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