The Swinging Songbook of Cy Coleman. Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Space Theatre. 21 Jun 2017
Can you believe Cy Coleman garnered 19 Tony award nominations and won five between 1963 and 1997? Really incredible. His most successful partnership was with Carolyn Leigh which produced The Best Is Yet To Come.
The sirens (CYrens - get it?) open with a playful rendition of Hey Big Spender which he wrote with Dorothy Fields for the musical Sweet Charity in 1966, and a year later sung to obscene popularity in a recording by Shirley Bassey. It is belted out with formidable gusto which is a hallmark of this lively and fetching hour long show. The girls' banter seems a bit strained at the start but their notation and clarity never falters and microphones may not have been needed; and, boy, can they sing.
The ladies have come together for this show from various previous engagements, drawn by their mutual love of New York jazz and Broadway musicals. Amanda Harrison took a cab straight from the set of Wicked. Chelsea Renton-Gibb performed in Chicago and Cabaret while Melissa Langton is one of The Fabulous Singlettes, but that's only a few samples of engagements. Cy Coleman seems to have written plenty of songs for women and a great variety from bolshie women to missing-my-man songs. Everybody Today Is Turnin' On is a highlight, introduced as arising from Cy's palling around with Hugh Hefner and all that goes with it, and a wry number from a worn-out twenty-seven-year-old hooker doing the math on how many times she's been doing it. Renton-Gibb's bare legs did an act all on their own for most the show but they were great props for this little number.
Never a dull moment, fantastic singing and a great song catalog. Vat else do you vant?
When: 21 to 22 Jun
Where: Space Theatre