Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Boston Sings Boston"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

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note: entire contents copyright 2001 by Beverly Creasey

CentaStage Sings
Boston's Praises

Reviewed by Beverly Creasey

In case you don't know, a cabaret renaissance is in full swing. Not only are clubs from Worcester to Cambridge hosting local cabaret acts, but theater companies have jumped onto the bandwagon. Speakeasy Stage, Hovey Players, and now CentaStage have gotten into the act.

The draw at CentaStage is that their current "Boston Sings Boston" production is showcasing LOCAL songwriters this week and next at Club Cafe in the South End. Joe Antoun's notion --- that our guys are as good as the big boys --- turns out to be on the money.

In fact, our guys hold their own against no less a songsmith than Stephen Sondheim: special guest Kerry Dowling joined Tim Evans, Melinda Stanford, Jon Blackstoke and Greg Bouchard to sing a "Gypsy" showstopper. Now you might think it unwise to set the local folk up against such formidable competition, but the local talent looks good, and sounds sensational.

Highlights are Bouchard's feisty renditionj of Dennis Livingston's catchy, quirkly "My Lucky Day" --- with an irresistable lyric about catching "a baby"; Blackstone and Standford's hilarious tongue-in-cheek calypso duet about friendship called "The Best Lies" by Barry Rosenberg ("All her opinions sound just likie mine!:); Stephen Murray's deliciously naughty "I Love Me"; Steve Bergman & David Kruh's spunky, saucy "Baseball Man"; Barbara Baig's plaintive, melancholy "Like So"; and Ernie Lijoi's luminous "Chandler Street" --- about his South end digs.

The performers are first rate and the songs are winners. Don't miss "Boston Sings Boston. It's a show the'll be talking about years from now, when these songs will belong to everyone --- and they will be adding more performances next qweek!

"Boston Sings Boston" (till 27 November)
Club Cafe, 200 Columbus Avenue, BOSTON, MA
1 (617) 536-5981 .

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide