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Cabaret Review (LA): Heart of a Man by David Fairchild at Sterling’s Upstairs at Vitello’s

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At the end of his act called “Heart Of A Man” David Fairchild profusely thanked Michael Sterling for believing in him. This is what Michael Sterling does, provide performers a venue to try out material and make their first solo try at cabaret, a very difficult genre to pull off. In the case of David Fairchild he is known as a professional photographer but has also made various appearances on local stages in musicals like, Parade, Guys and Dolls, Light in the Piazza (which I saw him do), Hair, Fiddler on the Roof etc. Fairchild has a very pleasant voice and knows something about singing. Unfortunately he has been mislead in this set of songs to choose some wrong material in some misguided idea of presenting a hip, sexy act about what it is like being a man. His first number, “Sway”, got him off to a bad start as he tried to present a cool image by sashaying around the stage swaying his hips and snapping his fingers. Even Tom Jones is embarrassing when he tries this. Same goes for Englebert Humperdinck. I often found myself closing my eyes in order to enjoy his rather lovely voice.

His most successful song was “It Was A Very Good Year” and “Speak Softly Love”, the Godfather song that he sang simply and seated. Less successful were Some Enchanted Evening and a bizarre intro to “Unchained Melody” which was to somehow relate to a story about a father and son. He also sang a rather camp version of “Goldfinger” and over acted “Luck Be A Lady”. He was best when he was simple and relaxed. When he pushed to be cool he was hard to watch though his voice was always pleasant to listen too. But this outing is what Sterling’s Upstairs is all about, a tryout, a launch as it were of a solo career. David Fairchild performed on Aug 28th at Sterling’s Upstairs at Vitello’s.

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