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Cabaret Review (LA): Jeanne Page in Hakuna Matata: No Passing Craze

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Two things you can always depend on at Michael Sterling’s Upstairs at Vitello’s are great food and wonderful entertainment. Sometimes the entertainment is up-and-coming talent trying out their wings; other times it’s seasoned musical comedy performers. In the case of Jeanne Page we were treated to a veteran of Las Vegas, who has shared the stage with Sammy Davis, Wayne Newton, Lou Rawls, Nancy Wilson, Boz Scaggs, and many more. Ms. Page also has an extensive theatrical resume, having appeared in Gigi, Kiss Me Kate, Peter Pan, Bye Bye Birdie, and Oklahoma. On Aug 1 at Sterling’s Upstairs at Vitello’s she showcased a whole new act featuring songs from the Great American Songbook as well as a few choice favorites of her own.

She began with a very cute and comical number from the 1930s by Louis Jordan called “Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens.” She reminded us of Mr. Jordan’s importance to music and to singers. (His music formed the score for Five Guys Named Moe.) She followed this with a Billie Barnes song called “Something Cool” which she sang magnificently. Other highlights of the evening included “Zing Went The Strings of My Heart,” “I love a Piano,” “If” (by the group Bread), and a mashup of “You Are So Beautiful” and the Beatles’ ”Something.” Further mashups included fresh takes on “Bibbity Bobbity Boo” and “You Got What it Takes. One of my favorites was her rendition of Hoagie Carmichael’s “Stardust”.

She ended this delightful concert with a tribute to one of her idols, Lena Horne. Jeanne Page is an original interpreter of songs. With each song she tells a story and the story is layered with years of experience. It is no wonder that this was her fourth appearance at Michael Sterling’s Upstairs at Vitello’s.

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