On August 5 Bruce Kimmel brought his Kritzerland: The Burt Bacharach Album live show to Sterling’s Upstairs at the Federal. I love Bacharach and looked forward to this particular concert. I was not disappointed.
Kimmel had brought with him an array of superb singers: Danny Gurwin, Dennis Hyde, Kim Huber, Jane Noseworthy, Lisa Livesay, and special guest Daisey Eagan. The concert consisted of the usual mix of known and obscure songs and with that came the usual rush of nostalgia and discovery.
Danny Gurwin, whom I had last seen as the Minstrel in Cabrillo’s Once Upon a Mattress, was in fine voice. He began the evening with the opening number of Promises, Promises, “Half as Big as Life.” He next gave us a song made famous by Tom Jones, “What’s New Pussycat.” His last song was again from Promises Promises, “She Likes Basketball.”
Dennis Hyde was given a medley of movie songs: “Blob,” “Liberty Valance,” “Hot Spell,” “Raindrops,” and “Arthur,” a combination of known and unknown. Who would have guessed Bacharach wrote “Blob”? Hyde sang another unknown number, “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” from The Flip Side that had starred Joanie Sommers and Rick Nelson. His last contribution to the evening was a mash-up of two songs usually sung by a woman, “Walk On By” and “Anyone Who Had a Heart.” Dionne Warwick made both these songs famous.
Jane Noseworthy, who has been a familiar face at these Kritzerland concerts, sang “One Less Bell To Answer,” one of my favorites. Ms. Noseworthy then introduced us to a medley of songs from the long forgotten (except by Kimmel) Lost Horizon, which had received terrible reviews when it was released but contained some lovely songs. Jane rounded out the evening by singing a duet with Kimmel who showed he had a rather pleasant voice. That song was the duet from Promises, Promises, “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again.”
Lisa Livesay was a new singer here and I hope she returns. She has a wonderful voice and presence. She began with another mash-up, of “Trains and Boats and Planes” and “Come and Get Me.” Her next song was from the first Casino Royale, “ The Look of Love.” She ended the evening with a concoction of Kimmel’s he called “A Bacharach Love Story” that was a collection of Bacharach love songs (“Magic Moments,” ” Say A Little Prayer,” “Close To You,“ “Make it Easy on Yourself,” and “Promises, Promises.” She performed this Herculean feat admirably.
Kim Huber, another Kimmel regular, sang a powerful “Knowing When To Leave.” She followed this with the iconic “Alfie.” Ms. Huber, who has a gorgeous voice, also got to sing my favorite Bacharach song, “A House Is Not a Home.”
Daisey Eagan was the special guest star and she performed “Whoever You Are, I Love You” which is such a beautiful song. Tom Griep was the esteemed musical director. This concert was performed at Sterling’s Upstairs at the Federal.