July 1 was Bruce Kimmel’s Kritzerland time again at Sterling’s Upstairs at the Federal. The venue keeps evolving, both good and bad – better chairs, but loss of popular menu items. Nevertheless the shows are still first rate, with Kimmel at the helm and a handful of some of LA’s brightest musical talents.
The evening was devoted to the music of Alan Jay Lerner. Most famous for his collaboration with Frederick Loewe, he also wrote with Burton Lane (On a Clear Day and Royal Wedding), John Barry (Lolita), Kurt Weill (Love Life), Andre Previn (Coco), Charles Strouse (Dance A Little Closer), and Leonard Bernstein (1600 Pennsylvania Avenue). Many of these shows were flops but it is always fun to hear “lost songs” from their scores. His collaboration with Frederick Loewe bore more successful fruit, primarily My Fair Lady, Brigadoon, and Camelot.
Kimmel once again gathered a wonderful group of singers. Chelsea Emma Franko, who won LA’s Next Great Stage Star competition, showed terrific chops when she sang “On A Clear Day/Hurry, It’s Lovely Here.” She also sang “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly,” as well as “Someone on Your Side” (cut from Coco).
Jane Noseworthy brought her lovely voice to “One More Walk Around The Garden,” a lovely song from the virtually unknown Carmelina. She also tried her hand at “I Could Have Danced All Night” and the obscure “Take Care of This House” from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Dennis Kyle, a new voice to me, brought his sunny style to “On The Street Where You Live/Almost Like Being in Love.” He returned to sing the obscure “Dance A Little Closer/There’s Always One You Can’t Forget.”
Kim Huber used her classy voice to sing “Too Late Now“ from Royal Wedding and the lovely “There But For You Go I.” She also sang the powerful “What Did I Have That I Don’t Have” from On A Clear Day.
Gordon Goodman brought his rich baritone (straight from his success in Shenandoah for Musical Theatre Guild) to two classic songs from Camelot, “Camelot/If I Ever Leave You.” He then sang a charming but unknown song, “Little Prince” from the movie of that name, and also the powerful “Come Back To Me” from On A Clear Day.
Two special appearances were included. First, Andrea Maracovicci sang “Mr. Right” from Love Life. Kimmel and musical director Shelly Markham sang a delightful “I Remember It Well” from Gigi. This grand concert occurred on July 1 at Sterling’s Upstairs at The Federal.