Suffering from the remnants of a cold on the evening I attended, vocal angel Christine Andreas took on an even more exciting addition to her colorful intonations – sultry, sexy low tones. As she noted “the bloom may be off the rose, but it’s still a rose!”
Stunning, as always, in a long red fitted gown, the chanteuse easily set the tone of the evening with Arlen/Koehler’s “Get Happy” and went on to explain the derivation of bemused or in this case, be-mused. It turns out that whether one is astounded, mystified, intrigued or thunderstruck, the significance all boils down to a singer and songwriter colliding. Such as Harold Arlen when he met Judy Garland. There was the same combustion when Arlen met Ethel Waters – from the depths and reverie of sensuality, Ms. Andreas, her phrasing and diction impeccable, flows in, around and through “Happiness Is Just a Thing Called Joe.”
The colorful palette of songs, matching singers and songwriters, was 70 minutes of vocal intrigue; what would surely be a daunting exercise for most singers. But for Ms. Andreas, a two time Tony Award Nominee (Oklahoma, On Your Toes), blessed with a stunning vocal expertise, she moved easily through Brazilian classics “Ipanema/Desafinado/Wave” – another example of collision – Stan Getz, Astrid Gilberto, Jobim, continuing on to the pairing of Jimmy Van Heusen who kept Frank Sinatra swinging with “Come Fly With Me/Tender Trap/Come Blow Your Horn,” and also very drunk, giving her a chance to swing with the best of them. And we love hearing all those backstage gossip stories.
Soaring with desire, Andreas offers a brilliant rendition of “The Summer Knows” (Legrand/Bergmans) punctuated by Don Rebic’s outstanding solo on piano (Dick Sarpola on bass). It was one punch after another, from Jimmy Webb’s poetic “Didn’t We,” filled with wistful mysteriousness, into a whispered, breathy “Moon’s A Harsh Mistress.” Moving on to Hal David/Burt Bacharach, Andreas soared with a powerful “What The World Needs Now” and showed off her comedic talents with Larry Hart’s wicked lyrics “To Keep My Love Alive” by offing all those husbands, and telling the back story of Hart’s intrigue with actress Vivienne Segal (A Connecticut Yankee) for whom it was written.
How one singer can interpret so many tried and true standards and familiar songs and add new dimensions, is a feat not to be taken lightly. Andreas bemused her audience throughout the show and kept raising the ante, as on “Bewitched” – sultry, sexy, sassy – finally releasing with French standards, the raunchy “Milord” and pensive “La Vie En Rose.” One of the most perfect voices around, Christine Andreas is not to be missed!