There seems to be a merger of the Café Carlyle and Las Vegas! Light up my life gal, Debby Boone, in very Vegas style, lit up the stage with “I’m Gonna Live Till I Die,” backed by nine pieces of heavenly musicians – some of the best in the biz, under the direction of John Oddo.
She’s thin, lithe and appealing in long black spaghetti strapped, skin tight gown that flowed into a mermaid tail. This famous daughter of a famous show-biz dad, Pat Boone, and daughter-in-law of jazz great Rosemary Clooney, had stories to tell about growing up in the 60s. While dad was starring at the Sands and Sahara, she was becoming acquainted with the “rat pack.” In between shows, dad would take her riding in his golf cart where she met Frank, Sammy and Dean, and one day, even hung out with Streisand. Little Debby was only a wee child, between the ages of 8 and 12. But, oh, what an entre into the world of music!
As the stories of the golden age of Las Vegas flowed, so did the songs, relaxed, easy with stylized pizzazz. “More Than You Know” was delivered sexy, sensuous torchy while the Nancy Sinatra hit “These Boots Were Made for Walking” was reminiscent of Debby’s opening for Frank in Atlantic City. An interesting aside: Debby was invited to stay on Frank’s property in one of his guest houses - - he had named them all after his albums. She was tucked in at “Nice n’ Easy.”
Recorded by Pat Boone and also Rosemary Clooney, a big hit for each, Debby delivered one of the evening highlights, “I’m Waiting Just For You,” with a noteworthy sax solo by Lawrence Feldman. In the appealing selection of songs, “Mack the Knife” became a Latin styled arrangement.
The one and only Bucky Pizzarelli, a surprise guest, helped close the show accompanying on guitar to a simple, quiet version of “Be Careful It’s My Heart.”
Debby Boone is a pro having grown up in the business with the best. However, less use of the 4th wall in this small intimate space would serve her greatly.
Her fine musicians included: Tony Kadleck, trumpet; George Rabbai, trombone; John Fedchock, alto sax; Lawrence Feldman, tenor sax; Aaron Heick, baritone sax; Ron Jannelli, bass, Jim Saporito/Ed Howard drums with John Oddo, Musical Director/pianist/arranger.
The room was aglow with celebrity including Mary Beth Peil, Alice Ripley, Marilyn Maye, Tovah Feldshuh, Tommy James and her loving family.
Debby Boone continues at Café Carlyle thru March 30th. www.thecarlyle.com