And why not? He has surrounded himself with four beautiful and talented women. When you’re 86 years young and looking and sounding as good as he does, it all fits like hand in glove.
The 5 time Emmy Award-winning host of The Hollywood Squares is back to his show biz roots at the Metropolitan Room offering up 30 songs! Yes, you read that correctly – 30 songs all written by . . . women. This is a happy show filled with backstage gossip and information in a big ole’ tribute to the female gender featuring some of the best tunes ever written.
Flanked by two gorgeous ladies – two time Grammy nominee Denise Donatelli and singer/pianist Carol Weisman (5 time Juno Award nominee – that’s a Canadian Grammy), they sing as a trio in harmony, in duet and solo. The songs are mostly upbeat tempos with some good jazz arrangements - “I Won’t Dance,” and bossa rhythms “The Way You Look Tonight” to smooth swingin’ “A Fine Romance” (all by Dorothy Fields). They cover a lot of territory and some of the greatest songs in the Great American Songbook - - Sinatra’s first hit “I’ll Never Smile Again” (Ruth Lowe); Peggy Lee’s first hit “Why Don’t You Do Right” (Lilian Green) and a plethora of Carolyn Leigh songs that include “The Best Is Yet To Come” and “Young at Heart” (she wrote this when she was 21).
Since it was the first show of six, there were some housekeeping problems that needed attention (mics and musical stools) but it all came off as fun. Betty Comden songs were also in the mix -“Make Someone Happy,” “New York, New York” and a salute to Peggy Lee’s “I Love Being Here With You.”
Carol Weisman is just as good playing piano as she is singing and took over several times from Anne Drummond, who also plays flute, while Brandi Disterheft accompanied on bass. Sadie Vemmerstedt’s idea (that made her a lot of money) when written by Johnny Mercer, “I Want to be Around,” showed off Weisman’s sensual smoky vocal qualities.
This is an enjoyable evening with a group of folks you feel invited you over to their place for some drinks and songs. The shows continue January 12, 7 & 9:30 pm, January 13, 4 pm and January 14, 7 pm www.metropolitanroom.com 212 206-0440