Regional Reviews: San Francisco/North Bay
Broadway star and Tony nominee Christine Andreas captivated the Bay Area Cabaret audience at the Venetian Room in the Hotel Fairmont on Sunday April 2nd with her show call "BeMused," a salute to composers and lyricists. She saluted Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler, Antônio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes, Jon Hendricks, Jessie Cavanaugh, Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn, Michel Legrand, Jimmy Webb, Burt Bacharach and Hal Davis, Rodgers & Hart, and Cole Porter.
At 64, Ms. Andreas remains a great beauty, but with awareness she conveys the grit and free spirit of a strong-willed singer. She has an entrancing, ravishing voice with a fast vibrato and metallic edge. Her pianist was Kenneth Ascher, an Oscar and Golden Globe nominated composer, arranger and pianist whose best known songs, written with Paul Williams, are "The Rainbow Connection" from The Muppet Movie and "With One More Look at You/Watch Closely New" from the Barbra Streisand's A Star Is Born.
Christine Andreas started the show with Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler's upbeat "Get Happy" from the Judy Garland film A Star Is Born and then segued into singing poignantly Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg's "Happiness Is a Thing Joe" from Cabin in the Sky. Next the artist saluted Antônio Carlos Jobim by singing "The Girl From Ipanema" and "Desafinado," and she had pitch perfect resonance on "Wave."
She saluted Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn with a raft of songs that included "Come Fly with Me," "(Love Is) The Tender Trap," and "Come Blow Your Horn." She was harmoniously energizing on Michel Legrand's "The Summer Knows" (theme from The Summer of '42) and Jimmy Webb's "Didn't We" and "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress." She saluted Burt Bacharach and Hal David by ebulliently singing "Alfie" and "What the World Needs Now Is Love" and acknowledged her pianist Kenneth Ascher by beautifully singing "The Rainbow Connection," before sensually singing Rodgers & Hart's "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered."
She reminded me of the great Edith Piaf when singing in French "Milord" by Marguerite Monnot and George Moustaki. For an encore, Christine went into Cole Porter's "I Love Paris" and segued into "La Vie en Rose" in French. Christine Andreas is one classy woman.
Christine Andreas' BeMused was performed for Bay Area Cabaret at the Venetian Room in the Hotel Fairmont on April 2, 2017. For more information on Bay Area Cabaret, visit www.bayareacabaret.org.