Spot Light Cabaret with Chris Leavy
Musical Direction by Chris Leavy
October 24, 2012
Winter Park Playhouse, Winter Park FL
Finally – Orlando’s hardest working piano player takes the lead in the intimate lobby of Winter Park Play House. They moved the piano for him; I’ll guess that was Heather Alexander’s idea as you would never hear a guy say “Honey, you’re right. The piano DID look better upstairs.” Leavy flashes a good bit of music theory tonight, he talks about making annotated tapes of “Funny Girl” and what he learned in Composition 102. This means he must have survived at least Composition 101 and that more than I’ll ever claim. Leavy’s big love is show tunes, he raps “Punk and funk are junk.” I’ll let that pass, I expect in a few decades you’ll go to some Philharmonic in the Park event and hear them redo the Ramones. The women will dress up and the men will fall asleep during the slow movement of “Sheena is a punk rocker.” But I digress.
Leavy opens with “Put Another Show Tune On” and then gives us one of his earliest compositions: “Everyone Lives in a Bubble.” It might have legs; the arrangement could stand some perking up, but let’s work with it. Then it’s off to Sondheim Central, he leads in with “Everyone Wants to Sound like Sondheim (But Me)”, then the obscurity “What More Do I Need?” “All Male Thanksgiving” and the double entendre laden “Entering Beverly” take us up to intermission, and when he returns, its heartstring pulling time. We hear “Moon River” and “Shadow of Your Smile” and “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” then a Marvin Hamish tribute, and an “Oh, yeah!” song. That’s one you instantly know the chorus, but can’t recall there is a verse. Tonight’s example: “As Time Goes By.” By now we’ve drunk our wine in little plastic cups, the baby sitter is getting expensive, and its encore time so we wrap up with “Lullaby of Broadway.” I have to admit a soft spot for that song; it’s got one of Busby Berkley’s biggest, most over the top tap dancing extravaganzas. Now THAT’S entertainment.
For more information on Winter Park Playhouse, please visit http://www.winterparkplayhouse.org