Indianapolis Star
July 17, 1973

Ed and Pet Please Starlighters
by Corbin Patrick

Starlight Musicals, taking a week off from Broadway shows, entertained its audience with a double feature last night - a comedy hour with Ed McMahon, the jolly pitchman of the Johnny Carson TV show, followed by an hour of song with the incomparable Petula Clark.

They were quite different, of course. But there was room for both under the big sky that covers Starlight's amphitheater. And the audience, officially estimated at 2,784, gave both a warm and friendly reception. They will continue in tandem every night through Sunday.

Miss Clark, as everybody should know by now, is a delightful singer, with a voice that can belt a rock song clear out of sight, and coo of love as softly as the proverbial dove.

Working in front of a 25-piece orchestra augmented by a female vocal quartet, she specialized in songs of the day's outstanding pop writers, including the Beatles, Hal David and Burt Bacharach, Leslie Bricusse, and - surprise -Charlie Chaplin. She makes a happy sound that radiates a kindly, sympathetic feeling toward people. Miss Clark is a heart as well as a voice. She is a gracious person.

She began this, her first American concert performance in several years, with songs ranging from "Color My World" to "Don't Sleep in the Subway." Then she recalled favorite numbers by the Beatles, which certainly include some of the most delicately poetic words and music conceived by contempomry pop writers.

She rekindled the love message in the David-Bacharach "What the World Needs Now," revealed the charm of Chaplin's graceful little serenade composed for his film The Countess from Hong Kong and had the audience in a mood to listen to her all night by which time we had to leave.

Indianapolis News
July 17, 1973

A Surprise Preceding Petula: And Now, He-e-e-r-e's Ed!

By Charles Staff

Because Petula Clark turned out to be Petula Clark and Ed McMahon turned out to be something else, Starlight Musicals has one of the most entertaining shows of this or any other season on its hands.

The first "special" of the season, which opened last night at Butler University's Hilton Brown Theater to an audience of 2,784, was split between the two stars, who never met on stage.

If McMahon was a complete surprise, Miss Clark wasn't entirely. Alone in the second part, she was everything one supposed she might be and more.

Looking lovely in a blue pleated empire gown and wish feathery blonde hair, Miss Clark, with dabs of inbetween talk couched in her native English accent, sang for all she was worth, roughly a million, for about an hour and 15 minutes without a letdown.

Of course, the favorites were her familiar hits, such items as "Color My World," "This Is My Song" and her first international splash, "Downtown," which the passing of nine years has not dimmed.

But certainly one of the highlights was her perfommance of Mary Magdalene's song from the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar, a delivery so packed with feeling and emotion that Miss Clark seemed truly drained by it and on the point of exhaustion.

An excellent stylist with a voice like no other around these days, Miss Clark is versatile enough, capable of intimate or strenuous delivery, that it seemed altogether desirable that she simply continue singing all night.

The Starlight orchestra, conducted by Starlight's own Gordon Brown for McMahon and by Miss Clark's own director, the vastly gifted pianist Harold Wheeler in the second part, was in the finest form possible, particularly when augmented by Miss Clark's personal percussion section.

This winning double header stays through Sunday.


Photo by Gary Schmidt