Live at Caesar's Palace
The powerful one-two female whammo of Petula Clark and Joan Rivers is destined to be a heavy traffic promoter for the next three weeks. The Clark vocal ministrations follow very closely her previous set here, a 60-minute run-through of tops of pops including several of her own past chart-busters. Although not prominent on the contemporary disk lists, she manages to hold her votaries from other exposures than a hot album or hit record. Displaying a pert personality that pervades all the tunes essayed, there are also neat amounts of vocal elixir in her British humor between songs.The addition of "Your Cheatin' Heart" this trip charms everyone, purred in simulated cornpone dialect and complete with her Nashville experience in the spoken setup. A couple of minus points are present, one being insistence on amplification gain high enough to induce squealing feedback, and another, some overwrought, squealing measures of "I Don't Know How to Love Him." She needs to rethink the latter song.
Musical director Frank Owens is very much in command of the Nat Brandwynne forces, and her backup trio, the Beverly Henshaw Singers, spread animated sounds throughout.
Bravo Sid Gathrid of Caesar's Palace for giving the summer crowds one of the freshest, brightest and most entertaining bookings of the year in the lady stars Petula Clark and Joan Rivers. Destroying the old hand-me-down Strip myth that two females are artistically incompatible and or have ineffectual drawing power, Pet and Joan's opening string of standingroom-only crowds found the duo irresistible.
There's a delightful mix-up of interplay of the stars' talents; Petula does comedy bits, Joan sings. The "raid" on the other's forte only adds to the evening's abundance of style, polish and charm.
It's been quite some time since Petula Clark has been this vivacious, high-spirited or lively. Always a brilliant song stylist with a darling, ringing range, Petula gives each musical selection her own very distinctive treatment, including a tour de force "I Don't Know How to Love Him," an exceptional foray into country music's "Your Cheatin' Heart," a Beatles medley and a medley of songs by lady composers.
Enormously appealing and obviously as popular as ever, Petula invests her talents as an actress-comedienne in dramatic ballads, frothy novelties and utterly charming between-song banter sparkling with her very British, very dry and very witty commentary.
Musical director-pianist Frank Owens conducts the Nat Brandwynne orchestra and Miss Clark's supporting vocal group, the Beverly Henshaw Singers, through Petula's exquisite musical arrangements. Petula's renditions of "Until It's Time for You to Go," "You Are the Sunshine of My Life," "You and I," and her trademarks, "Downtown," "I Couldn't Live Without Your Love" and "Don't Sleep in the Subway" are the lustre and the lilt of an evening's enchantment.
Las Vegas Sun
July 29, 1973
Petula Clark and Joan Rivers are the strongest one-two punch on the Strip. We caught them at midnight on Thursday in the Caesar's Palace Circus Maximus. Petula is a Las Vegas lady singing superstar [who is] singing, if that be possible, even better than ever. We especially appreciated the new country-western dimension in the form of "Your Cheatin' Heart." Beautifully gowned this time, a few pounds lighter and in great good humor, Great Britain's number one lady singing superstar export thoroughly delighted a capacity crowd throughout her turn.
One personal criticism to Joan Rivers: Even if Petula Clark asked you to and or gave her blessing, no one, not even if they be as funny and talented as yourself, should do fifty minutes in front of the closing act. If the two of you wish to do forty minutes apiece, great, but the midnight show was like trying to down two pounds of strawberry shortcake with extra heavy whipped cream (not Reddi-Whip) after a lovely meal in the Caesar's Palace Bacchanal - too much!
Kudos due Miss Clark's conductor, Frank Owens, her sidemen, the Beverly Henshaw singers and the ladies and gentlemen of the fantastic Nat Brandwynne orchestra. Joey Preston makes a difference in the drummer's chair - a fine difference.