PETULA CLARK CONCERT A PANACEA FOR FORGETTING TROUBLES AND CARES|
Petula Clark is something of an anomaly. At an age when many celebrated 50s and 60s vocalists are content to reap financial gains by touring in "oldies" circuits, the singer/actress/songwriter has chosen to broaden her career. Britains gift to the performing arts is sharing her bell-like voice with nightclub and legitimate theater audiences worldwide. Her six night engagement at Resorts Superstar Theater was best characterized by a fan as "An exciting theatrical experience in a cabaret setting."
Resorts audiences were privy to the best of Pets diverse musicals worlds: nostalgic rock'n'roll hits from the 50s and 60s, and songs she performed in motion pictures, on Broadway and in London's West End.
Clark, dressed in a colorful, long two piece outfit topped with a flowing coral cape, opened her performance on Friday evening with an emotional delivery of the bouncy, "I Know Youre Out There Somewhere." As the lights dimmed, a gentlemen seated stage-front presented her with a bouquet of red roses. It set the mood for the next number, the romantic ballad, "Here We Are." It took just a few bars of music for the audience to recognize the next song, "Dont Sleep In The Subway," an early sixties hit written by Tony Hatch.
The ambiance changed again as Petula stood in front of the piano, and softly said "meow" as an introduction of "Cats," the blockbuster song from Andrew Lloyd Webbers musical of the like name. Petula sang the song from the feline-themed musical in her own distinctive style. The audience loved it.
Petula welcomed the Labor Day weekend crowd. "It's been a long time since I've been in Atlantic City, and I am very happy to be back. The show is going to be songs that I love, and I hope that youll like them too." Her keen sense of humor surfaced throughout the evening, and especially when she introduced her next song, written by Charlie Chaplin for the movie The Countess From Hong Kong. "I wasnt in it; he chose some other woman — Sophia Loren." The song, "This Is My Song," became an international hit. The effervescent country "Color My World," was next, followed by "You And I," which Pet sang in the updated version of the 1969 musical version of the 1939 classic motion picture Goodbye, Mr. Chips. Though the picture only received lukewarm reviews, Clark and co-star Peter O'Toole were lauded for their roles. She feigned an Irish brogue to sing "Look to the Rainbow" and "How Are Things In Glocca Morra?" both from Finian's Rainbow, in which she sang and danced with Fred Astaire.
She then commenced to sing the beautiful and poignant, "I Dreamed A Dream," from Les Miserables, "Losing My Mind" from Stephen Sondheims Follies, and "Tell Me Its Not True," which she sang on Broadway in Blood Brothers. Clark followed the Broadway tunes with an appropriate poem "The Theater." She masterfully interpreted the poem which expressed the magic of the theater. Only one who has been active in the theater could pen such thoughts. The legendary performer continued with timeless songs that are still requested on radio stations. "I Know A Place," Cole Porters "I Concentrate On You," performed with a tango beat and "I Couldnt Live Without Your Love," a song that she described as "My Favorite of all the songs Ive ever done." She then donned dark sunglasses to create the proper mood for "With One Look," from Sunset Boulevard. After just a few lyrics of "My Love," she segued into "Downtown," the Tony Hatch tune that made her an overnight singing sensation and copped a Grammy Award as the Best Rock and Roll single in 1965.
Next was the bouncy, "The Other Mans Grass," a song with a moral that reminded us to appreciate what we have. Miss Clark seated herself at the piano at center stage to conclude a most memorable evening with "Here For You." She wrote the beautiful new love song, and is scheduled to record it in Los Angeles this week.
We hope that the success of Petula Clark's all encompassing Resorts performance will lead to more frequent appearances by the Queen of 60s Pop Music.
By Sandy Posnak
Whoot, USA — September 10th 1998