Kelly Park Presents New Talent; Extree! Extree! Extree!

by Buzzin' Lee Hartgrave on February 25, 2011


KELLY PARK master of all instruments, plus vocals has revived the old-time Talent show. If you’re not too old – you may remember the Arthur Godfrey show, where Julius La Rosa was first discovered. From then on – talent shows were the big hit. Now a days — the talent shows are still going on – with the highest rating and viewers on “American Idol”. Then, of course there is its stepchild “America’s got talent.” However on Park’s show, there is really no competition. Kelly’s version is a spotlight on talent. So, no one has to go home. No one is embarrassed by inane comments by idiot judges. There are no votes on who is the best singer. That’s because Park already knows that they are great singers who is wants to show to the world.

PAMELA was first on the stage wearing a Rainbow Colored Boa. Kelly Park said: “At first I thought is was Shawn Ryan”. Of course he kids. – Then Joy took up the sparks, with Cole Porter’s “It was Just One of Those Things.” She hits some powerful notes. Her voice puts out so much warmth that one can hardly imagine it being sung better. Really loved “What is This Thing Called Love?” Another Porter Great is in good hands with “Every Time We Say Goodbye.” And – she really impressed with Berlin’s “Say It Isn’t So.” All in all – Joy’s set was quite triumphant. I think we will see more of her soon.

Lena Sunday. Courtesy Photo.

LENA SUNDAY was next on the stage. She gave an absolutely fantastic “God Bless the Child” (Billy Holliday) and the Abby Lincoln “You changed”. Her styling is just pure magic. Then she overwhelmed the audience (including me) with “Cry Me A
River”, Tanya’s Song” and “It’s a New Day.” If anyone can excite with these classic treasures – it is Lena Sunday. She just gives us one great performance after another. What else can I say, except that is was moving? Very little talk from Sunday – but that’s what I like. Just listening to the music works just fine for me. Sunday’s talent reaches into the deepest waves of her soul.

LISA LESLIE had a snappy set. She seemed to be more assured and easy with the chitchat between some terrific standards. Leslie kept the hits coming. There was “S.Wonderful” (Gershwin). “I Remember You” (Billy rose) and “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. She is one (blonde) – so she ought to know. Leslie’s set was a little more Chatty – but fun stuff. Personally, I kinda like less talk and more singing. Leslie does have a knack for being precise on the notes. She sure has power and energy.

KELLY PARK – Master Musician and Director. Heck – I wouldn’t doubt that he could roller skate while playing the piano. What makes Park so interesting in not only his enormous talents for music — but also his, glowing personality. Easy going, is what I would say about him. He can do anything — hard-driving blues and the tenderer gospel like melodies. My only complaint is that the show is Too Short! But, I sure am looking for his next “Kelly Park Presents.” If there’s Talent out there he’s the guy that will find it.

KELLY also brought along the Best Band: They are Daniel Fabricant (Bass) – Elizabeth Goodfellow (Drums) and he also brought himself (Kelly Park at the Piano/with Vocals.)

RATING: FOUR GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE!!!! (highest rating) – trademarked-




THINGS THAT YOU SHOULD NOT MISS: Over in Berkeley at the Aurora Theatre is a swell play (Collapse). You don’t find this quality of acting very often. Check it out – have I ever misled you?

At the Lesher Performing Arts Center in Walnut Creek is a fabulous “Drowsy Chaperone.” The way I see it – and I have seen it. This production is on par with the Broadway show. Don’t be so Drowsy – get out and see a show. A Grand one at that!

SHN presents “Rock of Ages” in March. The Tony Nominated musical will work your chunky waist for you –as you gyrate in your seat. In fact – the audience may be as entertaining as the cast.

Coming Up! At the Rrazz Room will be Ashford & Simpson (fantastic still). In April don’t forget to get your early Tix to the Joan Rivers show at the Castro. The Tickets are going fast – and may already be gone. Hurry, Hurry, Hurry!

Opening at the NCTC is “No Regrets”–another must see. Also, the Berkeley Rep opens on April 13 with Chekov’s “The Three Sisters”. Which sister are you? And The Regional Premiere of “Wirehead” at the San Francisco Playhouse will startle you. So get your head together. It’s shocking.

And Jon Secada (adult contemporary artist of the 90’s) has sold over six million albums worldwide. And you’re not getting mine. But, if you go to see him on March 24-27 – you surely will want his C.D.



The Photo of Lee Hartgrave Boy Reporter is by Jim Ferreira – Film Noir & Hollywood Glamour.



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Buzzin’ Lee Hartgrave

Buzzin’ Lee Hartgrave is a longtime theater critic in the San Francisco Bay Area. His reviews appear each Friday in Beyond Chron.

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