MONICA MANCINI SINGS SOME OF THE GREATEST SONGS EVER
Her father is Henry Mancini, the great musical genius. Now Monica, his daughter gives us some insight into the man and his music. She sings effortlessly, and entirely true to form. Mancini doesn’t try to gimmick up the fabulous music that was written by her Dad and others. No, as a matter fact – we relax and listen to an easygoing show that was filled with many surprises.
Many of the songs in this set are on Concord Music’s “I’ve Loved these Days” – produced by Phil Ramone and Gregg Field.
And you’re gonna love the songs like “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly” from – My Fair Lady – set to an amazing Jazz Beat. Here is one of the lyrics” “That’s what I Want.” And, that’s what we get. A swell rendition.
Monica sings “It had better be Tonight” from the 1st Pink Panther Film. The flavor was very spicy. The Latin Beat is Hot and Nice. Then she softens things up a bit with one of Ella Fitzgeralds biggest hits “But not for Me” – here’s a lyric: “Their writing songs of Love – but not for me.” How many times have you felt that way? Yes, I know – it’s crushing – so to get you out of the blues – Monica treats us to an upbeat “Charade”. It was a fun romp.
Taking a trip down memory lane brings us to this Lyric: “Now I remember many a day…the shadow of your smile” – from the song “The Shadow of your Smile” from “The Sandpipers” Movie that starred Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.
Her father Henry won his third Academy Award for “The Days of Wine and Roses” – one of the most devastating movie stories of all time. Now, Monica brings back all those memories of this song. “Did you know — that they wanted to cut the song from the movie – because it made it run too long?” – she sez. Well, thank God they didn’t do that. Without the song and the background music themes, the movie probably would never have reached the popularity that it achieved. As Monica said – “It put me through Harvard!”
At the end of the set the applause doesn’t end as Monica leaves the room. Then, finally the applause gets her to come back and she says: “Heck, I was half-way to the Bar.” Her Encore (by Will Jennings) “Music on the Way” is a stunner. “It’s a love letter to my father.” Mancini says. In her clear and gorgeous singing style she sings: “And I love the music on the way.” The song touched the audience – it was very memorable and beautiful. It’s something that you would like to own.
The entire evening was compelling and absorbing. It’s impossible not to admire her elegance and remarkable singing.
THE BAND: THE SHELLY BERG TRIO: SHELLY BERG (PIANO), GREGG FIELD (DRUMS/MUSIC DIRECTOR) TERRY MILLER (BASS), DEAN PARKS (GUITAR) AND DON TURNEY (KEYS).
RATING: FOUR GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE!!!! http://www.therrazzroom.com/
(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook section and produced and hosted a long-running Arts Segment on PBS – KQED)))
James Darren – Screen Star/T.V Star/singer will sing “Help is on the Way” at the Herbst Theatre Aug. 15. Courtesy Photo.
A CHAT WITH JAMES DARREN – MOVIE STAR – SINGER – ACTOR
It’s easy to talk with James Darren. He is completely at ease and completely friendly. Still handsome and still working in show business – Darren has really been working quite steadily in show business ever since he was a Teenager.
When you were a Teen Idol James – what was your biggest hit song? – “Oh it was ‘Good Bye Cruel World’. It was # 1 on the charts. I recorded that at Colpix Records.
How did your get started in Show Biz? “I started out by training with the amazing Stella Adler. Also Joyce Selznik helped jump start my career.”
You have made many movies and did voice over in animated films. Why now – are you going back to singing? “Well, I enjoy singing. I appear at ‘Southpoint Hotel’ in Las Vegas four times a year. The place seats at least 600 people – and it’s always packed.”
You have made many movies and did voiceovers in animated films – why now have your returned to singing? “Well, I enjoy singing – always have and still get lots of Radio Play, especially on satellite Radio.”
I mentioned to a friend that I was going to interview you. His reaction was: “Oh Wow – he’s one of my all time favorites!” “Well, that’s nice to hear that.”
Are you excited to be entertaining at the “Help is on the Way” benefit to help AIDS charities and others? “Yes, I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve done similar benefits in L.A. for Charities.”
I asked him what he thought of Glee and America’s Got Talent. – “Don’t watch much T.V. I do watch the History Channel and Listen to Merle Haggard.”
Who is your favorite singer? “There are two: Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald. I am a good friend of the family.”
What was your most magical moment in your long career – or mind-blowing event? In two words – Hermione Baddeley!
Oh – and just like me – he doesn’t do texting. Darren shared this with me however. He likes comfortable furniture, such as Antiques, French, English. He also is fond of Early American and old weather veins. Darren also told me that he used to be afraid of flying – buy went to a Hypnotist. Now he flys. That’s encouraging – but I still won’t fly.
His early years were interesting. His first recording was for Colpix in the late 50’s. There was the beginning a screen career that saw him star in many films like Gidget. Darren was pretty much marketed as a pop/rock performer. His best and most popular recording was “Goodbye Cruel World”. An album by that name is still available on Amazon and other record sites. After Gidget he did “The Flintstones” and “The Irwin Allen Sci-Fi Time Tunnel. He lucked out in a good role as officer Jim Corrigan starring along with William Shattner on the hit show — T.J. Hooker. Darren has also directed many vehicles — on his own.
And as you will see and hear at the “Help Is On The Way” Gala at the Herbst Theatre – he is still handsome and still has a great voice. Add to that, a terrific personality. He’ll be appearing on stage with many other stars including Carol Channing.
Former Mayor and Carol Channing (Channing will appear at the “Help is on the Way” Gala the Herbst Theatre. Photo by famed photographer — and frequent Beyond Chron letter writer — Jerry Pritikin.)
CAROL CHANNING HAS SOMEMORE THINGS TO SAY
Well, first of all – I told Carol Channing that I had run across a photo of her and then Mayor George Moscone. During my last talk with her, I was so exhausted I forgot to run the photo. She has called and asked me to run it so that she can see it. So I will do that this time. Whatever Carol wants – Carol gets.
Of course, I kid. Carol Channing is one of the most hilarious Celeb/Star that I have ever met. She’s just so down to earth and friendly – and that’s what makes her the Gem that she is. Even thought is a Gem that is quirky and funny. Oh, and did I say witty.
I’d bet if you had the time – she could recite the entire Constitution word for word. She never, ever forgets anything. Ånd, that’s what makes her the charming and witty person that she is. You’ll see – when she gets up on the stage at the Herbst Theatre during the “Help Is On The Way” Gala you will agree that she is flat-out-loud funny and charming.
If there is a bigger star in the universe – I’d be surprised.
Let me give you a taste of the super stars that you will be seeing on the Herbst Theatre stage:
IN ADDITION TO JAMES DARREN AND CAROL CHANNING THERE WILL BE: MELISSA MANCHESTER, KIMBERLY LOCKE, LA TOYA LONDON, LISA VROMAN, DAVIS GAINES, SHERLY LEE RALPH, BRUCE VILANCH, PAULA WEST, CAROLE COOK (the other Dolly), LEANNE BORGHESI AND MUCH, MUCH MORE!
THE DIRECTOR: DAVID GALLIGAN. MUSICAL DIRECTORS: RICHARD BERENT & BEN PRINCE.
WHEN: AUG. 15, 7:30PM
WHERE: HERBST THEATRE ON VAN NESS
TIX: 415.392.4400 or http://www.helpIsOnTheWay.org/
The Photo of Lee Hartgrave Boy Reporter is by Jim Ferreira – Film Noir & Hollywood Glamour. www.lafterhall.com.
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