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Sunday, June 19, 2016

Clare Teal Celebrates Doris Day @ Theatre Royal York June 18

Clare Teal (vcl); Jim Watson (pno); Simon Little (bs); Matt Skelton (dms) +Andrew Playfoot (vcl).
(Review by Liz).
Last night was a double pleasure for me, my first visit to the Theatre Royal since the £4.1m redevelopment scheme, and a gig from one of our finest female jazz singers!
Clare strode on stage in her signature black & white outfit, with a lusty “Hello York” The full to capacity audience of all ages loved it and responded accordingly. Kicking off with Sentimental Journey (her first big hit with the Les Brown Band) and backed by some of the finest musicians I have been privileged to hear, she segued into a full bodied It’s Magic and it was! She made us smile referring to the show as a “Doris Fest “and explained that the former Doris Mary Ann Kapelhoff changed her name to Day from the song Day by Day.
There then followed a couple of numbers from her 1965 album Latin for Lovers and, in particular, the number Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps which Clare observed that she had on good authority that it was Doris’s favourite. True to Me from that album had a lovely melody, it was new to me, and Clare sung with great tenderness. Close Your Eyes followed, and then a great treat which I hadn’t expected. Andrew Playfoot. I must confess he was a new name to me, but his range was terrific, and they did an excellent comedy duet with No Two People. Andrew remained on stage throughout the concert, harmonising beautifully with Clare, and also soloing on Hey There from The Pyjama Game. This gave Clare a chance to leave the stage and change into a cowboy costume for her Calamity Jane medley. Teal's comedic side is always a joy; she has a natural affinity with an audience, never overdoing the chatting, but keeping the show interesting with her many anecdotes. One such being her story of, on a signing session, a fan asked her to dedicate the CD to Doris Day, tongue in cheek, she did so, and was amazed to find that DD had, in fact, received it through this fan, and the great lady herself sent a CD of her own to Clare!
For me, her best number was I’ll Never Stop Loving You from the 1955 film Love me or Leave me based on the life story of Ruth Etting. There were great parallels here in Doris’s real life. Her tempestuous marriage to Marty Melcher was taking its toll, and those words which she sang to Marty Snyder (James Cagney) had a real truth to them
The second half brought many more wonderful numbers from Clare, and throughout this show I was amazed how like Doris she sounded, her phrasing, and arrangements so similar, and all the better for it. Secret Love which everyone was waiting for was quite superb. The show drew to a close with a sing-along to The Black Hills of Dakota and Que Sera Sera we sang out with gusto, giving Clare a standing ovation. She parted with the words, “keep supporting live music”
A sentiment echoed by us all.
The supporting trio, superb in support, surely gave Clare the lift required to give such a performance
Liz

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