By Sandi Durell
On a recent Saturday November 25 early evening, two-time Bistro Award Winner Vickie Phillips was on stage at Don’t Tell Mama plying her art form; something she’s been doing for many years as an actress and singer.
As a storyteller, Vickie is at the top of her game. She’s also very present and comfortable in her own skin and with everyone around her. It’s where her heart and soul lie and she shares it willingly and lovingly. Instead of a themed show, she ever so cleverly wrapped up the songs that make her life joyous as a present to her audience calling her show Songs for a Turkey Lurkey Weekend.
When Vickie sings Dottie Berman’s “I’m So Glad You’re in My Life” or Cryer & Ford’s “Old Friend,” she means it. The potpourri offering of tunes took us on a “Sentimental Journey” (music: Les Brown & Ben Homer, lyric: Bud Green), along with some of Vickie’s Kurt Weill favorites (for which she’s known) i.e., “Here I’ll Stay” and brought back memories of Hollywood in Craig Carnelia’s list song “Old Movies,” with all the humor and fun it deserves. In the mix was Jimmy Van Heusen & Johnny Burke’s “But Beautiful”- always a knock your socks off song.
A real step back in time for me was recalling my very young years, in my bedroom with sheet music in hand, singing with Teresa Brewer on the radio to the iconic “Music, Music, Music” (Bernie Baum & Stephan Weiss) – my favorite song of the day.
But it always comes back to Irving Berlin when you want the great American songbook favorites: “I Love a Piano”/”Play A Simple Melody” – which her delightful accompanist Gerry Dieffenbach so ably did and harmonized on in duet with Vickie.
Her very appropriate encore was Sammy Fain and Irving Kahal’s “I’ll Be Seeing You.”
A definite show to bring back, Ms. Phillips!
Don’t Tell Mama, West 46 Street, Restaurant Row, NYC