Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Applause! Applause! Review of Diana Templeton's "The Best Of Templeton" at Judys' by Jan Wallman

This review of Diana Templeton's "The Best Of Templeton" at Judys' was written by Jan Wallman and appeared in Volume III, Issue 1 (April, 1998) of Applause! Applause! published by Dr. Thomas Robert Stevens.

"The Best Of Templeton" - Diana Templeton
Judys' (49 West 44th Street, NYC)
Reviewed 4/17/98 at 9:00 p.m.

Diana Templeton is celebrating her 20th year in cabaret. Viewing this show, it is easy to see why she has prevailed while so many singers have flashed on the club scene briefly and quietly faded into oblivion. Besides her obvious talent, this lady knows what her audience wants and she gives it to them with all the ingredients that make up a delightful show. Her ballads are her strongest point but she handles humor well too, especially in "Dancing With David", a sweetly underplayed song by Jim Morgan and Paul Trueblood. In this she sings of the rapture of finally meeting the man she has adored from afar and takes us thru the dance with the guy she thought was so perfect and the subsequent disappointment as she gradually discovers his feet of clay.

"I Wish It Were Me" is a darling ballad with a country-western flavor which Ms. Templeton wrote in 1958, hoping Patti Page would record it which didn't happen. Her own rendition of it is lovely and, brought to their attention, any of today's Pop/C&W Singers could be pleased with it. The audience was quite vocal in their response to the song and their feeling that she should write more.

Diana and her musical director Rod Derefinko with Frank Wagner on bass gave us a well balanced potpourri of standards, lesser known show tunes and some originals by a number of writers of special material, notably everyone's favorite, Francesca Blumenthal. She does Blumenthal's "Movie Palaces" written with Addy Fieger which sings the names of all those long gone movie theaters of our remembered youth. Another Blumenthal song is the rueful "All The Wrong Places" brilliantly tied in a medley with "You Keep Coming Back Like A Song" and "These Foolish Things". 

A personal favorite of mine and the most poignantly dramatic moment of the evening was the pairing of "After The Show", a song by John Anello, Jr. and the haunting standard "If I Love Again".

The closer, rightfully the strongest piece in the show, was an exciting medley of Johnny Mercer's "When The World Was Young", "One More Ride On The Merry-Go-Round" by Neil Sedaka, Brel's "Carousel" and "Colored Lights" from Kander and Ebb's "The Rink". Tech Director Michael Barbieri went all out to create the carnival atmosphere for this and the show ended with a happy well-satisfied audience.

Many of the songs in this show are reprised from performances Diana has done over her twenty year reign in cabaret during which time she appeared in several clubs which are now defunct. Sadly, Judys' supper club which has been her home base the past several seasons, has landlord problems and will be closing the end of June. But owner Richard Hendrickson assures us that he will re-open in a new location yet to be decided on and that Diana, a great favorite in the club will be prominently featured wherever he settles in. 

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