Saturday, January 7, 2012

Applause! Applause! Review of Judy Kreston & David Lahm's "My One And Only Love" by Dr. Thomas Robert Stevens

This review of Judy Kreston & David Lahm in a show entitled "My One And Only Love" at Judys' was written and published by Dr. Thomas Robert Stevens and appeared in Volume II, Issue 1 (March, 1998) of Applause! Applause!

"My One And Only Love" - Judy Kreston & David Lahm
Judys' (49 West 44th Street, NYC)
Reviewed 3/14/98 at 9:00 p.m.

Judy Kreston and David Lahm, her accompanist, musical director and husband, are both superior performers who are more than deserving of their international reputations. Andre Sitov of TASS wrote, "Out from under the fingers of the guy with the beard, unrestrained life flies helter-skelter: melodies tenderly cheerful, elegantly melancholy. For the lady with the rose in her hand, it seems more natural to sing than to talk and she sings about everything in the world: about walking through the city, about love, about music." That review, written in 1990, could have been written about their current show, "My One And Only Love". David Lahm still has his beard and Judy Kreston still holds her rose, a pink one this time, and Judy is still singing about love and life. When Judy asks herself rhetorically, "What or who is "My One And Only Love?", she responds, "It's life. Simply life. It's all the things I'm passionate about in my own life. That means singing, people, cooking, sewing, decorating -- even household wiring, which I'm passionately studying now." Judy Kreston sings about all of these things in her show including the household wiring which is handled in a cute little number entitled "A Song For Judy" written by her husband, David Lahm.

Judy Kreston and David Lahm are so professional and talented that they would be successful performers anywhere in the world. You can catch them here in their home town at Judys', one of the most elegant, beautiful and intimate cabaret rooms in New York City; a hidden oasis of friendly, serious lovers of live entertainment amidst the hordes of often rude and boisterous tourists who generally do not have the same respect for performers that native New Yorkers have. The flower of this hidden oasis is Judy Kreston. In fact, I learned that Richard Hendrickson, the owner of Judys' who also directed Judy Kreston's current show, wanted to name his then newly purchased club "Judy's" (singular) in honor of Judy Kreston because he was such a great fan of hers over the years. When the modest Judy Kreston refused to allow her friend to do so, he decided instead to name his club "Judys'" (plural) as a tribute to all the singing Judy's including Judy Kreston. For all these reasons, catching Judy Kreston at Judys', her familiar stomping ground, is a unique experience that should not be missed!

"My One And Only Love", a virtual feast of songs, is a departure from last season's format where each of three shows focused on a single theme: "In The Center Ring", a collection of circus songs; "Cabaret a Trois", a look back at the 17-year collaboration of Judy Kreston, David Lahm and impresario Jan Wallman, who got Judy and David started in cabaret and who was present in the audience this evening; and "Newley Discovered", a pastiche of songs by the British composer Anthony Newley. I am truly sorry I missed those shows. But you don't have to miss this one, which contains unexpected treats and an almost perfect execution of some old and new favorites.

My favorite numbers from the show included "Life Is A Wonderful Thing" (Jay Kerr & Arthur Kirson, who was also in the audience this evening); "My Kind Of Town" (Sammy Cahn/Jimmy Van Heusen); "Here's That Rainy Day" (Johnny Burke/Jimmy Van Heusen); "Buyer Beware" (David Lahm/Dexter Gordon); "Angels Among Us" (Alabama); "What I Did For Love" (Ed Kleban/Marvin Hamlisch); and "That's Entertainment" (Howard Dietz/Arthur Schwartz). Ratzo Harris on bass and Eddie Caccavale on drums provided additional music, and given their proficiency and that of David Lahm, there were times I felt I was at a concert performance instead of in a cabaret room.

Judy Kreston won me over with her honest, powerful renditions as well as by her technical perfection. I urge you to catch their last remaining shows on Saturday, March 28, 1998 and Saturday, April 4, 1998 at 9:00 p.m. in the cabaret room at Judys'. There is a $15 music charge per person plus a $10 minimum purchase of food and/or drinks. Dinner is available in the cabaret room prior to the show beginning. Don't forget to call for reservations!!

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