Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Legends at Reagle By Beverly Creasey

Reagle Music Theatre hosted Broadway legend Leslie Uggams over the weekend and she showed why her star shines just as bright today as it did when she appeared weekly on the Mitch Miller television show. She can bend a note, rocket that note to the stratosphere and bring it back with a whisper safe and sound. She delivers gorgeous standards and familiar show tunes but most impressive is her magical ability to take a pop tune like the Drifters’ Up On The Roof and turn it into the sweetest of dream songs, as if “On the Roof” were “Over the Rainbow.”

If you missed her UPTOWN, DOWNTOWN cabaret at Reagle, you may be able to see her as Lena Horne on Broadway in STORMY WEATHER, the new tribute musical she hopes to bring to New York.

The next legend coming to Reagle is Patti Page, queen of the airwaves in the fifties and early sixties. She “owned” songs like Old Cape Cod, The Tennessee Waltz and of course, that little Doggie in the Window. Radio had just begun to play Top Forty music and Page came of age with Elvis, believe it or not. Imagine hearing Les Paul, Mary Ford, Page and Elvis, one right after the other on the radio. Then rock n’ roll transformed inventor Les Paul’s electric guitar into a weapon for social change and the crooners were crowded out. I knew all the lyrics to the “doggie” song but Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and Fats Domino were irresistible to us teenagers. When we were coming of age in the sixties, we never imagined we’d be sixty! Now nostalgia reaches back to those days by the radio when it all started. It’ll be lovely to hear those old songs again. Page comes to Reagle November 21st.