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The All Night Strut!

The All Night Strut! (Tiffany Theatre, West Hollywood; 99 seats; $ 34 top) Paula Holt and Jeff Levinson, in association with Lance Roberts, Deborah Shulman and M'Lisa MacLaren, present a musical revue in two acts conceived, directed and choreographed by Fran Charnas. Co-producer, Steve Gideon. Musical director, Perry Hart. Set, Robert L. Smith; lighting, Ken Booth; sound, Michael Cousins; costumes, George J. Pereira. Band: Perry Hart (piano), Michael Holmes (bass), Richard Martinez (drums). Opened Dec. 15; reviewed Dec. 22; runs through Feb. 9. Running time: 1 hour, 40 min. Cast: Andrea Chamberlain, Steve Gideon, Lance Roberts, Sharon Young-Fuller. Except for a first act-closing medley of World War II standards, Fran Charnas has not bothered to create any connecting theme tying together this nostalgic revue of 30 songs dating primarily from the '30s and '40 s. It is simply a celebration of some really great tunes performed by a talented quartet of singers who have an ensemble sound that is very reminiscent of Manhattan Transfer. Originally presented locally as a nightclub revue at Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel's Cinegrill, the exuberant "All Night Strut" fits very well in the intimate confines of West Hollywood's Tiffany Theatre. With music director Perry Hart's outstanding instrumental trio driving the action, the first act establishes swing is the thing as the foursome of Andrea Chamberlain, Steve Gideon, Lance Roberts and Sharon Young-Fuller offer well-harmonized outings on Glenn Miller standards "Chattanooga Choo Choo" and "In the Mood" (with Chamberlain offering a wonderfully swinging lead vocal), the wartime ditties "GI Jive" and "Shoo-Shoo Baby," as well as a languid but funky re-creation of the Ink Spots hit "Java Jive." Charnas wisely keeps the choreography basic and to a minimum, allowing the singers to keep their concentration on the music. The closest thing to a production number occurs with George & Ira Gershwin's "Fascinatin' Rhythm," as this syncopated standard evolves into a brief stop-time tap dance routine for Gideon, then moves on to indulge in a few alternative rhythms cha cha, Viennese waltz, rock and rap. Offering one of the highlights of the evening is Roberts' emotionally charged rendition of that Depression-era anthem "Brother Can You Spare a Dime?" He later pays homage to both Fats Waller and Louis Armstrong in a playful outing on "Ain't Misbehavin'." Gideon's light tenor sometimes disappears in the ensemble work, but his crooning style is very effective with "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square." During that catch-all medley "Juke Box Saturday Night," Gideon effectively duplicates Harry James' trumpet solo on "Chiriribin" and Bill Kenny's ultra-high lead work on the Ink Spots' "If I Didn't Care." Young-Fuller more than holds her own as she belts out the Bessie Smith classic "Gimme a Pigfoot and a Bottle of Beer." She also offers a rip-roaring rendition of one of the few songs from the '50s, gospel/rhythm 'n' blues hit "Operator." The most swing-oriented vocalist of the four is Chamberlain. She also offers a moving rendition of the wartime heartbreaker "I'll Be Seeing You" and teams with Gideon for a lighthearted "A Fine Romance." The second act opening is much more playful as the quartet offers a comically choreographed rendition of the tango standard "I Get Ideas." But Charnas never ventures too far away from the swing-era standards as the quartet continues with the boogie-woogie standard "Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar" and Erskine Hawkins' "Tuxedo Junction." The final highlight of the evening is a hard-driving medley that includes "Hit That Jive, Jack," Charlie Parker's be-bop standard "Billie's Bounce" and Duke Ellington's perennial "It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing." Sound designer Michael Cousins is to be congratulated for providing a perfect audio balance between the vocalists and the band, as well as projecting a dynamic but not overpowering level of sound out to the audience. Julio Martinez

With:
Cast: Andrea Chamberlain, Steve Gideon, Lance Roberts, Sharon Young-Fuller.

The All Night Strut! (Tiffany Theatre, West Hollywood; 99 seats; $ 34 top) Paula Holt and Jeff Levinson, in association with Lance Roberts, Deborah Shulman and M’Lisa MacLaren, present a musical revue in two acts conceived, directed and choreographed by Fran Charnas. Co-producer, Steve Gideon. Musical director, Perry Hart. Set, Robert L. Smith; lighting, Ken Booth; sound, Michael Cousins; costumes, George J. Pereira. Band: Perry Hart (piano), Michael Holmes (bass), Richard Martinez (drums). Opened Dec. 15; reviewed Dec. 22; runs through Feb. 9. Running time: 1 hour, 40 min. Cast: Andrea Chamberlain, Steve Gideon, Lance Roberts, Sharon Young-Fuller. Except for a first act-closing medley of World War II standards, Fran Charnas has not bothered to create any connecting theme tying together this nostalgic revue of 30 songs dating primarily from the ’30s and ’40 s. It is simply a celebration of some really great tunes performed by a talented quartet of singers who have an ensemble sound that is very reminiscent of Manhattan Transfer. Originally presented locally as a nightclub revue at Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel’s Cinegrill, the exuberant “All Night Strut” fits very well in the intimate confines of West Hollywood’s Tiffany Theatre. With music director Perry Hart’s outstanding instrumental trio driving the action, the first act establishes swing is the thing as the foursome of Andrea Chamberlain, Steve Gideon, Lance Roberts and Sharon Young-Fuller offer well-harmonized outings on Glenn Miller standards “Chattanooga Choo Choo” and “In the Mood” (with Chamberlain offering a wonderfully swinging lead vocal), the wartime ditties “GI Jive” and “Shoo-Shoo Baby,” as well as a languid but funky re-creation of the Ink Spots hit “Java Jive.” Charnas wisely keeps the choreography basic and to a minimum, allowing the singers to keep their concentration on the music. The closest thing to a production number occurs with George & Ira Gershwin’s “Fascinatin’ Rhythm,” as this syncopated standard evolves into a brief stop-time tap dance routine for Gideon, then moves on to indulge in a few alternative rhythms cha cha, Viennese waltz, rock and rap. Offering one of the highlights of the evening is Roberts’ emotionally charged rendition of that Depression-era anthem “Brother Can You Spare a Dime?” He later pays homage to both Fats Waller and Louis Armstrong in a playful outing on “Ain’t Misbehavin’.” Gideon’s light tenor sometimes disappears in the ensemble work, but his crooning style is very effective with “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square.” During that catch-all medley “Juke Box Saturday Night,” Gideon effectively duplicates Harry James’ trumpet solo on “Chiriribin” and Bill Kenny’s ultra-high lead work on the Ink Spots’ “If I Didn’t Care.” Young-Fuller more than holds her own as she belts out the Bessie Smith classic “Gimme a Pigfoot and a Bottle of Beer.” She also offers a rip-roaring rendition of one of the few songs from the ’50s, gospel/rhythm ‘n’ blues hit “Operator.” The most swing-oriented vocalist of the four is Chamberlain. She also offers a moving rendition of the wartime heartbreaker “I’ll Be Seeing You” and teams with Gideon for a lighthearted “A Fine Romance.” The second act opening is much more playful as the quartet offers a comically choreographed rendition of the tango standard “I Get Ideas.” But Charnas never ventures too far away from the swing-era standards as the quartet continues with the boogie-woogie standard “Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar” and Erskine Hawkins’ “Tuxedo Junction.” The final highlight of the evening is a hard-driving medley that includes “Hit That Jive, Jack,” Charlie Parker’s be-bop standard “Billie’s Bounce” and Duke Ellington’s perennial “It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing.” Sound designer Michael Cousins is to be congratulated for providing a perfect audio balance between the vocalists and the band, as well as projecting a dynamic but not overpowering level of sound out to the audience. Julio Martinez

The All Night Strut!

Tiffany Theatre, West Hollywood; 99 seats; $34 top; Opened Dec. 15; reviewed Dec. 22; runs through Feb. 9

Production: Paula Holt and Jeff Levinson, in association with Lance Roberts, Deborah Shulman and M'Lisa MacLaren, present a musical revue in two acts conceived, directed and choreographed by Fran Charnas. Co-producer, Steve Gideon. Musical director, Perry Hart.

Cast: Cast: Andrea Chamberlain, Steve Gideon, Lance Roberts, Sharon Young-Fuller.Set, Robert L. Smith; lighting, Ken Booth; sound, Michael Cousins; costumes, George J. Pereira. Band: Perry Hart (piano), Michael Holmes (bass), Richard Martinez (drums). Opened Dec. 15; reviewed Dec. 22; runs through Feb. 9. Running time: 1 hour, 40 min.

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