Phillip Officer

Phillip Officer (Cinegrill; 200 seats; $ 15) Presented inhouse. Music director/pianist, John Boswell. Opened and reviewed June 25, 1997; runs until June 28. At Phillip Officer's opening at the Cinegrill, the New York-based vocalist combined impeccable musicianship with crystal- clear enunciation and an ability to communicate each song as if he were sharing his favorite short story. His rich, slightly reed-timbred voice caressing a 15-number set, the singer received all the support he needed from the flawless, intuitive accompaniment of pianist John Boswell. Officer is not long on between-tune chatter, but he does explain that the songs for this show are a collection of his most-requested numbers, a set of gentle, reflective ballads and showtunes, coming from almost every decade of this century. Officer gets the evening off to a proper mood with Joni Mitchell's seldom-heard but beautifully loping ballad "Night in the City." The singer's energy level seldom varies as he effortlessly croons such fare as Jerome Kern's "Once in a Blue Moon," and Irving Berlin's "Blue Skies" and "You Keep Coming Back Like a Song," as well as the Burton Lane/Alan Jay Lerner showtune "On a Clear Day" and Gershwin's "Nice Work If You Can Get It," which contains a nice solo by the pianist. If there can be considered highlights to this fulfilling evening of song, it would have to be the Officer/Boswell partnership on two medleys: Rodgers & Hammerstein's "So Far," "Getting To Know You," and an almost dreamlike "Shall We Dance"; and a truly haunting interpretation of Jimmy Van Heusen's "But Beautiful" and the Kander/Ebb ode to falling in love, "A Quiet Thing."

With:
Music director/pianist, John Boswell

Phillip Officer (Cinegrill; 200 seats; $ 15) Presented inhouse. Music director/pianist, John Boswell. Opened and reviewed June 25, 1997; runs until June 28. At Phillip Officer’s opening at the Cinegrill, the New York-based vocalist combined impeccable musicianship with crystal- clear enunciation and an ability to communicate each song as if he were sharing his favorite short story. His rich, slightly reed-timbred voice caressing a 15-number set, the singer received all the support he needed from the flawless, intuitive accompaniment of pianist John Boswell. Officer is not long on between-tune chatter, but he does explain that the songs for this show are a collection of his most-requested numbers, a set of gentle, reflective ballads and showtunes, coming from almost every decade of this century. Officer gets the evening off to a proper mood with Joni Mitchell’s seldom-heard but beautifully loping ballad “Night in the City.” The singer’s energy level seldom varies as he effortlessly croons such fare as Jerome Kern’s “Once in a Blue Moon,” and Irving Berlin’s “Blue Skies” and “You Keep Coming Back Like a Song,” as well as the Burton Lane/Alan Jay Lerner showtune “On a Clear Day” and Gershwin’s “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” which contains a nice solo by the pianist. If there can be considered highlights to this fulfilling evening of song, it would have to be the Officer/Boswell partnership on two medleys: Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “So Far,” “Getting To Know You,” and an almost dreamlike “Shall We Dance”; and a truly haunting interpretation of Jimmy Van Heusen’s “But Beautiful” and the Kander/Ebb ode to falling in love, “A Quiet Thing.”

Phillip Officer

Cinegrill; 200 seats; $15; Opened and reviewed June 25, 1997; runs until June 28

Production: Presented inhouse.

Cast: Music director/pianist, John Boswell

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