Corrections were made to this review at 7:17 p.m. on July 29, 2003.
Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme are two of a kind, perhaps the last two. Looking remarkably younger than their years (he’s 67, she’s 70), Lawrence quips, “There are not too many showbiz couples left. There’s me and you and Siegfried and Roy!”
“One More for the Road” has been announced as their final tour. That doesn’t mean they’re calling it quits — far from it. They’re just curbing long road tours and slowing it down to a few choice engagements at key clubs, auditoriums and concert halls.
They still traverse the cream of the American songbook with distinctive vocal prowess, all-embracing charm and a knowing way with a melody. His velvety baritone remains a richly textured instrument. Her voice stills boasts an expansive range. Early in the concert, there are signs of wear, but she gets remarkably stronger as the concert moves into high gear.
Eydie sings a few of her chart hits: “If He Walked Into My Life,” “Blame It on the Bossa Nova” and a token highlight from her classic Spanish album with Trio Los Panchos. (She is skedded for an upcoming duet CD with Julio Iglesias.)
Lawrence renders his own personal hit parade with “Go Away Little Girl” and “Portrait of My Love.” The couple join for “Our Love Is Here to Stay” (incorrectly attributed to an Astaire-Rogers film), “I Wish You Love,” “New York, New York” and a romp with Rodgers & Hart’s “Where or When.”
Centerpiece is a sprawling 10-minute tribute to Ol’ Blue Eyes. The nearly 30-tune medley offers bits and pieces of Sinatra milestones, from “All or Nothing at All” and “Come Fly With Me” to “I Get a Kick Out of You” and “Witchcraft.” The pair slows it down for a few plaintive strains, like Eydie’s warm take on “This Love of Mine” and Steve’s lushly phrased “I’ll Never Smile Again,” an early Sinatra hit.
Sinatra gave Lawrence a crateful of his own arrangements, and beyond the big medley, he sings the Nelson Riddle chart to “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” a Cole Porter highlight from his recently released CD “Steve Lawrence Sings Frank Sinatra.”
Lawrence also happens to be a very funny guy. The pair share some funny Vegas shtick, with plenty of gags focused on the ups and downs of marital bliss. “Remember when we made love for an hour and three minutes,” says he, to his wife’s response, “Yes. That was the night they set the clocks back an hour!”
A 10-minute film gives the pair a break and offers a nostalgic career retrospective. Clips of TV spots feature Judy, Frank, Dean, Lucy, Sammy, the Merm, Steve Allen and Bob Hope.
The 20-city-plus tour swings through Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Columbus and Cleveland in October.