Broadway babies Emily Skinner and Alice Ripley, who made their mark as conjoined twins in the 1997 carny tuner “Side Show,” reunited at Town Hall for a one-night stand. Both divas possess appealing voices with the capacity to soar when called for and a deftly knowing talent to caress.
Each gal made notable turns while toying with a light pinch of sibling rivalry. While there’s little difference in their boldly flavorful Broadway voices, Skinner blushingly bowed in awe to her partner following Ripley’s pensive solo turn. The latter’s bright, youthful voice boasts a sunny top that simply bursts with enveloping beauty.
Centerpiece was a Stephen Sondheim medley that clearly rose above some none-too-memorable songs from “The Robber Bridegroom” and “By the Beautiful Sea.”
The ladies joined for Sondheim’s murderous lament “Every Day a Little Death,” Skinner rendered the assuring lullaby “No One Is Alone,” and Ripley wrapped it up with the clarion showgirl anthem “Broadway Baby.”
Boosting the second half were duets from Johnny Mercer’s “Li’l Abner” and the Leonard Bernstein-Adolph Green-Betty Comden tuner “Wonderful Town,” but it was the playful Irving Berlin salute to siblings “Sisters” that appeared to be a perfect fit (the song carries the guarded warning “Lord help the mister that comes between me and my sister, and Lord help the sister who comes between me and my man!”). Skinner made a delightfully saucy bow to Mae West with “Come Up and See Me Sometime” and framed “Lazy Afternoon” with sweet summery solitude.
A closing “Side Show” medley featured the pair in their former roles as Violet and Daisy Hilton and boasted Ripley’s take on “She’s Gone,” a song cut from the show. That little gem can be heard on the forthcoming live concert CD.
Musical director Ross Patterson fronted a trio that distinctively cushioned Skinner and Ripley.