It only plays two nights–last night (Monday) and tonight (Tuesday)–at Culver City’s Jazz Bakery. And it’s only one-hour long. But you can bet more sites will be heard of for “In Love”– and in longer form. In fact, San Francisco and Las Vegas have already asked for a look-see.
The Veronica and Ernest Chambers show with the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim had long been an idea of Ernie’s at Merv Griffin Entertainment. Merv loved the idea; was a fan of Jobim’s, had interviewed him in Rio, and even met the “girl from Ipanema.” But Merv forewarned Ernie “You’ve got to find the right musical arranger.” He did. He’s Bill Cantos who musicked Jobim into the special material by Ken and Mitzi Welch–who will now write added material.
“Whoever heard of people wanting more!” exclaimed a flattered Welch to Chambers. And so expansion plans are already afoot on the playlet written by Chambers last summer –before Merv died in August. And Chambers continues his first look deal with Merv Griffin Entertainment whose Ron Ward, Rob Pritchard and Michael Eyre were on hand Monday night.
Gavin MacLeod, “Captain Merrill Stubing” of “Love Boat,” came aboard “In Love” to navigate the trio of singers-actors through their sensaysh Jobim-melodic roles “In Love.” They are Amick Byram, Debi Nova and Will Collyer. They did Jobim proud as did Bill Cantos and his musicians Pat Kelley and Michael Shapiro. MacLeod was a perfect casting to help launch the unique project into untried waters. He had worked with Ernie Chambers in several Disney specials and was set to costar with Marion Ross in “Dennis, The Musical.” He will next be seen costarring with Robert Guillaume in “The Secrets of Jonathan,” which bows at Dallas’ U.S. Film Festival, and on April 29 MacLeod joins the “Mary Tyler Moore Show” cast in a reunion on the Oprah Winfrey season closer. And, of course, MacLeod takes command when the newest Princess, “Ruby Princess” sets sail Nov.8. It’s his 18th command.