There may have been a dozen or so better cabaret singers than Cybill Shepherd performing around town last weekend, but it’s doubtful that any of them displayed more personality, more nerve and a more genuine sense of fun. Picking up the last two nights of a scheduled four-night stand after canceling the first half due to a case of strep throat, Shepherd stated the theme of her show early on: “Songs I want to sing.” Her choices ranged from blues and country to Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hart and the Gershwins; from Willie Nelson’s “Funny How Time Slips Away” to a salute to her hometown of Memphis including a slinky version of Rufus Thomas’ “Walkin’ the Dog.”
Her intonation was off, but her enthusiasm and love for the music was in high gear.
She told anecdotes regarding her relationships with Orson Welles (platonic, evidently) and Elvis Presley (not so platonic). She vamped male audience members during her version of Johnnie Taylor’s “Who’s Making Love” and reprised “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” which she sings under the titles of her current CBS TV series.
The personable Robert Martin played piano and saxophone and added a couple of vocals; the accompaniment was fleshed out with pretaped instrumental and vocal backing that reeked of cheesy “track dates” in discos.