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Tony Bennett

Tony Bennett (Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza; 1,800 seats; $ 55 top) Promoted by Avalon Attractions. Band: Ralph Sharon, Doug Richeson, Clayton Cameron. Reviewed March 2, 1997. The biggest surprise of Tony Bennett's concert in Thousand Oaks on Sunday night came toward the end of the two-hour show. The singer invited a member of the audience on stage, introduced him as resident entertainer of the Peninsula Hotel, where Bennett was staying, and invited George Bugatti to perform. How planned it was, who can say. Otherwise, it was pretty much business as usual for Bennett: a solid program of American standard songs, drawing liberally from the Gershwin and Berlin songbooks, and including sections of material culled from his recent album tributes to Fred Astaire, female singers (that one, "Here's to the Ladies," won a Grammy last week), and his current salute to Billie Holiday. Oh, yes, and "I Wanna Be Around," "Because of You," and "I Left My Heart in San Francisco." Bennett took a few songs to get his voice warmed up, keeping in mind that he could have just gotten out of bed on the third morning of having the flu and sound better than most popular singers. But by the time he was singing Duke Ellington's "Solitude," accompanied only by Ralph Sharon's piano, all was well with the world. The show was divided into two parts: the first, with Bennett and Sharon; the second, with the two joined by bassist Doug Richeson and drummer Clayton Cameron. Bennett was singing to the galleries, ending each number at top volume and pulling the microphone closer to his mouth as he did so. For all his bravura, he was quite generous, not only to surprise guest Bugatti but to his own musicians. A couple of times, the spotlight remained on Sharon, leaving the star --- intentionally --- in the dark. And his version of "Fly Me to the Moon," delivered with no microphone whatever, as usual brought down the house. --- Todd Everett

Tony Bennett (Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza; 1,800 seats; $ 55 top) Promoted by Avalon Attractions. Band: Ralph Sharon, Doug Richeson, Clayton Cameron. Reviewed March 2, 1997. The biggest surprise of Tony Bennett’s concert in Thousand Oaks on Sunday night came toward the end of the two-hour show. The singer invited a member of the audience on stage, introduced him as resident entertainer of the Peninsula Hotel, where Bennett was staying, and invited George Bugatti to perform. How planned it was, who can say. Otherwise, it was pretty much business as usual for Bennett: a solid program of American standard songs, drawing liberally from the Gershwin and Berlin songbooks, and including sections of material culled from his recent album tributes to Fred Astaire, female singers (that one, “Here’s to the Ladies,” won a Grammy last week), and his current salute to Billie Holiday. Oh, yes, and “I Wanna Be Around,” “Because of You,” and “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” Bennett took a few songs to get his voice warmed up, keeping in mind that he could have just gotten out of bed on the third morning of having the flu and sound better than most popular singers. But by the time he was singing Duke Ellington’s “Solitude,” accompanied only by Ralph Sharon’s piano, all was well with the world. The show was divided into two parts: the first, with Bennett and Sharon; the second, with the two joined by bassist Doug Richeson and drummer Clayton Cameron. Bennett was singing to the galleries, ending each number at top volume and pulling the microphone closer to his mouth as he did so. For all his bravura, he was quite generous, not only to surprise guest Bugatti but to his own musicians. A couple of times, the spotlight remained on Sharon, leaving the star — intentionally — in the dark. And his version of “Fly Me to the Moon,” delivered with no microphone whatever, as usual brought down the house. — Todd Everett

Tony Bennett

Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza; 1,800 seats; $55 top

Production: Promoted by Avalon Attractions. Band: Ralph Sharon, Doug Richeson, Clayton Cameron.

Crew: Reviewed March 2, 1997.

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