by Hindi Greenberg

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April 14, 2008
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Red hot guys and dolls strut their good stuff

Those Sultry Babes are back....and what fun they are! Whether swaggering across the stage in a slinky dress or crying in a martini over a lost love, the Sultry Ladies and Red Hot Mamas' motto is "let us entertain you"-and they do.

Last year, the SLs & RHMs performed a show entitled "Return of the Torch Singer." If you saw it, you know this group likes to have a good time and create a fun evening for the audience. The current edition, again presented by Community Players and created, produced and directed by Margot Malone, is called "Broadway, Baby," and sports night-clubby dresses, hot pants and décolleté, as well as three men strutting their vocal stuff along side their female cohorts.

The crooned tunes are drawn from well-known Broadway revivals-you will recognize most of the music. The male voices, both alone and in duet, are a nice addition to the show. In my estimation, the voices ranged from good to very good and the singers threw their all into each number. The live band, Spontaneous Combustion, ably led by Roger Shimoff on bass, contributed to the nightclub ambiance. However, there were some pieces that were played as a combination of pre-recorded and live music, which I found a bit distracting.

I mostly liked the song selection, although not every song fit the voice of the person who sang it as well as it should-a few times a singer needed to strain a bit to hit his or her notes. However, I saw the show on preview night and that issue, along with the synchronization problems with sound and lights and the too-loud music which, at times, overwhelmed some of the less powerful singers, should remedy themselves as the production polishes its rough edges.

It was obvious that the audience liked the show because, after each number, there was loud applause and whistling and even hoots for an especially provocative performance. I especially liked Maureen Peake's rendition of "Nothing" ("A Chorus Line"), Melody Beebe's interpretation of "Miss Celie Blues ("Color Purple") and the performances of Tami Cooke and Barbara Lynn Shimoff.

If you would enjoy a fun evening of good show tunes, presented with verve and humor, treat yourself to "Broadway, Baby," playing at the Off Center Stage, behind the Center for the Arts in Grass Valley, through April 26th. Dessert and coffee at intermission are included.

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Hindi Greenberg sings only when alone in her car, speeding down the highway, or in the shower, but she appreciates a good song when she hears it.


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The Union Updated Apr 17, 2008 03:08AM Published Apr 14, 2008 03:00AM Copyright 2008 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.