Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: Florida - Southern

Clint Holmes
At the Royal Room

Also see John's review of The Sound of Music

The Royal Room of The Colony Hotel, which The Palm Beach Post has hailed as "probably the best place for cabaret on the planet," proudly presents singer-songwriter Clint Holmes. Holmes is perhaps best known for his 1973 hit single "Playground In My Mind" which reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart that year (those who don't recognize the song by its title, may recognize the lyrics of the chorus: "My name is Michael. I've got a nickel. I've got a nickel—shiny and new."). Following the song's 23 weeks on the charts, Holmes embarked on a career singing in nightclubs.

Holmes has been a hugely successful Las Vegas show attraction since the early 1970s. In 2006, he closed his headlining show at Harrah's Las Vegas Casino, which renamed its main showroom for him. He continues to bring his show to audiences across the U.S., and is working on an original musical called My Own Song inspired by his life story. The musical features a book by Holmes and Vincent Marini, music by Nelson Kole and Bill Fayne, and lyrics by Holmes. Described as "a quintessential American story about one man's journey to self-discovery and understanding," it has a score that combines elements of rock and pop, plus jazz and classical.

Holmes is accompanied by keyboard, percussion and bass/guitar for his performance at the Royal Room. He does not need more than that to showcase his captivating talent and personality. The intimate setting of the Royal Room is certainly a far cry from Harrah's stage, but he adapts smoothly. The key may be that he seems to have honesty in his performance, and he engages his audience as completely as if they were guests in his home.

As a singer, Holmes has a golden voice he uses with intelligence, emotion and style. When singing jazz standards from the American Songbook, such as "Under My Skin" and "All The Way," he can sound like a cross between Bobby Darin and Mel Tormé. In contemporary R&B songs he sounds like Al Jarreau at his best. Sure, he has the pipes, but it is what he does with them that elevates Holmes to the best of his class. He effortlessly sings calypso in a Harry Belafonte tribute, masters scat-singing, and takes a turn at beatboxing. He shows great musicianship through vocal control and dynamic restraint. He knows when a song calls for the most tender and quiet of moments, and when to belt it out full-voice. His unique West Side Story medley goes through so many changes in keys and time signatures (frequently a cappella), it is a wonder to listen to him weave his way through it.

Included in the musical offerings of the evening are an updated version of his 1973 hit, a touching original song, "If Not Now, When" written after a bout with cancer, and a few selections from his musical My Own Song. His talent and energy are seemingly boundless, and when combined with the ambiance of the Royal Room, make for an elegant evening out.

Clint Holmes appeared at the Royal Room of The Colony Hotel from December 31, 2010 - January 15, 2011. Other notable performers appearing at the Royal Room of The Colony Hotel during their 2011 Season include Andrea Marcovicci (January 18-22, 25-29), Will & Anthony Nunziata (February 1-5), Marilyn Maye (February 8-12), Ann Hampton Callaway (February 15-19), Jack Jones (February 22-26), Steve Tyrell (March 1-5, 8-12, 15-19, 22-26), Christine Ebersole & John Oddo (March 29 - April 2, 5-9), and Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr..

For Royal Room Cabaret performances, the doors open at 6:45 pm for dinner, with a show time of 8:00 pm. Later shows may be possible on Friday and Saturday nights. The Colony Hotel is located at 155 Hammon Avenue in Palm Beach (just one block south of Worth Avenue and one block west of the Atlantic Ocean). To make reservations, please call the hotel box-office at 561-659-8100.

Host to Presidents Bush and Clinton, the Windsors and other royalty, The Colony Hotel has been the center of Palm Beach society for more than 60 years. An intimate, boutique hotel with British Colonial flair, it is just steps away from shopping on world famous Worth Avenue, and a beautiful Atlantic Ocean beach. This landmark hotel recently completed an extensive $15-million renovation and offers guests the choice of charming hotel rooms, luxurious suites, spectacular penthouses and spacious two bedroom villas—plus beautiful grounds and Frette linens. In 2010, The Colony Hotel once again was awarded the prestigious "4-Diamond" rating from AAA. Last fall it was named the recipient of the Palm Beach County Convention & Visitors Bureau's Providencia Award, South Florida's most prestigious annual honor recognizing excellence within the local hospitality and tourism industry.

*Please note that all performers and booking dates are subject to change.

See the current theatre season schedule for southern Florida.

-- John Lariviere

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