Regional Reviews: Florida - Southern
Clint Holmes originally became famous 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 nickelshiny and new."). Following the song's 23 weeks on the charts, Holmes embarked on a career singing in nightclubs.
Singer-songwriter 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 has a golden voice which he uses with intelligence, emotion and style. He has great pipes, but it is what he does with them that elevates Holmes to the best of his class. 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.
The evening's performance includes a section from his current Bobby Short tribute show at the Carlyle, ending with a memorable "Night And Day." He effortlessly sings calypso in a Harry Belafonte tribute, masters scat-singing, and takes a turn at beatboxing. When singing jazz standards from the American Songbook, such as "Under My Skin," he can sound like a cross between Bobby Darin and Mel Tormé. In more contemporary songs like "The Rose" he sounds like Al Jarreau at his best. His unique West Side Story medley goes through so many changes in key and time signature (frequently a cappella), it is a wonder to listen to him weave his way through it. Of course the evening wouldn't be complete without a rendition of his 1973 hit "Playground In My Mind" including audience participation. The opening night performance was graced by the presence of the song's composer Paul Vance.
For his Lynn University engagement Holmes is accompanied on piano/keyboard by his music director Jeffrey Neiman, as well as by percussion and drums. The key to his success may be that he not only selects good music and surrounds himself with talented musicians, but he seems to have an honesty in his dynamic performance that engages the audience as completely as if they were guests in his own home. It is not surprising that he was selected "Best All Around Las Vegas Performer," "Best Singer" and "Favorite Male Las Vegas Act" by the Review Herald, as well as "Entertainer of the Year" in both Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
Clint Holmes appeared at the Wold Center on October 15th at 7:30 PM, and October 16th at 4:00 & 7:30 PM. The 750-seat Wold Performing Arts Center, located on Lynn's campus in the heart of Boca Raton, is easily accessible by both I-95 and the Florida Turnpike. The Wold Center features superb acoustics, a modern lighting system, a large, light-filled lobby, and flexible space well-suited for dramatic productions, concerts and other cultural events. With an elegant salon, outdoor sunset terrace and intimate black-box studio, this new center is home to numerous concerts and events, including live theatrical performances by the Lynn's theatre arts program and professional Live at Lynn Theatre and Jazz Series, as well as Conservatory of Music concerts.
Tickets for most shows are $45/mezzanine, $50/orchestra, and $65/box. They are available for purchase at the Lynn University Box Office, located in the Wold Performing Arts Center at 3601 N. Military Trail, Boca Raton, FL 33431. Tickets also may be purchased by phone at 561-237-9000 or online at www.lynn.edu/tickets.