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San Francisco by Richard Connema

The World Goes 'Round

Also see Richard's recent review of First Love

The New Conservatory Theatre Center is currently presenting The World Goes 'Round, featuring the songs of Kander and Ebb, as its final In Concert season of 2001-2002. This intimate review opened on June 1 and it will run through July 14 in one of the small theaters at the NCTC, 25 Van Ness Ave. Five talented local singers give distinguished performances of the composer and lyricist's songs.

World is part review, part cabaret and part concert and the cast of three women and two men all dress in Fosse-style black costumes. The celebration has great panache, and there is a rich feeling throughout the 2 hour and 10 minute concert with intermission. The ensemble spotlights well known songs from Cabaret, Chicago, Kiss of the Spiderwoman and New York, New York and more. There are 25 songs amassed from 13 shows and films.

Each of the artists has excellent delivery on the songs. Matthew Lazzarini shows great acting and singing skills with a good rendition of "Mr Cellophane" from Chicago. He is also very humorous rhapsodizing madly about baked goods on "Sara Lee."

Melissa O'Keefe softens her delivery on Kander and Ebb's first collaborated song "My Coloring Book" before belting out "Ring Them Bells" and "Maybe This Time." Lisa Jenal-Hernandez' voice is very delicate in "Colored Lights" from The Rink. The song is reminiscent of a Jacques Brel song. She also has great acting and singing skills on "Isn't This Better?".

Corrie Borris, who was in Passon and Chess at the NCTC, is very sensual in the song "Cabret," and she has a great husky voice and a dry demeanor in "Arthur In the Afternoon." Gregory Tittle is also fine in the ballads of disillusionment and heartache of "The Happy Time" and "I Don't Remember You."

Two of the highlights are the two hilarious duets. Melissa and Lisa, somewhwat typsy, sing "Class". This was boisterously entertaining. Lisa comes back with Corrie to sing the delightful song "The Grass Is Aways Greener" from Woman of the Year. This is a hoot.

The entire ensemble is harmonious on "Coffee In a Cardboard Cup," "All That Jazz," "Ring Them Bells" and "New York, New York."

Earl Weaver, the director and choreographer gives the whole production a Bob Fosse feel. The blocking and dancing on the small stage is superior. This is a nice entertaining show.

The World Goes 'Round runs through July 14, and tickets can be obtained by calling 415-861-8972.



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