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I Got Rhythm
Mickey & Judy's Hollywood
Artists Series Concerts of Sarasota

I Got Rhythm

I Got Rhythm, staring Shauna Hicks and Jeff Harnar, proved that all you need for a nice afternoon or evening's entertainment is a singer or two with a decent voice, someone to accompany them, and a grab bag full of great songs. All these elements were very much in evidence in this show, presented by Artist's Series Concerts of Sarasota, October 21 through 23. Ms. Hicks and Mr. Harnar have excellent voices to stand in for Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney in songs from movies when their careers intersected. They were ably assisted by James Followell at the Steinway, and director Barry Kleinbort organized well and generally helped make the presentation ship shape.

Both singers respected the audience enough to dress up, he in suit and tie, she in a sleek black dress for the first act and black pants and a turquoise dressy top for the second. They used hand held microphones instead of the headsets currently in fashion, which made it much easier to understand the lyrics they were singing. Both singers had excellent diction, and the audience was able to hear every word clearly, which is a plus when dealing with lyrics by the likes of Ira Gershwin, Lorenz Hart and others from the golden age of Broadway and Hollywood.

Highlights of the presentation included "How About You" ("I like New York in June, how about you?"), a medley of songs when Garland and Rooney decide to "put on a show," "I Wish I Were in Love Again," multiple songs from Girl Crazy and, as a final encore, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."

Upcoming Artist's Series shows that might appeal to Talkin' Broadway readers include Lee Roy Reams 1/22/12 and 1/24/12; Gail Nelson in It's About Time, A Tribute to Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, the Gershwins and More, 3/4/12 and 3/6/12; and The Gershwins Remembered 5/6/12 and 5/8/12.

I Got Rhythm!, presented October 21-23, 2011 by Artists Series Concerts of Sarasota, at Holly Hall in the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center 709 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Florida, 34236. Box Office 941 306-1201. For more information, please visit www.artistseries.net.

Cast: Shauna Hicks and Jeff Harnar

Musical Director and Musical Arrangements: James Followell; Directed by Barry Kleinbort

--Bill Oser



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