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Saturday, January 24, 2015

On the Town with Buddy B: Sally Kellerman Takes NYC by (Snow) Storm

Sally Kellerman brought her considerable talent and charm to 54 Below last night to a crowd of appreciative fans that included columnist Michael Musto (who sat at the table behind us), jazz great Annie Ross, music producer Nick Lion and myself.

Kellerman was cool and casual, strutting about the stage, still a willowy beauty, dressed in a silky white tailored shirt over blue jeans. She was accompanied by Ed Martel on piano, a guitarist and drummer.

Composer and pop music producer Ken Hirsch took over the keys for a couple of numbers while the band took a break, with Sally singing "Still Miss You," a song by Mr Hirsch and Paul Williams, and the extremely affecting "If I Could."

Sally is one of the few artists who can get away opening a song while lying on the floor. A moment distinctly not music directed by Bob Esty back in L.A. And she sure knows how to work a fedora! When she pondered why she never slept with Marlon Brando when she had the chance and he was still thin, she was completely, disarmingly charming.

Ms Kellerman opened with the jazz tune, "Somebody Call the Cops." Her sets included many great standards of the '50s, '60s and '70s including "The Look of Love," "Spooky," "Love Potion #9" and the raunchy blues number, "Sugar in My Bowl."

From the start, I felt Sally's voice (by the way, she claimed not to be enamored of her first name, which she thinks is too "poofy") reminded me of Peggy Lee's. And damned if she didn't do a memorable interpretation of "Is That All There Is?"!

Sally had a clearly drunken fan in the house, a bit too vocal, leaning toward heckling. When he became truly overbearing near the end of the act, Sally said with sweetly delivered sarcasm, "Have another drink, sir."

In the lobby after the show, this man lurched toward Sally after she and I spoke. My friends, Nick and his life partner, Benjamin, gentlemen that they are, quickly escorted her back into the club. And the club personnel (always gracious and attentive at 54) escorted the sod to the street.

After we left, Nick, Benjamin and I stopped for a drink at the jam-packed The Ritz club on Restaurant Row. There's a photo of Nick and I with another giant drag queen that Benjamin took and I'll share on Facebook. Those great guys drove me through the snow (that started really coming down) to Bay Ridge. Safe passage to them, going back to Queens, and to Sally, on her way to PA for her Saturday show.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Charles, and I wish so much I could've been there to see this Show. As for the drunk, I would've "dispatched him" outside of the theater; and made it look like "an accident"!

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