Charlotte Patton: Celebrating Men (Bless Their Hearts)

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Review by Joe Regan Jr.

 

Charlotte Patton has returned to the cabaret stage for the first time since her 2013 show “Looking For Love in the 21st Century” in a show entitled “Celebrating Men (Bless Their Hearts)” which will be at the Metropolitan Room at least three more times. Patton spent most of her time since then doing challenging parts in regional theaters all over the East Coast. Patton, who has a beautiful face framed by blonde shoulder length hair, wore a top in stunning midnight blue with silver highlights. Patton did an act that was as close to perfection as a cabaret artist can achieve, smartly utilizing Karen Oberlin as Director, Barry Levitt as Pianist/Arranger, and Tom Hubbard on bass. The room was sold out with other cabaret artists and many of the selections were greeted with “bravas.”

After opening with two clever Peggy Lee songs, “I Like Men” and “I Love To Love,” Patton did short introductions about the different kinds of men that the next selection amplified. I’m not going to reveal spoilers about her intros but they were all very appropriate, some humorous, and some heartbreaking and some both at the same time. There were some rarities and some standards, but each standard that Patton sang was a superbly acted one act play framed by her perfect phrasing that made you forget you knew the song. Examples of the latter were her versions of “You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To,” done slowly and sensually, followed by “It’s So Nice To Have A Man Around the House” done in the Lizabeth Scott manner, and “Do It Again” with all its innuendo intact!

Among the rarities (to me) were “Necessary Evil” by Marvin Fisher and Jack Segal, Harry Nillson’s “Thursday (Here’s Why I Did Not Go To Work Today” (hilarious), and “Quality Time” by Dave Frishberg. There was an unrequited love forcefulness in “You Better Love Me” and fun versions of “I Won’t Dance” and “This Can’t Be Love.”

There was a most unusual introduction to Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields “I Must Have That Man” which gave a totally original meaning to those well known lyrics. Patton’s acting performance on this one was both heartbreakingly sad and funny!

And before “I’m Just Wild About Harry,” Patton sang the verse to “Bei Mir Bist Du Shein” before ripping into “Harry” where she took great liberties with the lyrics to thank all her wonderful musicians and everyone at the Metropolitan Room, including Jean Pierre Perreaux’s superb sound and lighting! During the act there was a lot of playfulness with Levitt and Hubbard and their solos during the breaks were brilliant.

For her encore (the crowd would not let her leave), she resurrected Richard (“Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up”) Farina’s motorcycle fascinating boy friend “Hard Lovin’ Loser,” which is an ironic song because Farina died at a very young age in a motorcycle accident, and achieved most of his fame posthumously.

Yes, Charlotte Patton’s new act is perfection. You have the opportunity to see “Celebrating Men (Bless Their Hearts)” again on Monday, June 29 at 9:30 PM, Friday, July 31 and Thursday August 20 at 7 PM at the Metropolitan Room, 34 West 22 Street, reservations strongly advised online at Metropolitanroom.com or call (212) 206-0440. $20 cover and two drink minimum (MAC and Cabaret Hotline discounts.) For more information go to CharlottePatton.com

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