Category Archive for: ‘Woody Weingarten’

Duo musically spoofs romance, marriage and aging

[Woody’s Rating: ★★★★★

Sandy Riccardi is an accomplished New York comedienne-actress.

Tall and attractive.

With a robust, polished singing voice.

Pianist Richard Riccardi has played with San Francisco’s symphony, opera and ballet companies — and accompanied Pinchas Zuckerman, Joel Grey and Diahann Carroll.

But he’s short and bald. And has a gravelly singing voice.

Yet he’s Sandy’s trophy husband.

She even sings an incomparable homage to his hairless head.

At Petaluma’s Cinnabar Theater recently, the pair presented a loving, charming cabaret act, “My Raunchy Valentine,” that made me laugh aloud often and feel good for 90 minutes.

Mostly, the rib-tickling diva vocalized and mugged.

Mostly, Richard played.

With tongue permanently implanted in cheek, and with lyrics that leaned toward the clever, they started with the downside of texting and tweeting (“you don’t quite care enough to call”) and ended with gallows humor from a Rodgers and Hart tune about serial husband-icide.

In between, they dealt with a “Southern girl’s mating call — ‘I can hardly taste the liquor,’” waggish fallout from forgetfulness and blame, and other comic pitfalls of the wrinkling process (with a pill-filled bottle doubling as a rhythm instrument).

I did find the “My Raunchy Valentine” title a touch misleading, though.

The Riccardi duo performed several tunes with double entendre after double entendre but its major focus was on the snags and snares of relationship.

They used their own as comedic fodder.

Sandy noted, in fact, that they total five marriages between them — and illustrated “Our Perfect Family” with a stage-length scroll featuring stick figures of the blended family (including three nurses from Fiji).

“He’s a glutton for punishment,” she noted of her husband. “I’m the third wife Richard has seen through menopause.”

The couple offered many original numbers, then interjected amusing parodies of such familiar ditties as “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “Memories” and “Cat’s in the Cradle.”

Twice, the pair — married six years with 4 million YouTube hits under their collective belt — paused the merriment to execute love ballads penned for each other. Once, Sandy apologized for being saccharine (“we were supposed to be anti-Hallmark”).

All in all, I found the show fluffy and fun.

And I definitely could relate to their occasional public expressions of love.

To continue our Valentine’s Day tradition, I’ve already purchased the hundreds of tiny candy hearts I’ll hide in my wife’s music books, desk drawers and medicine cabinet — and tuck into various clothes in her closet.

I know she’ll undoubtedly take similar liberties with my things.

And if the past is any indication, we’ll still be finding each other’s sugar treats for months and months. And smiling.

And that’s the way we like it. After all, we consider each other a trophy spouse.

Even though we, too, have five marriages between us.

“My Raunchy Valentine” was part of the Sunday concert series at Cinnabar, 3333 Petaluma Blvd. N., right off Hwy. 101, Petaluma. Upcoming shows in the series, all beginning at 7:30 p.m., include The Ring of Truth Trio on March 15, Red Hot Chachkas on April 19, Le Jazz Hot on May 17 and Amanacer Flamenco on June 14. Tickets: $15 to $30. Information: (707) 763-8920 or cinnabartheater.org.

Contact Woody Weingarten at voodee@sbcglobal.net or check out his blog at www.vitalitypress.com

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