A Delightful Evening of Ron Lytle’s music in “Let’s Sing a Show Tune”
Ron Lytle is an award winning writer and composer/lyricist who wrote the ever popular “Oh My Godmother” which I reviewed twice over the years. He has written over a dozen of musicals which have been produced around the country and in England. He also wrote the musical version of “Rumpelstiltskin” that played well over a thousand performances at the Excalibur Hotel in Los Vegas. His CD cast album of “Oh My Godmother” continues to be a seller around the world four years after its release.
Ron Lytle presented his music in a charming revue called “Let’s Sing a Show Tune” for two nights only at Alcove Theatre in San Francisco. The revue reminded me of those sharp sophisticated revues that I used to see in Greenwich Village. There were ballads, sensual songs and upbeat songs that were very reminiscent of a combination of Jerry Herman, Kander and Ebb and Stephen Sondheim. There was no heavy rock in the 24 selections in this two hour revue. Most of the songs came from his prior productions including the charming “Oh My Godmother” “The Brody Bunch on Willigan’s Island” and “Rumpelstiltskin”. All presented by a talented group of six singers Bidalia Albanese, Bill Couch, John Erreca, Kate Offer, Scott Phillips and Jenifer Tice and backed by a trio of great musicians Roberta Drake on drums, John Greitzer on Bass and Evan Crone on Keyboard.
The show opened with the lively “Let’s Sing a Show Tune” sung with great bravado by the whole cast followed by a sensual rendition of “Whisper in My Ear” by Bidalia Albanese. There were songs from “Oh My Godmother” especially the whole cast singing a snappy rendition of “Tonight at the Ball”. Scott Phillips who created the role of Godmother was a real hoot singing “Fabulous” from the show. His voice and the way he struts his stuff in “You Buy It” was uproarious aided by Jenifer Tice and Brian Couch as a ‘sidewalk sale”.
Brian Couch was engrossing singing “The Nightmare” from “The Brody Bunch”. The song had a certain flavor of Jerry Herman in the melody. John Erreca who originated the role of Truman in “Oh My Godmother!” had a mellifluous voice singing “No More Love Songs’, “A Plea For Equality” (which involves gay marriage in California), “Someday Is a Long Way from Here” and “Where Did We Go Wrong” the latter from “Oh My Godfather”.
Jennifer Tice who played a homophobic stepmother in the original “Oh My Godmother!” had a vibrant voice singing “It Amazes Me” and “I Buy Myself a Rose”. Kate Offer with her melodramatic soprano voice was effervescent singing “It’s Very Dangerous” and the lively “It’s Good to be Queen”. Bidalia Albanese along with Kate Offer and Jennifer Tice rocked with the song “Rage!” from “Back to the Future: the Game”. Bidalia was ebullient in “Go On and Try Me” from “The Brody Bunch”. Bidalia and Kate with thematic resonance sang “Something for Everybody” from “Oh My Godmother!” One of the outstanding numbers had a certain Noel Coward style with the cast singing “Toodle-Oo, Titanic”
The revue played on January 18 and 19th at the Alcove Theatre, 414 Mason St. San Francisco.