The TheatreguideLondon Review
Debbie Reynolds - Alive and Fabulous
As she would admit, Debbie Reynolds was never a major talent. She sang
OK, danced OK, acted OK and was cute, and that was more than enough to
generate a career in movie musicals (most notably Singin' In The Rain)
and romantic comedies in the 1950s and an on-and-off nightclub act
Now admitting to 78, she doesn't dance much, but still sings OK and reminisces OK, and that's all her fans really ask of her.
She opens with the
obligatory Sondheim 'I'm Still Here,' not sung very well (Her
enunciation can be muddy and her mike technique wavers), but her later
singing is much better - a nicely swinging 'From This Moment On' and
smooth and evocative 1940s and Judy Garland medleys, demonstrating a
real flair as a jazz-flavoured stylist.
enjoyable sequence has her running clips from some of her movie
musicals and singing along with her younger self - we could happily
have had more of that, perhaps in place of the strained imitations of
Gary Cooper, Katherine Hepburn, Mae West and others (though the Barry
Fitzgerald and especially the wicked Barbra Streisand are delightful).
In between, she jokes about the age of her fans ('Anyone here under 50? Who brought you?'), about her gay following, about some younger people knowing her only as Princess Leia's mother and others as a frequent guest on Will and Grace, and, for those who remember 50-year-old scandals, about Eddie Fisher and Liz Taylor.
She's supported by
a drummer and pianist, both of whom have been with her for decades, the
latter doubling as prompter when she loses her place in the script or
forgets a name.
The show runs just over an hour, plus interval and some filler material, which may leave her fans wanting more, but what they get is exactly what they would ask, so there should be little disappointment.
Return to TheatreguideLondon home page.
Review - Debbie Reynolds - Apollo 2010