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Kev as BobHe's a Class Act | An Evening With Kevin Spacey
The Wiltern, Los Angeles, December 6th
an emily blunt review

Order the Beyond the Sea Soundtrack


Beyond the Sea, a film opening in late December, is a musical homage to the life of entertainer extraordinaire Bobby Darin. It stars Kevin Spacey (who also produced and wrote) aside a gaggle of ultra-talented folks in an unusual biopic of an American original. Now, to promote the film in a sort of unprecedented publicity stunt if you will, Kevin, who actually sings all the songs in the film, has taken his "act" on the road - literally - along with an 18 piece orchestra and back-up singers ala a Las Vegas review Darin himself would be proud of.

Mr. Spacey, who is proving himself to be an equal American original, apparently knows no bounds in his creativity, and passion for taking life and by the horns and parlaying his all-access "fame" card into vast experiences.

With this remarkable traveling old-school high-end lounge act, Kevin will visit several cities bringing the love and music to a few sold out venues. But, the show's recent stop into the Wiltern Theater, in Los Angeles, had a special glow. The audience here included Dodd Darin, Bobby's son with Sandra Dee, along with his wife and daughter, as well as Steve Blauner, Bobby Darin's personal manager and dear friend. And the elite guests were obviously moved by the music they are so close to being embraced and appreciated by a live, adoring, knowing, audience again.

This was a Darin audience. They were buzzing as Kevin rocked the rafters with his electric performance. The verdict is in, this Spacey fella is one helluva talent. And there's was no sign of the "movie star." He was an entertainer; he joked, he sang, he soft shoed about, and even played the harmonica for a few songs. The show is as good as any "professional" singer's. This is one actor-come-singer that could quit his day job - easily.

Spacey, lead by Darin's own musical director Roger
Kellaway, belted out over a dozen songs particularly Darin-esque. And as tribute, Mr. Spacey even worked in many recognizable asides and "Bobby-isms" into the show's routine; none more charming then an old schtick Darin liked to "loosen the crowd up with" about a drunk at a Hollywood bar impersonating all sorts of famous folks. This gave Kevin, an equally exquisite impersonator, the chance to do his Burt Lancaster, Al Pacino, Katharine Hepburn, Jerry Lewis, Johnny Carson, Jimmy Stewart and Marlon Brando voices.

As a special treat, Peter Cincotti, who plays Bobby band mate Dick Behrkeis in the film, joined Kevin on stage, on piano, for a couple of songs - the audience erupted. As a whole, the 90 minute extravaganza showcased a plethora of Darin's signature songs like, 'Mack the Knife', 'Dream Lover', 'Beyond the Sea', and 'Splish Splash', as well as Darin's personal favorites like 'If I Were a Carpenter', 'That's All', 'Bridge Over Troubled Water', and 'Funny Valentine'. For Darin fans, like myself, it was positively magical to hear these songs live and with a full orchestra. To ad to the treasure trove of auditory bliss, Spacey shared if the listeners were enjoying the stylings of the music this evening, as well as on the soundtrack and in the film, they had Dodd Darin and Steve Blauner to thank. They had sent him Bobby's original charts and notes on how he wanted the songs played and these were those interpretations.

Though the evening's spotlight was firmly following Spacey, the event was designed to "shine the light back on Bobby Darin." And it shined like a beacon. Mission accomplished. Song after song, many written by Darin, were brilliantly orchestrated as Spacey showed his genuine abilities for crooning and playing with an audience. When he sang Darin's 'A Simple Song Of Freedom', the audience was cheering and seemed to agree that the once-again timely anti-war song has just as important a message today as when Darin wrote it in protest of the Viet Nam fiasco.

Spacey's created a beautiful film in Beyond the Sea, and know now as he swings across the country with this delightful ensemble, this incredible and unique force of creative diversity, has managed to excel within yet another side of his many talents. The shows are sold out - but there's always someone lurking around the stage door with a ticket to sell. I suggest you bring a bag-o-cash and negotiate well - 'cause this is one show you don't want to miss. If you just can't get to the show? Get over and purchase the Beyond The Sea soundtrack (Here) - you're only giving yourself a well-deserved smile.


The world is your snowball...just for a song...get out and roll it along! - 'A Marshmallow World'

The Emilyism©




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