a Class Act | An
Evening With Kevin Spacey
The Wiltern, Los Angeles, December 6th
an emily blunt review
the Beyond the Sea Soundtrack
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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'