Footlight performance worthy of Ol' Blue Eyes
Published on 01/28/05

The Post and Courier Staff

CHARLESTON, S.C. - The crooners who winged their way through 55 songs definitely had the chops to make Ol' Blue Eyes proud when "My Way: A Tribute to Frank Sinatra" opened Thursday at the Footlight Players.

Michelle Bruckner, who danced on Broadway in "Chicago," brought a shimmering patina of sophistication to the vocally talented quartet accompanied by a top-flight trio of onstage musicians.

With a script written by Todd Olson which conveyed tidbits including the fact that Sinatra recorded 1,300 songs and he loved two olives in his martini, the evening was basically straight-forward vocalizing accented with some soft-shoe and some numbers showing Bruckner's impressive kicks.

Director Robert Ivey kept the pace lively as Russell Anderson exuded the kind of charm associated with the Algonquin Hotel's Oak Room, as he sang "Let's Face the Music and Dance," and Brian Bogstad had fun with "Chicago" and "The Tender Trap."

Also, Karen Moskos let loose with a dynamic rendition of "The Best Is Yet to Come," in the nightclub setting with a leather banquette, a round bar, and crystal champagne glasses. Moskos could have benefited from wearing more stage make-up, and in the first act the bodice of Bruckner's black dress could have fit more snugly.

But minor quibbles aside, the show contained the major components for a diverting evening sparked by musicians Jennifer Luiken, John Kennedy and Frank Cothran. Also, it was fun to just sit back and enjoy the music that inspired someone once to say: "Sinatra created the soundtrack of my life."

The songs were placed in various categories with titles such as "Songs for Survivors," "Broadway Medley" and "Losers Medley," which contained Sinatra's signature tunes, "One for My Baby" and "It Was a Very Good Year."

"My Way" will be repeated at various times through Feb. 13 at 20 Queen St.

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