Debbie Reynolds shows some gam.
Review and Photos by Terry MayerGrowing up I was always surrounded by different styles of music. My dad would listen to The James Gang, and my mom contrasted that with Doris Day. So needless to say, my musical tastes are of a wide variety. The one singer/actress that stood out for me as a kid has always been Debbie Reynolds. Reynolds, now 69, is the epitome of class, style and grace.
When she floated out on stage at the Northern Lights Theater at Milwaukee's Potawatomi Bingo and Casino last Wednesday night, she appeared radiant and confident. A "let's get it on" attitude spilled forth from the stage. She opened the evening with the beautifully sung "I Feel A Song Coming On." Reynolds has done more in her lifetime than most of today's artists will ever achieve. From acting in movies and TV, dancing and singing, to a successful singing career. Only a few of today artists would successfully make an attempt like that. She is old style Hollywood. Where song and dance took on a primary role, which has all but disappeared from today's entertainment capitol.
Reynold's, with radiant smile ablazened, shuffled into "It's Wonderful, It's Marvelous" and sang it with flawless aplomb. After the beautifully melodic "Come Rain or Shine," Reynolds did a movie medley with videos in the background to help you along. First came "Three Little Words," which was also her first movie that starred Fred Astaire and Red Skelton. Then without a breath she cranked out "I Want To Be Loved By You," in which she said it was a dumb song, but it still sold millions, laughing out loud. "Aba Daba Honeymoon" and "Singing In the Rain" followed the tinsel town invasion. For her, it was like reliving home movies and for the audience it was an insight into Reynolds passion for the movies. Reynolds joked about her failed marriages of which there were many. She did a country medley starting out with "Country Sunshine" and finishing with "Brown Eyes Blue," both with a Beverly Hillbillies quality to them. "Crazy" by Patsy Cline and "Always On My Mind" by Willie Nelson had Debbie radiate old school movie star pizzazz. She then flowed into a very moving and personal version of "Grandpa," written by Naomi Judd and backed by a picture of Reynolds grandfather on the screen. It was obvious it was a very emotional moment for her and that she was singing from deep down in her heart. One of the first stars Debbie said she'd ever met was Clark Gable, so she dedicated the next song, "Mr Gable," to him and again treated the audience to clips of Clark's movies. After a clothing change, Reynolds sang "I Love A Piano," written by Irvin Berlin, and then a medley of Judy Garland songs, ending with "Somewhere Over The Rainbow." Then came the song most people wanted to hear - her most famous hit -"Tammy." "This is my one big hit," she said, "and it will only take a minute." She did indeed speed through it. Reynolds moved around the stage with a renewed grace and elegance peppered with some Vegas sparkle.
With an average age of over 50, the audience were excited to be there and to see an artist that they grew up with and admired for many years. As Reynolds finished the last strains of "Tammy," she thanked everyone for coming to her show and blew kisses to all. She bowed and exited the stage as the backdrops of hundreds of stars glistened and slowly faded into darkness. Reynolds star will surely continue to shine brightest for many more years to come.
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