Petula Clark's enduring prettiness and easy, humorous audience rapport could probably capture a room on their own merits. Her vocal distinction, clean phrasing and true pitch combine as well to make this one of the more winning shows of the present season, packed with good music and an easy, familiar mood, in refreshing contrast to the merciless upbeat straining of many acts.
Opening medley of "I Can See Clearly Now," "Blue Skies" and "On a Clear Day" combines these songs in a manner no lesser chirp should attempt. "This Is My Song" comes on with humorous intro in the style of prim British lady which Miss Clark kids to good effect. Quartet of "marvelous, unsloppy songs" by femme composers varies things nicely, and "I Don't Know How to Love Him," chestnut though it is at this point, comes off sounding new thanks to the star and particularly to conductor Frank Owens' rippling arrangement. "Downtown" and "Don't Sleep in the Subway" are also tossed in for Petula fans and sound good as new.
Particular credit should go to Miss Clark's husband-manager Claude Wolff for his sensitive, mood modulated lighting, transfomming the backdrop into an unobtrusive but extremely effective color counterpoint to the songs.
In all, it's a show of rare harmony. Miss Clark has not made a long Reno Tahoe stand in more than a year, but judging by audience response, her command of the area has not faltered.