The musical collection of Petula Clark and the
Osmond Brothers is one of those blockbusters for
anytime of the year and destined to put up the SRO flag.
This fortnighter sees the powerhouse combinations in
fine fettle after a brief one-night hiatus by Miss Clark
when a bad cold overpowered her.
March 22, 1972
The show is too long, running 90 minutes and
dinning with excessive amplification until listening fatigue sets in surely, but definitely in the latter stages of the Clark vocalog. The double set of
speakers onstage face outward to magnify the sound, augmenting the already bursting cones of the house system. The Brandwynne orchestra is also doubly amped. It is a painful experience and most audiences were holding their ears throughout the final 15 minutes.
Following the Osmonds is rough. Miss Clark acknowledges the old axiom of show biz regarding children and animal acts but graciously admits to the youths' impressive following out front, from kindergarten moppers on up.
One of her better sessions within the session includes a Beatles skein. She is the ex-quartet's best ambassador and does a job on any one of their songs almost as impressive as the originals. This is especially true of "Fool on the Hill." Her own hit medley excites much applause into and out of each tune.
The Mary Magdalene cry of "I Don't Know How to Love Him," from Jesus Christ Superstar is aimed toward the heights of expression and melodic thrust, but falls short by plenty in the Clark version. It is not a show-off aria, but a simple lied, a heartfelt search not only for love but self understanding. Miss Clark gives it the old stylist pow, overstressing the ending into a strident reach for dramatic punch. It falls next to her closing, "You've Got a Friend," but the damage from the exaggerated decibel level has already taken its toll.
Frank Owens is the sympathefic pianist-conductor charting the course with her rhythm section latched
on to the Brandwynne orchestra.