© D. Bush
March 31, 1976
Opening in the midst of Las Vegas' most devastating strike situation didn't affect the charm and appeal of delightful Petula Clark, now at the Riviera Versailles Room with co-star Jimmie Walker in his Strip bow. For Petula and Walker, and the Riviera, the outside ongoing strike didn't exist; the hotel was busy, the showroom crowded, and it was business as usual.
Petula Clark, continuing her success in a production style format, has revamped her act featuring her sharp young quartet of singers-dancers, Friends. A visit to the British music hall, wartime London, and a tribute to various composers including the Beatles, Charles Chaplin, Elton John, Tony Hatch, Stephen Sondheim, etc., and a bow of The Wiz neatly complement the popular songstress' own musical program.
Petula's repertoire, always one of the more extensive, includes her own list of hits, and surprises like "I've Got the Music in Me," "Feelings," "How Lucky Can You Get," etc. The Friends are strong and attractive assets both with Miss Clark and on their own ("Eleanor Rigby", "Piccadilly"). Choreography by Steve Merritt is fresh and vigorous.
Petula, with her usual assortment of droll and amusing observations peppering her peppy and vivacious presentation, headlines till March 31.
March 31, 1976
The essences of Petula Clark are revealed eloquently in this light fantastic of tunes and terps with light comedy inserts. From her onetime position of a leading pop chirp from London, she is now removed from such chains to work her free passages into all manner of presentation and production.
Her hits of yesterday are all bunched at the top and she gets through them with the usual acclaim, but then comes the exhilarating fun and occasional serious mood as the Clark voice soars into diverse melodies and she brings back her early music hall raffishness accompanied with panache. Her puckish wit is present throughout to add further lift.
Friends are four lively lads who cavort in illustration of a Cockney fling in the pearl-button costumery, plus a whirl among a Beatles medley with Clark hitting this segment very well, and the finale "Ease on Down the Road" from The Wiz, as the Friends prance as the famed characters of Oz. Clark's femme vocal trio is supple in all background supports, settled within the Dick Polombi orchestra conducted by Harold Wheeler.