The legendary Mitzi Gaynor, Goddess of song and dance, sequins and razzle-dazzle for over fifty years opened last evening at Feinstein’s at Loews Regency in her long overdue retrospective tribute to herself and her fabulous, lengthy career to an overflowing crowd in the Regency Ballroom so as to accommodate all those fans that came to cheer her on, giving her a standing ovation as she came on stage. Would she live up to it? She most certainly did.
Radiating charm and good old fashioned Hollywood glamour even without the help of all those infamous sequins (although there were plenty), Mitzi Gaynor is a star that you can’t help but love. She’s adorable. And bawdy. She looks terrific in her many Bob Mackie costumes where she gets to show off her still gorgeous legs and boobies. And boy is she funny.
The saucy tales she tells of Sinatra and Merman, The Duke and Duchess of Windsor – her times in Vegas and Hollywood and her beloved husband Jack Bean are the highlights of her ninety minute act which incorporates video clips of her fantastic television specials and movies such as “There’s No Business Like Show Business” that allow Mitzi to make her costume changes, emerging time after time to applause and whistles of approval.
The limited stage space is just big enough to accommodate her four piece onstage band led by Ed Czach and barely allows Mitzi to do some “movements” and if her voice is somewhat weaker than it was – get over it Mary! She’s Mitzi Gaynor!
If it were not for South Pacific she says we all wouldn’t be together. And so she pays homage to the great musical by donning a sailor suit to sing “Honey Bun” bringing back fond memories of the original and a medley which includes “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair” and “A Cockeyed Optimist”- which Ms. Gaynor still is.
Mitzi Gaynor remains an original. Still loving every minute of performing and touring. Still regaling us with hysterically funny stories of her life and two loves – show business and her late husband, manager, lover, friend, boss and confidant Jack Bean who called her “yummy”. She most certainly is. Through May 29th.
Mitzi Gaynor was presented with a 2010 NY Emmy Award for her PBS Special available on DVD Mitzi Gaynor Razzle Dazzle! The Special Years, which I treasure. I urge you to get a copy. Here is the direct link to my original review: