Academy-Award nominated actress/singer Sally Kellerman presented her cabaret act "Blues & Jazz!" as a sort of CD party for Sally Wednesday June 30 @ Vitello's in Studio City. What a knockout! This lady knows her way around a tune and knows how to envelop her audience. Spontaneous from the getgo, she oozes sensuality from every pore - still intact after 40 some odd years - and utilizes her smoky voice to its greatest advantage, whether she's crooning the jazz of Cole Porter or Chris Caswell. She's fun, makes fun of herself and plucks every ounce of meaning from each and every lyric. I've always said the best actresses make the best singers, because when they love the material and put their soul into it, it traverses the footlights. She's one-of-a-kind!
At one point Kellerman talked about how hot the dressing room had been. She felt the need for exercise and started to run in place as she delivered a song. At its close, she suddenly collapsed to the floor and sighed "Well, it seemed a good idea at the time. I think I'll do the rest of the show from down here. You've seen me. Nothing special!" Boy oh boy, how wrong she is! At another moment she glanced sideways at marvelous pianist Andy Langham and asked "Is it time for something wild?" at which point they burst into a feverish "Somebody Call the Cops!" by Caswell. Later she kicked off her shoes and did a little tap to "It Could Happen To You". Like a giant improv or delicious potluck, thoroughly entertaining from moment to moment with Kellerman calling all the shots, the hour long set went by all too quickly.
Other highlights included: the tantalizing "I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl" by Nina Simone, George Gershwin's intimate "I've Got a Crush On You" as Kellerman wisely mingled with the audience, Leiber and Stoller's delectable "Love Potion # 9", just made for Kellerman's sultry tones, the hilariously enticing "Don't You Feel My Leg", the gorgeous "Say It Isn't So" by Mervyn Warren and Billy Hill's "The Glory of Love" as encore.
Magnificently backed up by Langham on piano, Ryan McGillicuddy on bass and Kevin Kanner on drums - who opened with a splendid jazzed-up rendition of "If I Were a Bell", Kellerman's evening was hot, hot, hot. She has fun, you have fun and that's what makes for great cabaret. A red carpet at Vitello's awaits her speedy return!