After 10 years of doing their annual holiday show, Sue & Edd decided to try something different so they did a tribute show to Steve & Eydie. Here are 2 wonderful reviews of that show.
IT'S US AGAIN! THE MUSIC OF STEVE LAWRENCE & EDYIE GORME - Sherri Rase, QOnStage.com
On August 14, you could feel the love in the room as Don't Tell Mama's show room was wall to wall with fans of Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gormé. Edd Clark and Sue Matsuki’s tribute show, "It's Us Again," is a loving look at Steve and Eydie as a duo and as solo artists, as well as a peripatetic selection of more than 50 years of tasty tunes.
Steve Lawrence was a regular on the Steve Allen show and when Allen decided to hire a "girl singer," Eydie won the spot. Soon she also won the heart of her duet partner, and they were married in 1957—in Las Vegas, of course! Sue and Edd kicked things off with "This Could Be The Start of Something Big," Steve Allen's theme song, and clearly Steve and Eydie's. I think Sue and Edd may be prophetic. The "orchestra" for this evening was a bit different from what Steve Allen had in the studio, but John DiPinto on piano and accordion, as well as serving as music director, really knows how to swing. Marco Panascia, on bass, has gravitas and can grab your heart to melt it when he bows those strings like a giant bari-cello and Perry Cavari, on drums, gave rhythm, texture and our hearts beat in time. The three work in concert, pun-intended, to make the duo truly a quintet.
The programming begins with early ’40s tunes like Edd's solo on "I Hear a Rhapsody" and Sue's Latin-flavored "The Gentleman is a Dope," from "Allegro". Their vocal blend in "I've Got a Gal in Kalamazoo" and "Bei Mir Bist du Shon" makes you wonder how warm, sassy appreciation between men and women ever went out of style. Perhaps, though, when people see the magic, Sue and Edd will have started a movement. You'll tap your feet and your fingers and sing along under your breath, wondering in some cases "when did I learn the words to THIS song?"
There's a "trading fours" type of duo Sue and Edd have created, giving us historical background on each of the songs that they sing, in an arc that begins with the delicious harmonies of "Sentimental Journey" and take us from "Blame it on the Bassa Nova" and "Go Away Little Girl," which Steve originated in 1962, to "But Beautiful," which was Steve's song. Sue sings it in tribute to her friend and mentor Julie Wilson, who was in the audience for the August 14 show. It's Ms. Wilson's signature song. Sue's rendition of "Gypsy in My Soul" also included her wailing on the faux horns—impressive—and when Edd duets with himself on "Ain't No Sunshine" and "You Are My Sunshine," the full brilliance of the show will remain with you for days to come.
The highlights of the evening for me included Sue's rendition of "If He Walked Into My Life" from "Mame," where I had to find a hankie, and Edd's "I Gotta Be Me," from "Golden Rainbow," a movie that starred both Steve and Eydie. The audience is part of the action and at an intimate club like Don't Tell Mama, every seat in the house is front-row.
A grand evening of live music, catching fire from a brilliant performance that puts past and present singers together, is what "It's Us Again!" is all about. Reserve now for the August 21 show as that room fills up quickly! Reserve online at DontTellMamaNYC.com and tell them QonStage sent you!”
IT'S US AGAIN! THE MUSIC OF STEVE LAWRENCE & EDYIE GORME - The Times Square Chronicles
I'm in a holiday mood after seeing “It's Us Again” starring Sue Matsuki and Edd Clark at the cozy venue of Don't Tell Mama on a warm Sunday afternoon. From the moment Sue appeared wearing a bright red gown with no-slacker Edd in a dark suit with a rhinestone pin, I felt relaxed knowing I was about to enjoy some wonderful professional showmanship.
Their show, “It's Us Again!, is a tribute to Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme. Just as Steve and Eydie were often looked at as one, they also had separate musical identities.. The duo of Sue and Edd blended well musically, exemplifying the melodious, familiar sounds of the original duo.
They began with a spirited rendition of, “This Could Be the Start of Something Big!” by Steve Allen, an upbeat opener to a fast-moving show. Their next duet, “I've Heard That Song Before,” by Sammy Cahn/Jules Styne, was interspersed with patter between the two, reminiscent of the kind of humor exchanged between Steve and Eydie. I would have enjoyed hearing more between the two of them.
Edd's rich tenor did full justice to a 1940's hit, “I Hear a Rhapsody,” by George Fragos/Jack Baker/Dick Gasparre, He sang this piece without embellishment, letting the melody speak for itself. Versatile Sue sang an upbeat comedic number, “The Gentleman Is a Dope,” in her trademark mellow voice, while her musicians supported her with a catchy, rhythmic rendition”--Musical Director , on piano, John DiPinto—on bass, Marco Panascia—on drums, Perry Cavari—great accompaniment.
Then Sue and Edd broke into a spirited version of an old favorite, “I've Got a Gal in Kalamazoo,” by Mack Gordon/Harry Warren from the 1942 film, “Orchestra Wives,” that had the audience rocking in their seats. Edd and Sue seemed relaxed and at ease with the audience while telling interesting stories about Steve and Eydie, adding to the enjoyment of their audience.
Edd then sang a moving arrangement of ”A Room Without Windows” by Ervin Drake, in which he displayed his versatility. Sue lent a wonderful treatment to “Wee Small Hours of the Morning.” She sang it beautifully at a slow pace, with stylish sensitivity to the lyrics. A wonderful bass solo by Marco Panascia added to the effectiveness of the piece.
Sue & Edd then went on a “Sentimental Journey” through many of Steve & Eydie's enjoyable hits, “Blame It on the Bossa Nova,” “Go Away Little Girl,” “But Beautiful,” “Bewitched,” and many others.
Sue and Edd then diverged stylistically from their other renditions. Sue's “Gypsy in My Soul” had a syncopated beat with many variations, while Edd created a new persona with his rhythmic version of “Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone” by Bill Withers/Grover Washington.
There were great band solos and good harmonic arrangements by the band in the classic, “Bei Mir Bist du Shon” by Jacob Jacobs/Sholom Secunda.
One of the many highlights was Sue's soulful, “If He Walked into My Life” by Jerry Herman She sang the piece emotionally, with dramatic impact The audience was quite moved. The lighting, by Jason Ellis, added to the effectiveness of the piece.
“Through the Years,”by Steve Dorff/Marty Panzer, sung by Sue and Edd, was a poignant, touching piece, adding a soulful touch to a wonderful show. They closed with the charming “Side by Side” by Gus Kahn/Harry M. Woods, adding a little choreography, which I felt could be enlarged upon, for a fun ending to a very entertaining program.
Sue and Edd kept true to their counterparts, establishing separate voices and then blending them in their duets. The show lasted a long time, but it seemed like a minute—bringing back many wonderful memories. Aah the good old days!
For those who missed this show, you can once again enjoy the talented duo of Sue Matsuki and Edd Clark in their “Annual Christmas Show” at “Don't Tell Mama” on December 2d and 14th at 7 PM. Forget your worries, c'mon get happy!”