Oscars All Around
by Beverly Creasey
Every once in a while you know you've seen something special, something that still gives you a thrill days later. That extraordinary show is THE ENVELOPE PLEASE, a salute to Oscar in honor of the 80th Academy Awards.
When Will McMillan and Bobbi Carrey harmonize on a Disney gem like "When You Wish Upon A Star" their voices blend so magically you'll think you've never heard such intricate harmony before. And when they sashay about in "Whistle While You Work" (capped with hilarious "Hi Ho" choreography) you're theirs, lock, stock and barrel.
McMillan and Doug Hammer on piano have some gorgeous duets as well: Hammer gives the piano aa voice, to caress the singers and then to soar on its own. His arrangements are exquisite, like his jazzy take on a Harold Arlen tune like "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive" or his lighter than air touch for "Something's Coming" from West Side Story.
If you're one of those theatre people who think singers can't act, you haven't seen Carrey and McMillan chew up the scenery in "Baby, It's Cold Outside." They click together like Astaire and Rogers in the sophisticated numbers—and Laurel and Hardy in the spoofy songs, if Laurel and Hardy were to sing...Well, you get my drift.
Carrey's cool mellow low notes are buttressed by McMillan's ethereal highs and they tackle it all, from DIRTY DANCIN' to snazzy scatting. To quote Johnny Mercer, this Oscar "party got a glow on" but good!