For a warm and charming cabaret show, performed by a pro who clearly enjoys making music—and who communicates that spirit over the footlights to her audience—you can’t beat the delightful Tennie Leonard. In a fast-moving program, scrapping unnecessary patter and concentrating on her songs, she romped through a program of classic numbers created by a who’s who of composers and lyricists.
With Ian Herman providing strong support at the piano, Leonard offered a hit parade of songs spanning decades. Old-timers—still sounding as fresh as today—included Harry Warren and Mack Gordon’s “The More I See You,” Rodgers and Hart’s “Glad to Be Unhappy,” and Harold Arlen and Dorothy Fields’ “Today I Love Everybody.” Folk songs were represented with a sweet variation of “Scarlet Ribbons,” and Leonard also honored Kander and Ebb (with the humorous “Arthur in the Afternoon”); Maltby and Shire (“Patterns” and “What If We Had Loved Like That?”); Stephen Sondheim (“I Never Do Anything Twice”), and Rube Bloom and Johnny Mercer (“Day In, Day Out”). Andrew Lloyd Webber was also present through a humorous parody of his “Memory” with lyrics by Pam Peterson, while New York’s Julie Gold was on hand musically with Leonard’s lovely rendition of “The Journey.” The finale was Peggy Lee and William Schluger’s “I Love Being Here with You”—a sentiment that the audience enthusiastically shared, judging by its applause and cheers. A reprise of Leonard’s show is scheduled for the afternoon of May 5 at Don’t Tell Mama.