Nobilis performed a work by its pianist Stephen Prutsman: his Paraphrase on Themes from Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin.” It swings between the Russian’s arching operatic melodies and his brisk dances; an artful alternation of high romance and plain tension. Prutsman, who lives in San Francisco, is a commanding player, and so are his two colleagues: violinist Ruggero Allifranchini (who is associate concertmaster of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, where Prutsman once was an artistic director) and cellist Suren Bagratuni, a widely-traveled soloist.
One of the early highlights was the title track to 1995’s “Days Like This,” delivered with tasteful restraint return address labels - ballerina - personalized - stickers - ballet - custom label yet ample soul, He also scored when he reached back to his days with the band Them for a driving rendition of the blues staple “Baby, Please Don’t Go” and then ricocheted through the Lester Young number “Jumpin’ With Symphony Sid.”, Not everything worked so well, however, In particular, his upbeat and jazzy makeover of “Have I Told You Lately” was ordinary at the best, This version lacked the heart and soul that went into the original recording of the beloved ballad, which has been used for countless first dances at weddings..
Also being inducted are the acclaimed jazz singer Faye Carol; popular Pittsburg singer Nicky DePaola; Jesse Torres, lead singer of the JD & Company show band; Lou DiMaggio, one of the top accordion players from the big band era; California Theatre organist Tony Enea; jazz man and mentor Raymond Glasper. Also performinmg will be big band singer Bob Grabeau; longtime musician John Guerrero; versatile musician Delfo Lanzafame; singer-poet and supporter of the arts Guillermo Muniz; Felix Urbina, founder of Pittsburg’s first Latin big band; drummer Leo Vigil and bluesman/inventor Sam Wesley Sr.
Claire Alexander’s choreography shows originality and takes full advantage of the smallish stage, The musical takes a strange (but comical) U-turn at the end of Act 1, Doralee, Violet and Judy kidnap Hart and decide to hold him hostage in his own home….in a mechanical harness attached to his garage door opener, (This nefarious action seems wildly popular with the audience.), Of course, in a musical comedy such as this, all turns out happily in the end, Reliable character actor Todd Wright turns up in an all-white suit as Mr, Tinsworthy, CEO of the company (and return address labels - ballerina - personalized - stickers - ballet - custom label Hart’s boss), He gives Hart a promotion — more like a punishment — by sending him to manage the company’s branch in Bolivia, then promotes Violet to fill Hart’s position, and everybody — cast and audience alike — goes home happy..
Taste of Compassion: West Valley Community Services presents a dinner to benefit services to prevent hunger and homelessness in Cupertino, Saratoga, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno and West San Jose. Nov. 22 and 23. $24 in advance/$26 at the door. Florentine Restaurant, 10275 S. De Anza Blvd., Cupertino. 408.255.0833, ext. 152, or www.wvcommunityservices.org/taste. Book-Go-Round: The Friends of the Saratoga Libraries’ Book-Go-Round present an extensive collection of “Good As New” books, including children’s books, art and photography, cookbooks, crafts and home arts, local, state, national and world history books and travel books. The “Good As New” special feature premieres Nov. 26 and runs through December. Proceeds from the Book-Go-Round fund programs and new books for the Saratoga Library. 14410 Oak St., Saratoga. 408.867.5552 or www.bookgoround.com.