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17:54 | 24th March 2017

Reviews: Live Shows

Sun 5 Dec, 2010
By Robert Ingham


it is easy to just close your eyes and pretend you’re listening to the real McCoy

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Barbra & Frank - LIVE!!!

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Fresh from Las Vegas, this tribute act to Barbra Streisand and Frank Sinatra asks the question – what would it be like if these two legends shared the same stage? They never performed together, even their duet was recorded in separate studios and so this question gets ably answered in a 2 hour show, Barbra & Frank – The Show That Never Was.

Set under the arches on Villiers Street, in the very intimate space of The New Players Theatre, we are treated to classics from each performer. Barbra, played by Sharon Owens and Frank, played by Sebastian Anzaldo, have descended on London until December 18th.

The first act is split between the two performances, singing a range of songs – Barbra belting out “Enough Is Enough”, “Don’t Rain On My Parade”, “Evergreen” and “People”, amongst others in a tantalising medley, and Frank swinging out with “Come Fly With Me”, “Fly Me To The Moon”, “That’s Life” and “One For The Road”. Both singers shine individually and it is easy to just close your eyes and pretend you’re listening to the real McCoy.

They do perform together in the first act, their banter warm and infectious as they come out into the audience. Barbra seems to be the one most comfortable talking with the crowd during numbers without ever being distracting. Sharon has mastered Barbra’s giggle perfectly and you cannot help but enjoy her witty repartee, whilst Sebastian swaggers around the stage, his cockiness an uncanny resemblance of his alter ego.

However, it is the second act when they really come to life and they speak as if they have been performing together for years. Barbra spices things up between the songs, gently ribbing and goading Frank and it is like watching two friends having the time of their life on stage.

This may not be everybody’s ideal night out. It does help if you are a fan of their work but it is a great evening to go to, especially with audience participation strongly encouraged. I recommend this to anyone who wants to see two icons of the 20th century at a fraction of the cost if you went to see Ms Streisand herself. I guarantee by the end you will be singing along and what gives the evening added sparkle is that Sharon and Sebastian meet and greet everyone after the show, a welcome extra touch.

This concert deserves great audiences and, now the weather looks to be improving, maybe this will help drive up the numbers. After all, you will never get to see Barbra & Frank on the same stage again. Not to be missed.

Barbra & Frank – The Show That Never Was is at the New Players Theatre, Villiers Street until 18th December. Tickets are between £22.50-£35.

 

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