The Concert That Never Was

Las Vegas was magically transported to the Clausen Center in Holstein last Saturday night. It came in the guise of a Sinatra-Streisand tour de force given life by proxies, Sharon Owens and Sebastian Anzaldo. Their vocalizations filled the theater with standards that are just as golden now as they were back in the day. Who doesn’t love “Luck, Be a Lady” or “The Way We Were”? They are so good they’ll never grow old.

It was a treat to hear the music again. Songs that have been in the back of our minds for years returned with such clarity, that if you closed your eyes, you could almost imagine you were there with the great ones in the great times.

Ned Mills, the musical director and pianist, was the key ingredient that melded Owen and Anzaldo’s separate talents into one lovely whole. Without his seamless cohesiveness, the show might have seemed less like a combined performance of two mega-stars and more like a couple of dynamos fighting for the spotlight.

The first half of the night was just fine but things got a little looser and swung a little freer after intermission. The second set opened with Anzaldo romping his way through “That’s Why the Lady Is a Tramp” and then morphed into a remarkable blending of the two voices with “It Was a Very Good Year” and “Memories” from “Cats”. Their melodic juxtaposition and intertwined cries from lonely hearts gave rise to what was perhaps the high point of the evening.

And that’s saying quite a lot because the duo’s rendition of “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” was wonderful and “Happy Days Are Here Again” nearly blew the audience’s socks off. Then, too, there was “Someday” from “West Side Story” and Sinatra’s “Summer Wind”. “New York; New York” barely got off the ground before it was done but it was good goofy fun.

“Barbra and Frank, The Concert That Never Was” probably plays better in the intimate setting of a Vegas nightclub with ice cubes clinking in the background, but it was thoroughly enjoyed by the theater crowd. It was, indeed, what they call a grand night for singing.