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Adagio Teas
   Features  >  NY Theater Reviews

at Feinstin's at Loew's Regency

By Robert L. Daniels

  Mary Cleere Haran

Song and screen legend Doris Day at age eighty-three leads a reclusive and comfortable retirement in Carmel, California devoting her time to animal rights and enjoying the company of her many cherished pets. She refuses to travel and a decade ago declined to appear for an honor from the Film Society of Lincoln Center, as well as Hollywood fetes. The next best thing is a tribute to the perky thrush, fervently delivered at Feinstein's at Loew's Regency by the celebrated cabaret star, Mary Cleere Haran.

Haran, whose previous appearances revealed a talent for the diligent research of her subjects, spent several hours with Day. Subsequently the breezy hour of song and anecdotal patter is a warming tribute to a singer Haran sums up as a true artist, who could be subtle, sly and sexy, and who worked very hard for 30 years with gifted concentration.

In a sparkly white gown, the glam Haran opened her set with Day In-Day Out cradled in purring warmth that led to a bright, swinging tempo change. Haran recalled Day's career as a young prize winning dancer by the name of Doris Kappelhoff who worshiped Ginger Rogers. Listening to the radio during a long recovery following an automobile accident, Day was influenced by the singing of Ella Fitzgerald.

A year with Les Brown and the Band of Renown led to her first record hit, Sentimental Journey.

and at a Hollywood party she sang Little Girl Blue, where composer Jule Styne heard her. The rest, as they say, is history. Styne shared the discovery with his partner Sammy Cahn, prompting the team to recruit her for their film, Romance on the High Seas. Rather than sing the pic's hit song It's Magic, Haran opted to revive the delightful swing tune, Put 'Em in a Box.

Mary Cleere Haran is the next best thing to having Doris Day in person. Haran sings with a knowingness of a lyric and the story to be told. She also invests her songs with warmth and pitch perfect musicianship. Que Sera Sera is a tidy reflection from the Alfred Hitchcock thriller The Man Who Knew Too Much, while Irving Berlin's Shaking the Blues Away, recalls the roaring twenties and the career of Ruth Etting, whom Day portrayed in Love Me or Leave Me.

The late broadcaster William B. William once dubbed Doris Day, Sparkle Plenty. Credit Haran with investing plenty of sparkle and a lot of heart into her toast to a living legend. She's there thru Oct. 27th.



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