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CABARET REVIEW : Sally Kellerman's Class Act at the Rose

May 06, 1992|DON HECKMAN

From Hot Lips to Hot Voice.

Sally Kellerman, "MASH's" original operating room vamp, still has her angular good looks and bright, slashing smile. But the focus lately has moved to the instantly identifiable sound of her richly purring voice, which has made her one of the country's busiest commercial voice-over actresses.

Kellerman's new cabaret act, which plays Wednesdays at the Rose Cabaret, acknowledged this one recent night with the title "The Voice Over America." Aside from a few jocular references in her between-songs patter, however, she wisely steered clear of the commercials and concentrated on a well-chosen collection of standard pop tunes.

Ballads are the heart and soul of Kellerman's style, and her readings of "I Thought About You," "Lazy Afternoon," "The Nearness of You" and especially Leonard Bernstein's "Some Other Time" were superb renderings--near-classic examples of what can happen when the right singer meets the right song.

But musical director Bob Esty's arrangements, for a tenor sax-dominated four-piece band, had the hackneyed sound of mediocre nightclub music. Kellerman's class act deserves better treatment.

* Kellerman continues at the Rose Cabaret every Wednesday through June.

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