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CABARET REVIEW : 'Good, Bad' Delivers Satire

March 13, 1995|DON HECKMAN

"Good, Bad but Beautiful" suggests that the '60s may be the most richly rewarding source for satire since Richard Nixon met Joe McCarthy. Saturday's performance of the cabaret revue at the Cinegrill was a comic delight, its only flaw an occasional tendency to let segments run too long.

But that's a minor carp for a production that explodes with talent. Writer-director Richard Hochberg's premise is simple enough: a 2 a.m. set in the lounge of a Las Vegas hotel in 1966 by a trio of female singers who call themselves the Beautifuls.

What makes it work is the quality of affection and compassion that Hochberg brings to his satirical view of these performers, who are trapped in the underside of an entertainment world dominated by the likes of Vikki Carr, Eydie Gorme, Shirley Bassey and Cher.

Teresa Parente's versatile voice perfectly nailed send-ups of a tinny-sounding Carr and a nasal, cross-eyed Barbra Streisand. Carrie Stauber's hooked-on-downers simulation of Peggy Lee's "Is That All There Is" understood the dark undercurrents in both the singer and the song. And Terrah's stratospheric, sinus-clearing, high-decibel rendering of Bassey was right on target.

* "Good, Bad but Beautiful" plays Saturday through Tuesday at the Cinegrill, Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, 7000 Hollywood Blvd. $15 cover, two-drink minimum. Closes March 28. (213) 466-7000.

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