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'Definitely Doris' a Sentimental Journey

April 10, 1998|PHILIP BRANDES

As pert and perky as its subject, "Definitely Doris: The Music of Doris Day" brings a sunny retrospective revue to Burbank's handsome Falcon Theatre.

This affectionate if paper-thin homage by Patty Carver and Leo P. Carusone features selections from the more than 1,200 songs recorded by Day in her singing career, delivered by a spunky quintet (Carver, Julia Gregory, John Heffron, Lyle Kanouse and Perry Stephens). Toe-tapping ensemble renditions of "Any Way the Wind Blows," "Sentimental Journey" and "Que Sera, Sera" showcase tight harmonies in Jerry Goehring's staging, which augments the songs with modest choreography.

The performers launch into individual numbers in the guise of fans paying tribute to their beloved icon (those were indeed happier times--not a stalker in the bunch). High points include Carver's solo renditions of "I Put on My Prayers" and "It's Magic," and her duet with Heffron in "Jeepers, Creepers." Gregory ranges from a frisky "Teacher's Pet" to an atypically poignant and downbeat "Ten Cents a Dance."

Some reflective quotations from Day pepper the presentation with biographical detail, though none digs very deep. Guest Bernie Kopell gushed warmly about his childhood infatuation with this "shiksa goddess," reinforcing the innocuously effervescent tone. "Definitely Doris" offers little substantive inducement to anyone not already touched by Day's appeal, but for those who are, it deftly plucks the strings of nostalgia.

*

* "Definitely Doris: The Music of Doris Day," Falcon Theatre, 4252 Riverside Drive, Burbank. Wednesdays (except April 22)-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Sundays and April 22, 3 p.m. Ends May 3. $25-$37.50. (818) 955-8101. Running time: 2 hours, 5 minutes.

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