Thursday, October 18, 2007

Bishop, Williams Head Copacabana Show

Tips on Tables - By Robert W. Dana - June 12, 1959

Bishop, Williams Head Copacabana Show

Despite a line of girls as youthful and fresh as the girl next door in the old home town, two young fellows took the limelight in the show Joey Bishopwhich opened last night at the Copacabana. With Milton Berle at ringside and comedienne Jean Carroll applauding from the terrace, Joey Bishop was a debonair master of funny lines, while Andy Williams sang a round dozen of songs as if he were contending for the title of singer of the year.
Disarming Cushion

Bishop has a nonchalance that is a disarming cushion for his comic thrusts., When you least expect it, he'll throw out a telling line that has the customers fanning the air with delayed-action laughter when they had been looking for the change of pace. Funny thing about this fellow, different segments of the audience dig him at different times. Those who follow TV are well aware of Bishop's talent for ad lib. It's hard to tell where the memorized material stops and the ad lib begin. While most of his act is a monologue, he slips in a very funny impression of an East Indian. dancer's facial, expressions and sentimentalizes with a take-off of Ted Lewis.
Williams can sing soft of swing a tune with a robust voice and infectious sense of rhythm. Great credit for assisting his outstanding performance last night is due the Copacabana orchestra, with Sanford Gold conducting. With the exception of "Danny Boy," the oldtime ballad, which he sang to guitar accompaniment at his shoulder, practically all of Andy's numbers conclude with a rousing orchestral finish, with the trumpet player having a field day.

Rhythm Numbers.

My preference is for his rhythm numbers: "Just in Time," "Breezing Along With the Breeze," Bye-Bye Blackbird" (with a big introduction) and "Day In, Day Out." There were other standouts. One is the rock-and-rollish "I Like Your Kind of Love." "Jeannie," which he sings into a hand mike as he strolls around, is tender and winning. "Hawaiian Wedding Song" suggests the undulations of the hula girl, the rhythm of the waves. He sings "Steamboat for New York" from "Porgie and Bess" and Gershwin's "Love Is Here to Stay." Andy Williams was so great last night that I'd like to go right back to the Copacabana and hear him again.

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