Songs of Love and Laughter by Irving Berlin; George Gershwin; Marve
Fisher; Cole Porter; Kurt Weill, Jerome Kern; Noel Coward; Stephen Sondheim;
and Flanders and Swann.
This is a delicious treat of often naughty songs sung with great sly, coy
wit by Barbara Kennedy, an experienced opera and operetta singer. How seductively
she sings, "
I love to run my fingers over the keys" and "
Oh! I love an upright
" in the opening number - Irving Berlins
I love a piano. Then she complains in Cole Porters The
Physician that "
he looked after my physical condition and
his bedside manner was great
he said my bronchial tubes were
but he never said he loved me!" Returning to Irving Berlin
we have the title song, Youd Be Surprised in which we
learn that although Johnny is bashful "
when you get him alone
cant judge a book by its cover
Youd be Surprised!".
George and Ira Gershwins My Cousin in Milwaukee had boy friends
by the dozen and "
when she sings hot, you cant be solemn, it
sends shivers up and down your spinal column..." Barbara then assures that
she is Just an old-fashioned girl in Marve Fishers song but
she dreams of being supported by an old fashioned millionaire. Let Me
Sing and Im Happy she then pleads to Irving Berlins music.
Kurt Weills The Saga of Jenny tells of headstrong Jenny
who leaves a trail of devastation behind her as she advances through life
"Jenny made her mind up at twenty-two that to get a husband was the
thing to do
she got herself a husband but it wasnt hers
Jerome Kern is represented by his sentimental, Bill.
Two numbers from Cole Porters Kiss Me Kate are included: So in
Love sung and played with heavy irony and I hate Men - "
In our democracy I hate the most the athlete with his manner bold and brassy,
he may have hairs upon his chest, but, sisters, so has Lassie!" Porters
My Heart Belongs To Daddy has Kennedy getting her comfortable priorities
right. Flanders and Swanns A Word in My Ear ("
applauded, recorded but they seem to have missed that Im Tone Death")
is a brilliantly funny take-off of musical mannerisms. Noel Coward says We
must all be very kind to Auntie Jessie for she has never been
a mother or a wife. Stephen Sondheim is represented by two numbers. Losing
My Mind is a song about loneliness and unrequited love sung by Kennedy with
understated yet affecting poignancy. I Never Do Anything Twice
is another comic pearl - "
no matter how nice, I never do anything
once, yes, once is delicious; but twice would be vicious or merely