Marin Mazzie and Jerome Kern Can’t Help Singing…

rexopposite Marin Mazzie and Jerome Kern Cant Help Singing...Opposite You
Feinstein’s at Loews Regency

The dazzling soprano Marin Mazzie, a golden-voiced Broadway showstopper in the revival of Kiss Me Kate and the best Guenevere I’ve ever seen, in Lincoln Center’s Camelot; and Jason Danieley, a winning chameleon who can switch from a bruising baritone to lyrical tenor with the wave of a hand or the thrust of a pelvis (he took it all off in The Full Monty), are joining forces (and voices) in a rousing show at Feinstein’s at Loews Regency called “Opposite You.” It’s something they’ve done opposite each other just about everywhere—onstage, in bed, in the shower, you fill in the blanks. This is as it should be. They’ve been married 11 years, they’re obviously still smitten with each other, and if Jerome Kern’s “Can’t Help Singing” is not their theme song, it should be. 

The show opens with a cursed 17-song medley that goes on too long, lacks continuity and strains credulity (Segueing from the last note of “Big D” to the first note of “Bess, You Is My Woman Now” is a stretch.) But everything in this homemade act is structured to showcase their versatility, both as a team and in the solo spot. From an almost conversational “Honeysuckle Rose” to a perky “Let’s Do It” with an extra chorus rhyming “llamas,” “pajamas” and “the Obamas,” they cover every musical base. But as gifted and polished as Mr. Danieley is, it is Ms. Mazzie who won my heart. As she milks all of the humor possible out of “Ring Them Bells,” one of Liza Minnelli’s theme songs, her courage and acting chops pay off. I especially liked a piece of special material called “Sorta Love Song,” about a man whose life is a mess, whose clothes don’t match, who stores the contents of his entire life in the back seat of his car and who owns a chain saw—but she’ll take him, day by day. Why doesn’t someone write her a show of her own? An Irving Berlin suite captivates. A Stephen Sondheim suite soars. And for fun, what’s not to like about a couple that encores with “Aba Daba Honeymoon” faster than Debbie Reynolds and Carleton Carpenter? They make marriage look good. If there is any doubt that they are on the same marital page, she confesses to the audience that she likes “his little Irish tush” and pats it for safe-keeping. Nonplussed, he confides that she vacuums the house in the nude. Confused, she counters with “I don’t vacuum.” You have to be there, and if you crave an evening of pure entertainment, that’s exactly what I suggest you do. 

rreed@observer.com