On The Broadway Scene, Daily Racing Form, 1959-05-12


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ON THE BROADWAY SCENE ByBurtBoyar NEW YORK, May 11.— LOUIS PRIMA and Keely Smith just moved into Copaca-bana. The way Mr. Jules Podells Copa on E. 60th Street is jumping it should be passing 34th street by tomorrow, noon . . . The jam-packed condition of the Copa Thursday night reminds us of some old jokes about crowded night clubs: "I bent over and someone threw a table cloth over me." . . . "We sat at an ash tray for two." ... "I was minding my own business when a guy two tables away said Will you please let go of my drink! " . . . For the first time since the lush war years the Copas placing three shows a night to accommodate the demand for tables. The tables all had cards politely informing you that your table was reserved for the next show. AAA Audrey Meadows slipped in to join Harry Karl . . . Pat Boone ringsided with Elvis Presleys manager Col. Tom Parker. . . . Gabby Hayes was front and center with his familiar "Early Castro" beard . . . Jack E. Leonard was across the table from him . . . FDR, Jr. was obscured from sight by Mrs. Danny Kayes table ... It was one of those nights for which the word was out all day that "You cant get near the place." But a couple of thousand did. , .AAA Following the opening of the show by Dick Humphreys, a very fresh and creative dancer he taught Jerry Lewis to tap dance a voice is heard screaming "Hello, you mothers and daddies! You say you want the WILDEST? . . . You say you want the END? . . ." While he is leading up to the news that the headlines are coming you look around and see that the "voice" is a man who is standing perilously on the balcony railing, microphone in hand and waving a flashlight around the room. If he slips from his perch it is a sheer drop down to FDR, Jr. which Mr. Roosevelt probably wouldnt mind except that his table is barely big enough for two. The voice continues his blood-curdling introduction and you are just beginning to think, "Ah hah. Its going to be one of THOSE nights" when he says, "Here comes a little scene thatll twist you, my friends." The band plays, "While the Whole World Smiles at You" and in walks Keely Smith with her familiar poker face. Louis is a few steps behind her and the meeting has begun. If its frenzy you want, here it comes. AAA The Bandstand has been cleared of the regular Copa crew and on it are Louis, his crew of five or six men and the Prima chanteuse, Keely Smith, who is just about the best girl singer in the whole world . . . While Miss Smith, who is in reality the lovely Margo Lane, shes Mrs. Prima stares at the audience, Mr. Prima spots a ringsider who is working on a bowl of chow»mein. "What are you doing, eating?" he shouts at the obviously guilty party. "Waiter, take the plate away! You cant eat while we work." Mr. P. then shifts into automatic pilot and away they go. I dont exactly know how to describe their music. It is wild and brassy, recklessly fast and loud. It grabs a hold of your foot and starts its tapping. Prima has done a whole song before Lawrence Welk could finish saying "uh-one, uh-two". It is Music - To -Catch - Up - With - A - Jet - Plane - By. AAA „ While prima and his boys play, he sings. I admit I dont know what he was saying — I mean in actual words — but I got the message . . . There are various and excellent solos by members of his band, particularly Sam Butera, and then finally Louis makes way for Miss Keely at the mike. This doesnt happen until more than halfway through the show. I kept wishing it would happen sooner. AAA Keely Smith is an American Indian and after she has wandered through "I Wish You Love," "Stormy Weather" and "Its Magic" you make a mental note to rush home and store all her records in something airtight against the day when they will be collectors items. She and Louis do a few duets like "Ive Got You Under My Skin" and "Black Magic," and all the other singers in the room are ready to quite the business. AAA Although much of the tacts humor is suggestive of things one never admits to ones children, it somehow is never objectionable. The Prima-Smith entry is one of the most brilliantly entertaining acts in show business today. It is sheer madness. Electrifying from the moment they walked in to the time, too often after, when the Saints went marching off to an overwhelming standing ovation which totally blocked their exit from the stage and left them standing there hugging each other and saying, "Come on now, stop crying in front of all these people."

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1950s/drf1959051201/drf1959051201_2_3
Local Identifier: drf1959051201_2_3
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800