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Dramaworks' pros shine in stylish 'Sondheim'

Jul 10 2007
Hap Erstein | Palm Beach Post

...the stylish show on view this summer at Palm Beach Dramaworks is notable for its simplicity, its accessibility and its entertainment quotient. Insightfully performed by a trio of singer-actors accompanied and occasionally joined by pianist-musical director Craig D. Ames, Side by Side is a crash course in the genius of Sondheim. The well-oiled and polished evening is staged efficiently by J. Barry Lewis... His three-member cast is led by Broadway veteran Anna McNeely (Cats), a redheaded Kewpie equally at home belting an dramatic plaint such as The Ladies Who Lunch or the overtly comic You Gotta Get a Gimmick, accompanying herself on sour trumpet. Terrell Hardcastle ably handles some of the show's prettiest ballads (I Remember, Anyone Can Whistle), but is not above gender-bending camp on the Andrews Sisters-ish trio, You Could Drive a Person Crazy. Versatile soprano Cecilia well showcased on West Side Story's I Have a Love. And Ames injects himself more than usual into the show with a jaunty rendition of the vaudevillian patter song Buddy's Blues, complete with a final piano accent by his foot.