By Melissa Rose Bernardo
Updated June 02, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT
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James Naughton: Looking for the Heart of Saturday Night

type
  • Stage

An actor who does cabaret is no rarity, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find one who does it with as much élan and ease as James Naughton. The Tony-winning star of 1989’s City of Angels and 1996’s Chicago (he was the long-running revival’s original huckster lawyer) brings his super-smooth stylings — and a stellar four-piece band — to NYC’s Feinstein’s at the Regency, and endears himself to the audience instantly. ”Let’s give a verrrrry warm welcome to James Naughton,” he purrs before bounding on stage and launching into ”Everything I’ve Got,” a sassy Rodgers & Hart selection from By Jupiter. He shares some comical, celebrity-filled stories (stealing a song from Tony Bennett!), and reminisces about the late, great Cy Coleman, who played Feinstein’s once or twice himself. Speaking of his pal Cy, Naughton sings three of the composer’s songs, including a jazzy, oom-pah-pah version of Little Me‘s ”Real Live Girl” and I Love My Wife‘s ”Everybody Today Is Turnin’ On,” a kicky ’70s ode to the delights of drugs. One (tiny) quibble: Naughton speaks so fondly about Coleman’s famous ”Witchcraft” one wishes he had included it. Still, gems like the irreverent Randy Newman tune ”Shame” and the Arlen-Mercer chestnut ”Come Rain or Come Shine” will fill anyone’s heart on a Saturday night — or any other night of the week. (Tickets: Call 212-339-4095, or visit TicketWeb.com)

James Naughton: Looking for the Heart of Saturday Night

type
  • Stage
director
  • John Oddo

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