It's a challenge to capture the spirit of Rosemary Clooney. As a "girl singer," she had a bittersweet naivety. As a veteran singer, she acquired new richness and soul. She knew the truth of the songs she sang, time-tested standards of love and loss. She had lived.
Her imperfect life gets new life in "Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical." This new biographical musical features a cornucopia of songs that Clooney made famous, from "Come On-a My House" to the jive "Straighten Up and Fly Right" and the lovely "Someone To Watch Over Me." Written by Janet Yates Vogt and Mark Friedman, the show will be given its regional premiere at MusicalFare Theatre beginning Nov. 2.
Debbie Pappas stars as Rosemary Clooney. Pappas, who was last seen at MusicalFare in "The Drowsy Chaperone," has the kind of extensive stage experience that should make her as prepared to play Clooney as anybody could be. Louis Colaiacovo joins her on stage, aiding and abetting her as she sorts through her life. Doug Weyand directs, and the musical direction is by Theresa Quinn.
Admission is $43, with discounts available for students and active military. The show runs Wednesdays through Sundays (with the exception of Thanksgiving Day) through Dec. 4. Times are 7 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 7:30 p.m. Fridays, 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. There are meet-the-cast talkbacks are all Wednesday performances except opening night.
MusicalFare Theatre is located on the campus of Daemen College, 4380 Main St. Call 839-8540.