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LA Theater Review

Lovers and Lullabies

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Billed as "a sweet and sexy cabaret," this hourlong show is the third in a series of late-night offerings in the Celebration Theatre's 2006-07 season. Hosted by the charming Peter Bedard — sometimes in a hat, sometimes with a boa, but always with a smile — the evening progresses with songs and mild banter. Providing the tunes are four seasoned performers with credentials from stage, film, and television. Assisting Bedard in the opening number is the hunky Rusty Hamrick and the curvy Angelique Perrin, who also serve to usher performers on and off the stage, as well as providing eye candy and a bit of dancing.

The four songsters begin with Bob Mundy, who claims — and proves — a four-octave vocal range. His comfort zone, however, is as smooth as butter, as with his lovely rendition of the title theme from "Two for the Road." The sultry Trisha Mann — coming on board just days before opening — raises the temperature with "Summertime." Richard Tanner goofs around with Bessie Smith's "I Can't Do Without My Kitchen Man." The lovely Cynda Williams renders her hit "Harlem Blues" from her debut film Mo' Better Blues.

Music director Jake Anthony proves excellent at the keyboards. Unfortunately, some of the familiar songs seem over-arranged; on opening night Hamrick and Perrin's dance moves appeared a bit tentative and by-the-numbers; and some of the humor fell flat.

Presented by and at Celebration Theatre, 7051-B Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Fri.-Sat. 10:30 p.m. Mar. 23-Apr. 14. (323) 957-1884. www.celebrationtheatre.com.

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