Sweet Dreams
Reviews

Susan in NYC said....

Here's a song-by-song account of the show in Philadelphia (since SF Sue will be jet lagged, I thought I'd save her the trouble of typing in the song names).

A couple of general remarks. I thought the show got off to a little bit of a slow start. Perhaps it was my getting used to the format and tone of the evening; perhaps they just saved the best for last. I think anybody that gets on a stage to sing with David (or "Dave", as John calls him) is pretty brave. I enjoyed John's singing much more on the funny, story-type songs than on ballads. He reminded me a little bit of Michael Franks and Rupert Holmes; my friends (who came in from Pittsburgh for the show) noticed a little Billy Joel too.

John narrated the show, telling us about how he and David met, how they get together at his apartment to sing his songs, his four "categories" of songs (loose translation from memory: falling in love; in love and happy; out of love and love sucks; love's not so bad and I think I'll try again). He talked about how some songs just come to him suddenly,and for others he endures a long process getting them written. He has a tougher time with the lyrics than the music. John and David are fast friends, and it was fun watching them interact. Speaking of interactions (don't shoot me) David and John co-wrote one of the songs below, but I can't remember which one! Perhaps SF Sue can bail me out here.

Anyway, here they are, with my comments if the song was memorable in some way...

That Smile
It Feels Like Home
Unexpressed
What You're Lookin' For
Sweet Dreams -- a "story" song about a couple who meet on a bus.
Puddle of Love -- John sang this one. Cute, funny song. This is where the concert really picked up (in my view).
Say Goodnight
If I Ever Say I'm Over You
The Undone Things -- energetic duet; fun "pace". Great byplay between John and David.
Sepia Life -- another "story" song, sung by David, harmony by John.
On My Bedside Table -- the best song that John did as a solo -- really funny, great comedic timing, great lyrics. He said it was a "rage" song. We were still singing the lyrics after the concert!

What You Need

(The next group (with the *s) is songs from "Urban Myths." John set up the whole UM set by explaining the premise of the show -- seven vignettes related to urban myths. Example 1: there are white alligators that live in the New York subway system. I'm not sure if he's got a set about organ harvesting ;o) )

My Alligator and Me* -- GREAT song. David as a 10-year old kid, singing all about his pet alligator. I'd love to see this get into David's next cabaret show.

Temporary* -- second song in the alligator myth. First the kid loses his dad; then his mother flushes his pet alligator down the toilet...

Tease Me* -- Second myth, about a black widow spider that lives in a woman's beehive haircut. David did a great impression of a cool motorcycle dude from the early 60s. Maybe when his Mandy Patinkin act gets stale, he can take on Elvis...

Not a Cloud in the Sky* -- First song in a myth that John and his "Sweet Dreams" partner [who was that?] made up. It was based on John?s younger brother's struggle with (and ultimate death from) AIDS. John sang the part of the uptight control-freak has-never-cried man whose partner is in the next room on his deathbed. The guy's in serious denial.

Light* -- David sings the part of the dying partner, thanking God for light, for still being alive, and for his loving partner in the next room.

Grateful* -- Final song in the last myth. Maybe you?ve heard it... The myth here (if you're interested) seemed to be that crying releases toxins in your system, and that if you never cry, you end up poisoning yourself. If anybody's seen Sweet Dreams, you might have a better explanation.

Taking the Wheel -- Need I say anything?

This Moment -- Solo by John (done as the encore)

My one complaint about the show was --- the audience! It was largely a subscription crowd, many of whom had no idea who or what they were coming to see. Some left early (during songs), many walked out while the rest of us (the true fans and John's family) were wanting an encore. Sigh. They got all the good seats, too.

If you're in or near New York, John and David will be doing this show at Joe's Pub on Mondays in January. It's well worth seeing. Give me a shout if you're going.

--Long winded Susan in NYC


San Francisco Sue said.....

 Well, I had this half written, left it to go check something in Susan's email, and lost the whole thing!

So, here we go again. This time I'll write it in WORD and copy it over. EGADS! I just ran spell check. Talk about being long winded! thanks Susan, for your review. I agree with most of it, but it will be fun to offer a slightly different point of view. As for the song they co-wrote - and I'll be so embarrassed if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure it's SAY GOODNIGHT. I know I liked it a lot - it was probably 4th or 5th as far as favorites from the whole evening.

Overall, the experience was wonderful. The flights were perfect - on two of them I even had a whole row to myself so I could lie down to sleep! And I went out for dinner/dessert after with David and John and a few others, so that was very special. Also, a very nice young man, Stephen Mercer, one of the producers at the theater even gave me a ride to the airport.

It was also fun arriving at the theater via Super Shuttle and having all the patrons mulling out front wonder who this person was who was coming to the concert directly from the airport!

 But now, to the meat of the evening: the MUSIC!

I liked THAT SMILE a lot - almost as much as SAY GOODNIGHT. I thought it made a good opening number. After that, I agree with Susan that there was a slight lull - mostly that I can't remember the next three songs. I remember being thrilled to be there listening to avid from the front row again! Wait. I just cheated and played John's tape, which has IT FEELS LIKE HOME on it. Now I remember I loved that song. It goes really high, and I love David's high register, but the song is also great. I know concerts can differ from night to night, so I think Susan's slow start may have been on that night only.

I do remember SWEET DREAMS. I enjoyed the fantasy trip of the two who got off the bus in California.

Like, Susan, I also enjoyed PUDDLE OF LOVE. It's very clever, but I

 can't say there was a big difference, as far as the concert picking up at

 this point.

Then came SAY GOODNIGHT and IF I EVER SAY I'M OVER YOU, which I also liked a lot. This is a weird review. All I seem to be able to say is, "I liked it a lot." I just can't remember WHY I liked it.

 THE UNDONE THINGS is very clever. I laughed a lot, and I was amazed at the timing between John and David. It was absolutely impeccable. That had to be difficult because the song really moved and there were lots of words.

SEPIA LIFE seemed a lot different than John's other songs. I liked it, but I would want to hear it more. I didn't totally follow the story. Oh  good. I just peeked at the jacket from his tape. It's there. I'll come  back to this paragraph after I hear it again. Okay, I just listened to  it on the tape, and now it makes more sense. Somehow, last night, I missed the line about a Southern Belle having an affair. Her line, WE DO WHAT WE HAVE TO DO made me think she was being raped by a high ranking soldier, and she was going along with it out of some misplace duty to her country. But then then end about her husband didn't make sense at all.  Now I understand. And I LOVED the references to the satin gown "talking" to her.

Again I agree with Susan on ON MY BEDSIDE TABLE. I even asked John after if he REALLY has a note from Sondheim. He said now he has several, and he even spent a weekend at his house once!

I fee bad when I can't remember a song. Especially with the experience of hearing IT FEELS LIKE HOME again on the tape and then remembering I liked it a lot. But the fact remains I can't remember WHAT YOU NEED and unfortunately it's not on the tape. (God, I hope that's not the one they cowrote! No, I really think it's SAY GOODNIGHT).

Now on to URBAN MYTHS. I truly hope John will be able to get it  produced. It sounds marvelous. To add to Susan's description of the myth of the alligator's in the sewers of New York - After MY ALLIGATOR AND ME (which, by the way, I think David should add to his repertoire) there's a news commentary about how having alligators as pets is dangerous because the spread disease, etc. Then John described a scene where the stage is empty except for a toilet in the middle. There's a line of mothers with pet alligators - one at a time - flushing them down. And the 10-year-old's mother (sorry, I can't remember his name) is last in line and she steps up and flushes Lester (the alligator) down the drain. Then she sings TEMPORARY to him, about how everything is temporary - including her.

TEASE ME was lots of fun, and yes, David's Elvis impression added a lot. The Urban Myth here is about all the things - rats, spiders, etc. - that lived in the beehive hairdos of the 60's.

The things Susan left out of the last myth were covered by Amanda - Amanda, how did you know that? I never knew any of it until last night. I never cried during GRATEFUL before, but I sure did last night.

Everyone knows TAKING THE WHEEL, and Susan, here's my time to be jealous of you! They didn't do THIS MOMENT. TAKNG THE WHEEL was the encore. I hope we didn't stop clapping too soon. Thank God I didn't have an audience like yours. There were several times when about 1/4 of us gave them standing ovations. And no one walked out in the middle - at least not that I noticed.