I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU – The Life and Lyrics of Al Dubin: at the Montalban

By Cat Conner

I had a wonderful surprise when I attended the first preview of Corky Hale’s new show “I Only Have Eyes For You,” The Life and Lyrics of Al Dubin at  the Montalban theatre in Los Angeles. I am not really a fan of musicals but this one had me sitting up in my seat, laughing and enjoying the lighthearted, easy fun. It’s a great story punctuated by deeply heartfelt moments but it wasn’t long before the hilarious scene changes took us to another place or another song.

I only have eyes for you couple
Nikki Bohne and Jared Gertner as Helen and Harry Dubin sing a duet on “For You”

Jared Gertner really was Al Dubin; a sweet, kind of sexy cherub who sang with grace and then gave me goose bumps on his last song! The charming Nikki Bohne played his wife Helen with a lot of heart and some great pipes!

There were many dazzling versions of some memorable songs like: “For You,” “We’re In The Money,” “You’re Getting To Be A Habit With Me” and “September In The Rain.” And “42nd Street” was a show stopper!

I only have eyes for you 2 men
Jared Gertner as Al Dubin and Constantine Rousouli as Harry Warren dance and sing their tune “With Plenty Of Money And You”

The whole cast was delightful and it felt like they were truly having fun. The scene changes included some lively, comical, tongue-in-cheek dancing that kept the show moving along at a lively pace.

The sensitive and spirited arrangements written by musical director Gerald Sternbach really enriched the production. The 10 piece band was sensational, especially the woodwinds: Phil Feather and Greg Huckins, as well as the cellist John Krovoza.

Elijah Rock, Kim Louise Taylor and Katherine Tokarz
Elijah Rock with Kim Louise Taylor and Katherine Tokarz does a great Cab Calloway on “Lulu’s Back In Town”

Elijah Rock, Kim Louise Taylor and Katherine Tokarz

My date, Gene Cipriano is an old friend of Corky Hale’s and we were able to tell her how much fun we had! She said “I wanted the audience to leave knowing they had heard some marvelous, inspiring music, had lots of laughs and left there feeling uplifted “

We certainly did! It opens this Friday the 13th  and will continue for a month through June 12….Don’t miss it!

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(photo credit: Michael Lamont)

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